Motorised water sports

Motorised water sports including jet-skiing, para-sailing and water-skiing can be fun activities in the Marine Park, but users need to keep a look out for wildlife and be mindful of those visitors who have come from far and wide in search of a peaceful escape.

When operating motorcraft

  • Be considerate of other reef users in the area — be aware of your noise and wake
  • Stay a safe distance away from people in the water
  • Be on the look out for marine animals such as dolphins, turtles and dugong - reduce your speed and be especially alert in areas where these animals are known to occur
  • Go slow near islands and cays, especially where seabirds are nesting or roosting
  • Go slow near the coast, especially when you're near popular beaches
  • When travelling in shallow water, keep your watercraft in idle speed to minimse the stirring of sediments
  • Avoid beaching or anchoring in sensitive areas such as corals, seagrass beds, and nesting sites.

When maintaining motorcraft

  • Check that the engines do not leak fuel or oil
  • Conduct your vessel maintenance regularly (for example, spray painting, oil changes and engine cleaning) on land
  • Refuel on land, not on the water, to reduce the chance of spills
  • Fit a propeller cowl to protect wildlife

Marine Parks Legal Requirements

  • To protect wildlife and preserve a natural setting, there are some areas where motorised water sports may not be undertaken
    • You must not undertake motorised water sports in the Remote Natural Area
    • In the Cairns Planning Area you may only undertake motorised water sports outside Locations. The boundary of a Location is generally defined as 500 metres from the reef edge
    • In the Hinchinbrook Planning Area you may only undertake motorised water sports in Intensive Use Locations and outside Locations. Speed and access restrictions apply around Significant Bird Sites. In the Hinchinbrook Planning Area the boundary of a 'Location' is generally defined as 500 metres from the reef edge
    • In the Whitsunday Planning Area you may only undertake motorised water sports in Setting 1 areas and outside Setting areas. In the Whitsunday Planning Area the boundary of a 'Setting' area is generally 1500 metres away from reefs or the coastline. Speed and access restrictions also apply around Significant Bird Sites
    • You must have a Marine Parks permit to undertake motorised water sports as part of a tourism program.