The region south of the Whitsunday Islands to the Bedwell Island Group, including Hydrographers Passage and the Cumberland Island Group, contains some exciting tourism destinations. Tourism facilities and charter boat operations are established and offer full day snorkelling tours, fishing charters, shipwreck diving tours and access to a number of island National Parks such as Brampton Island and South Cumberland Island.
When operating in the region there are some key arrangements you should check.
Check zoning requirements
Zoning is one of the primary management tools for the Marine Park and it is important that you understand the zoning for the area you intend to visit. You are responsible for knowing all the zoning provisions for the location you wish to visit.Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) websites.
Check Special Management Areas
There are Special Management Areas (SMA) throughout the Marine Park. They apply specific management arrangements to an area to improve conservation of the area or to manage use. They provide an overlay to zoning and are generally marked on the zoning maps.
In the Mackay region there are Public Appreciation Special Management Areas at:
- Brampton Island (20-270b) - West
- Brampton Island (20-270b) - East.
In addition to the rules for the Conservation Park (yellow) Zone, you cannot spearfish in these areas.
Check designated Shipping Areas
If you conduct a cruise ship operation, check the designated Shipping Areas. They are an overlay to zoning and are designated to allow the navigation of ships through zones where they would otherwise not be permitted. You can locate the Shipping Area boundaries on the zoning maps. The Hydrographers Passage is a compulsory pilotage area for cruise ships.
Check your permit
You must have a permit to operate in the Marine Park. Read your permit carefully for additional conditions about operating in the region.
Check Island National Parks
Check Responsible Reef Practices
For each of the activities you undertake consider how you and your clients can adopt responsible reef practices and further help protect the Reef.
Where can I get more information?
Activities Guide An introduction to zoning in the Great Barrier Reef - 99.4 kb
If you're heading out on the water, download and use the free zoning app so you know where you can go and what you can do.
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