Many marine parks and reserves and other waterways in Western Australia are popular for recreational boating and nature-based tourism. As boat ownership continues to increase, the Parks and Wildlife Service and other Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) management authorities are working to manage the increasing demand for moorings in marine parks and reserves to ensure public safety, while minimising impacts on the environment. 

Moorings play an important role in protecting areas with high conservation value such as coral reef and seagrass. Well-designed moorings minimise the need for anchoring, therefore reducing anchor damage.  

Moorings also provide better access to locations of interest, such as dive sites, as well as an improved level of security and safety for vessels. 

Types of moorings

DBCA manages different types of moorings depending on the location and the management authority.

The Parks and Wildlife Service with the Department of Transport manages three types of moorings:

private moorings: owned and maintained by individuals, organisations or commercial operators 

public moorings: owned and maintained by the Parks and Wildlife Service and are available for public use free of charge on a first-come, first-permitted basis in accordance with conditions that are displayed on the mooring 

rental moorings: owned and maintained by the Parks and Wildlife Service and are available for public use under a rental mooring licence. 

The Department of Transport manages a number of mooring types on the Swan and Canning Rivers on behalf of the Swan River Trust:

licensed moorings: used by licence holders for a specific location with various conditions and responsibilities attached to the licensee including maintenance of the mooring infrastructure.

courtesy moorings: allow both commercial and recreational boat owners to moor, without having to drop anchor, for a period of time during daylight hours, and  without charge.

emergency moorings: used to secure vessels in an emergency situation, including that may have come off private moorings or been left on a licensed mooring illegally.

rental moorings: These moorings may be rented for the purpose of mooring a vessel for certain periods, which can be accessed through a Shared Use Mooring System.

The Rottnest Island Authority manages licenced moorings both for private access, and for authorised user under the Shared Mooring System.

Installation, ownership and use of moorings

You need permission from the appropriate management authority to install, own mooring infrastructure and/or use a mooring in WA marine parks and reserves except for courtesy moorings in the Swan Canning Rivers, which can be accessed free of charge for limited periods. 

For Parks and Wildlife marine parks and reserves (does not include Swan and Canning rivers) please contact the Parks and Wildlife Service’s relevant district. You will also need to fill in an application form (see Downloads below). If you are a licensed commercial operator, authority to install, own and/or use a mooring would be incorporated into your commercial operations licence.  

For Swan and Canning River moorings, contact the Department of Transport Swing moorings 

For Rottnest Island moorings, contact the Rottnest Island Authority RIA | Boating

Mooring contractors

Installation, inspection and certification of a mooring in WA marine parks and reserves, including the Swan Canning Riverpark (excluding Rottnest Island) is to be conducted by an approved mooring contractor. 

The Department of Transport manages the approved mooring contractors list.

If you wish to enquire about becoming an approved mooring contractor, please contact For Rottnest Island mooring contractors, contact

Where permission has been given by the Parks and Wildlife Service to install a mooring and you are contracted to install and/or inspect and/or carry out works to maintain a mooring, you are requested to inform the relevant marine park coordinator on when and where you will be working, to ensure smooth operations on the day. 

Parks and Wildlife Service contacts

  • Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park – Walpole office – 08 9840 0400 
  • Ngari Capes Marine Park – Busselton office – 08 9752 5555 
  • Shoalwater Islands and Marmion marine parks – Swan Region office – 08 9206 4795 
  • Jurien Bay Marine Park – Jurien office – 08 9688 6000 
  • Shark Bay Marine Park – Denham office – 08 9948 2226 
  • Ningaloo Marine Park – Exmouth office – 08 9947 8000 
  • Barrow Island and Montebello Islands marine parks – Karratha office – 08 9182 2000 
  • Rowley Shoals, Eighty Mile Beach, Lalang-garram / Camden Sound marine parks – Broome office – 08 9195 5500 
  • North Kimberley Marine Park – Kununurra office – 08 9168 4200