Boating, fishing & jet skiing

With 9 times more waterways than Venice, the Gold Coast is a boating paradise. There's over 260 kilometres of navigable waterways to explore and enjoy within our city.

The Gold Coast seaway offers convenient access to the Pacific Ocean for those interested in deep-sea fishing.

Public boat ramps, jetties & pontoons

Council manages a number of public boat ramps, jetties, pontoons. For more information download the following maps.

Commercial vessel use of Council pontoons & boat ramps

Several Council boating facilities are available for commercial vessel/vehicle use. If you would like to apply for a permit to use these facilities visit Commercial vessel use of Council boating facilities.

Locks

Council operates 2 navigation locks that give access from the tidal waterways into lake systems. Navigation locks on the Gold Coast exist for the effective flow of water.

There is also a third navigation lock at Oyster Cove that gives access from Saltwater Creek into Oyster Cove. This navigation lock is not operated by Council. For all enquiries please contact Oyster Cove Management 07 5514 0633.

Boobegan Creek

The Boobegan Creek lock is located at Carrara and provides access from the Robina Lakes and Clear Island Waters to the Nerang River.

Located between the Tri Care Retirement Village opposite Carrara Markets and the Rhode Island Development, the lock is about 800 metres upstream of the bridge crossing on Nerang Broadbeach Road.

Maximum dimensions of boats that can use the lock are: length 15 metres, width 4 metres and draft 2.3 metres.

The lock is operational 24 hours per day except during times of intense rain. During any flooding events the lock is not available for use by vessels.

Monterey Keys

The Monterey Keys lock is located between Saltwater Terrace and John Dalley Drive at Monterey Keys. This lock provides access from Monterey Keys Lake at Helensvale to Saltwater Creek.

Maximum dimensions of boats that can use this lock are: length 12 metres, width (beam) 6.65 metres and draft 1.35 metres.

This lock is operational 24 hours.

Apply for access to Boobegan Creek and Monterey Keys locks

Download, print and complete the Application for boat lock remote control access key form(PDF, 74KB)

Fees apply – see application form for details.

Submit your completed application form and payment:

  • at Nerang, Helensvale or Upper Coomera customer service centre between 8.15am and 4.30pm (cash payments not accepted)
  • by post to:

City of Gold Coast
PO Box 5042
GCMC QLD 9726

For instructions on how to use the access key see our Information sheet for remote control access key(PDF, 591KB)

For further information call 07 5667 3750.

Responsible boating

Many water activities we enjoy as part of our lifestyle can have an impact on the health of our waterways and catchments. Next time you're out on the water, consider the following tips. It's easy to make a difference.

  1. Limit boat washkeep to the designated speed limits
  2. Respect fish habitat and breeding areas. Stay well clear of fish nurseries and wetland areas. Breeding areas are common where the land meets the ocean and Broadwater. Quiet shoreline areas, where sandbanks form, mud settles and small aquatic plants grow, produce the perfect environment for spawning.
  3. Reduce litter and waste from entering our waterways and recycle. Prevent litter entering the waterways when you're on the shore and out on the boat. For information on sewage discharge visit the Maritime Safety Queensland website.
  4. Boat maintenance. Ensure all work on your boat is carried out at an approved and registered business. It's easy to find if a business is approved, just ask to see their environmental license.
  5. Boat washing. Boats, like vehicles, should be cleaned on grass and chemicals and detergents prevented from entering the waterways.

Fishing

Fishing is a favourite past-time for many Gold Coast residents and visitors.

To find information on fishing permits, rules and regulations visit the Queensland Government's recreational fishing web pages.

For locations of Council boat pontoons and jetties, see the Public boat ramps, jetties & pontoons section above.

To find out about fishing at Council fishing platforms, download our Public fishing platform locations map or visit the pages below for more detailed information.

Public fishing platform locations map(PDF, 2MB)

If you'd like information about fishing at the Hinze Dam visit the Seqwater website.

You can help protect our waterways and fish stocks by doing a few simple things.

  1. Dispose of all rubbish, bait bags and tangled fishing lines thoughtfully.
  2. Practise catch and release, or only keep the fish that you need.
  3. Observe bag limits.
  4. Reporting any sightings of noxious fish (such as tilapia, carp and gambusia) to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Tilapia Busters

The Gold Coast Tilapia Busters event is the biggest pest fish event in South East Queensland.

Run by City of Gold Coast with assistance from My Catch Australia and Gold Coast Fishing Fanatics, the event was launched originally in 2015. A free community event, Tilapia Busters is designed to raise community awareness of Tilapia's devastating effect on the environment.

For more information see the Tilapia page.

Jet skiing

Our Gold Coast water playground, the ocean, Broadwater and waterways, is the best jet ski playground in the world, but let's not forget Gold Coast jet ski etiquette – fun but fair:

  • residents respect the rights of jet skiers to have fun
  • jet skiers respect the rights of residents to an enjoyable environment.

Jet ski etiquette

Visit Maritime Safety Queensland for details of restricted areas for operating personal water craft (PWC) and make sure you:

  • consider others
  • abide by speed limits, both gazetted and operational "distance off"
  • reduce noise, especially before 7am
  • start the jet ski engine in the water
  • warm up the engine once in the water
  • flush the engine at home, not by revving it in the car park or on the boat ramp
  • choose launch ramps away from homes, such as The Spit ramp off Sea World Drive.

Who's who in the blue?

Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) have created a useful guide, Who's who in the blue?, that lists which authority to contact to report concerns about irresponsible boating, jet-skiing and other waterways-related activities, e.g. speeding and boating safety enforcement.

A link to this guide can be found on GCWA's home page.

For further information, please call Waterway Assets on 07 5667 3763.