Private moorings

Regular reef users like commercial tourism operators and local residents may install privately owned moorings with a permit from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

As part of responsible reef practices, we encourage reef users to share moorings.

If you wish to use someone's mooring, this must be negotiated with the permittee — the mooring buoy, tackle and point of attachment to the sea-bed are the permittee’s private property.

Should you wish to use a private mooring, it is essential you check with the owner to make sure the mooring is capable of holding your vessel and that your vessel will not move the mooring. This can damage the marine environment and the mooring itself.

Unauthorised use of private moorings is a civil matter between the permittee and the unauthorised user. 

If you wish to install a mooring of your own, please contact the GBRMPA or email us at permits@gbrmpa.gov.au to obtain the necessary permission.

View the Moorings Register.

Legal requirements for the use of private moorings

  • A permit is required to install a private mooring in the Marine Park
  • Mooring reference numbers must be displayed on private permitted moorings
  • Private moorings must be maintained annually and a compliance certificate obtained by an appropriately experienced person. For further information on an appropriately experienced person, please refer to the moorings policy and supporting information sheet
  • In general, you must not anchor within 50 metres of moorings or 200 metres of pontoons in the Cairns Planning Area.