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Onboard - Tourism Operator's Handbook for the Great Barrier Reef

Hinchinbrook Planning Area

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Hinchinbrook Planning Area locator map - 233.8 kb

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Hinchinbrook Plan of Management
(Format: pdf; 1,742 KB)
4-36-11 Hinchinbrook Island

The Hinchinbrook Planning Area extends from Dunk Island in the north to Halifax Bay in the south and generally about 10 to 20 kilometres offshore (see Download Map).

So that the area can remain a spectacular low-key natural destination, there are important management arrangements in place.  Explore this page and its links to find out about arrangements for tourism operations in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park portion of the Planning Area (most of the Area). Your permit may describe additional arrangements for Queensland internal waters (including the Hinchinbrook Channel). Contact the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service about particular management arrangements for those areas.

Can I operate in the Hinchinbrook Planning Area?

Your permit will tell you if you can operate in the Hinchinbrook Planning Area. If you are able to operate there:

If you have a permit issued before 15 April 2004 that allows more than 50 days access per year, it is important that you understand the transition arrangements set out in the Hinchinbrook Plan of Management 2004. You can continue to regularly access the area in accordance with your permit until you are invited to apply for eligibility under the Plan and a decision is made on your application. Providing that you have made adequate use of the Area, you will be eligible for an Open Tour Operation permission (those able to continue to access the Area without a booking) which will be reflected by an endorsement or letter of authorisation to your permit.

If you are not permitted to operate in the Hinchinbrook Planning Area but wish to, there is a range of permits available.

Are there special requirements?

Within the Hinchinbrook Planning Area, group size and anchoring access is managed at each Location (generally the area within the 500 metre line of the edge of a reef).

For areas of exceptional nature conservation, cultural and heritage, scientific or use values (Sensitive Locations and for Significant Bird Sites there are specific requirements about how frequently you may access the location and the activities you undertake).

Depending on your style of operation, you may need to be aware of some special rules for the activities of anchoring and mooring and motorised water sports in the Hinchinbrook Planning Area.

You can help protect large animals such as dugong, dolphin and marine turtles and their habitat by using the designated Transit Lanes.

© Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority