Aquatic permits

The Gold Coast is synonymous with strong tourism and a healthy outdoor lifestyle. City of Gold Coast offers the opportunity for local businesses to apply for permits to operate aquatic activities at selected City parks and foreshore sites across the Gold Coast. Permits are available for commercial operators to provide a variety of water-related activities in a regulated environment. Examples of such activities include:

  • stand up paddle and kayaking hire and workshops
  • jet skis and motorised craft hire
  • other water-based recreational activities.

Commercial aquatic recreational activities can provide community benefit through:

  • health and wellbeing
  • social unity
  • tourism and the economy support, and
  • ecological sustainability.

Permit locations

At present, there are 10 park sites within the City that can support a fixed or mobile commercial aquatic operation. These sites include:

Types of permit issued

A permit can be issued for either a fixed location site or a launch and retrieve site.

  1. A fixed location site allows transactions to occur on site and the ability to set up for a prolonged time.
  2. A launch and retrieve site consists of an entry point from the City Park into the water only including a meet and greet, with no transactions to occur on site.

Application criteria

Applications for permits are open every 3 years via a competitive permit application process. There are permit fees associated with each location. If an operator is successful, a permit will be issued for a period of 3 years. Currently all permits are in place until June 2023, except for Jabiru Island which is currently vacant.

The following criteria must be addressed by an applicant wishing to apply for a permit:

  • a site plan of the location where you’re proposing to operate and how this will work. Site impacts – please outline how you will minimise and potential negative impacts.
  • any relevant licences, experience and qualifications of all personnel, for example:
    - first aid/CPR
    - Surf Rescue Certificate/Bronze Medallion/Ocean Safety Surf Coach Award
    - Positive Notice Blue Card for working with children
    - SUP coaching award.
  • risk assessment and risk management plan for the site. Please undertake a comprehensive risk assessment.
  • a list detailing any extra community benefit activities or initiatives.

New site request

To request consideration for a new park site permit location, in the next round of applications opening mid-2023, commercial operators should submit an email to