Can I Fly My Drone Over Australia’s Famous Landmarks?

Nov 03, 2020

03/11/2020 By Ben Southall, Winner of the ‘Best Job in the World’ and AdventureFree Brand Ambassador

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Where you CAN fly:

Across the vast majority of the even vaster Outback, along thousands of kilometers of Australia’s deserted beaches, and anywhere that’s not classed as a National Park. These are subject to different regulations

depending on which state you’re in. Some, like Queensland, are really easy going; others are a little more restrictive! (See below for the different regulations each of the states impose on recreational flying) Over rivers, lakes and the ocean… if you’re brave enough!

  • Whitehaven Beach – safe to fly but stick to the far southern, or northern end of the beach as scenic flights regularly land in the middle of the beach. Be especially conscious of your 120m-flight ceiling as helicopters and seaplanes use this area all the time.
  • Fraser Island – One destination backpackers and tourists flock to, is Fraser Island in Queensland. If you want to fly there, it’s best to stay at least 5.5km from the landing strip on 75-mile beach and the same distance from the resort helipads. If you want to fly over the Maheno shipwreck you’ll need to chat with the ground crew and pilots from Fraser Air who operate the scenic flights close by. According to Scott Duffy from CASA, you actually have the same rights to use the airspace as any other aircraft operating in the area, but it’s worth when there’s a suitable window to fly in between their flights
  • Great Barrier Reef – allowed across the entire reef (excluding near airports, aerodromes and helipads) but worth checking with you tour operator first as different companies have different rules.
  • Mossman Gorge – exactly the same as above.
  • Daintree Rainforest – respect the wildlife, the locals and the amazing trees and you’ll be ok.

Where you CANNOT fly:

  • Hamilton Island – with a major runway on the island it’s well within the 5.5km exclusion zone.
  • Twelve Apostles – they are inside one of Victoria’s National Marine Parks.
  • Sydney Harbour – anywhere around Sydney Harbour, over the Opera House or past the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
  • Bungle Bungles – as part of the Purnululu National Park you can only fly here by applying directly to the local Parks and Wildlife office – find out more here.
  • Uluru (Ayers Rock) – you’ll see signs everywhere warning you that the area is a culturally sensitive place for the Aboriginal people. Respect it and keep your drone in the box. If you do want to see some incredible footage of the famous red rock, the team from Grainger Films, were granted special permission to film a one-off.


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*Drone rules are evolving, and we will update from time to time. This article is for information purposes only and please satisfy yourself of the rules before you fly. This article may not be relied upon as approval to fly.