Australian Marine Parks

Transitional management arrangements apply in Macquarie Island Marine Park and the other 13 marine parks of the South-east Marine Parks Network, until a new management plan for the Network is prepared and comes into effect. Please visit Macquarie Island Marine Park transitional management arrangements and South-east Marine Parks transitional management arrangements for more information.

Transitional management arrangements apply in Christmas Island Marine Park and Cocos (Keeling) Islands Marine Park until management plans for these marine parks are prepared and come into effect. Please visit the transitional management arrangements page for more information.

Management plans set out how you can use and enjoy Australian Marine Parks.

Many members of the community use the marine environment, either for recreational activities (including boating and fishing) or for commercial activities (such as tourism, charter fishing and commercial fishing).

Certain activities in Australian Marine Parks are subject to rules and require an approval.

The Director of National Parks has developed a process to authorise certain activities in marine parks to ensure that they are conducted in a way that does not harm the values of the marine parks.

The Director may authorise allowable activities through a permit, class approval, activity licence or lease in accordance with the management plans.

For further information about the zones and rules in each marine park, check the factsheets on each network.


Activities that require a permit include:


Apply for a permit

Class approvals

Class approvals are used to authorise a specified class of activities by a specified person, a group of persons or a class of persons where the activities are generally done in the same way by all persons conducting the activity.

Class approvals minimise ‘red tape’, costs or administrative overheads for operators.

The following activities are authorised by class approvals:

  • commercial fishing
  • mining
  • some structure and works activities:
    • artificial reefs and disposal of dredge material permits issued under the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981
    • excavations (including dredging), erection of structures, maintenance and works approvals issued under Part 9 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Activities under a class approval do not need to complete an application.

Class approvals specify where in the marine parks certain activities can occur, as well as the methods and equipment that may be used during that activity, reflecting the rules set out in the management plans.

Class approvals also list conditions that must be followed while operating in our marine parks.

These conditions are for marine park management purposes, and help ensure we understand the nature of activities and their impact on park values.

Activity licences and leases

An activity licence or lease is required to authorise a commercial activity.

The following activities require a licence:

List of authorisations issued

The authorisations that have been issued by the Director of National Parks for activities in Australian Marine Parks can be viewed and downloaded here.

Further information

Management plans for Australian Marine Parks in the North, North-west, South-west, South-east, Temperate East and the Coral Sea are available.

Factsheets setting out the zones and what activities are allowed in marine parks are available via our Resources and publications page.

Find out if you need to apply for a permit or licence to use or visit our marine parks.