Speed limits

Maximum speed limits apply in boating areas. There are penalties and on-the-spot fines for exceeding a speed limit. For safety reasons, it may be necessary to stay well below these limits depending on the conditions.

Before boating in unfamiliar areas, find out if there are any special speed restrictions. Contact a Maritime Safety Queensland regional office, local authorities or marine parks and obey speed restriction signs.

The following restrictions apply throughout Queensland whether signs are present or not.

A speed limit of 6 knots:

  • within 30m of
    • boats anchored, moored to the shore or aground
    • a jetty, wharf, pontoon or boat ramp within 30m of people in the water
  • within 60m of people in the water when operating a personal watercraft
  • in boat harbours and marinas.

Even at slow speeds your boat will create a wash. Look behind at your wash and be aware of the impact this can have on other boats, people in the water or the shore. Travelling at the speed shown on a speed restriction sign does not guarantee you are not creating excessive wash.

When navigating near, in or through a mooring area drive slowly and keep wash to a minimum and keep a lookout for people in the water, small dinghies and trailing ropes.

Check the gazetted speed limits in Queensland.

Gold Coast waterways

The Gold Coast Waterways Authority is responsible for speed limits in Gold Coast waterways.

Last updated
29 December 2022