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The Far Northern Management Area has lower recreational and tourism use than the southern areas and includes several iconic breeding and foraging grounds for a number of species.

Raine Island is the world’s largest green turtle rookery, and Princess Charlotte Bay is an important foraging habitat for dugong.

There are a number of layers of management in place to protect the unique values of the area and provide for a range of uses and visitor experiences.

To protect the sensitive values and balance multiple uses at a localised level, site-specific management is required. It is important to consider the rules for these sites when planning your visit.

The sites listed below have either a Site Plan, Site Management Arrangement or a Special Management Area.

Before accessing the site information below, refer to the following information for the Management Area.


Before you head out on the water, make sure you have a copy of the relevant zoning map and understand the zoning rules.

Either pick up a free zoning map for the area you are visiting from your local bait and tackle shop or download the Eye on the Reef app.

Remote Natural Area

The Remote Natural Area covers most of the Far Northern Management Area with the exception of some small areas along the coastline (see map).

The Remote Natural Area maintains a natural and undeveloped character by ensuring the area remains largely unaltered by works or facilities and provides opportunities for quiet appreciation and enjoyment.

Within the Remote Natural Area, motorised watersports (including high-speed vessels), dumping of spoil, reclamation, beach protection works, harbour works, and the construction of structures other than vessel moorings and navigational aids are not allowed.


There are designated anchorages in the Far Northern Management Area for cruise ships and large vessels which can be booked via bookings online.

  • 11 Designated Anchorages are available in the Far Northern Management Area with a booking.
    • The nine anchorages in the Remote Natural Area cater for cruise ships up to 120 metres in length, and up to 150 passengers.
    • There are no size requirements or passenger limits for the two Flinders Island Group Designated Anchorages.

Commercial fishing

  • Commercial fishers should read the Special Management Areas to ensure they are familiar with No Dories Detached Special Management Areas and One Dory Detached Special Management Areas (in addition to zoning).
  • For commercial vessels greater than 50 metres refer to your permit and the Zoning Plan.

  • Princess Charlotte Bay Special Management Area  — Commercial net fishers must have a permit to operate in Princess Charlotte Bay.

Beach along the Great Barrier Reef – Australia - © QPWS - Photographer: Victor Huertas
Updated 5 Jan 2024
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