There are two kinds of speed limits for Queensland waters:

  1. those given effect by gazette notice and indicated by official speed signs (for example, 6 knots, 30 knots or 40 knots)
  2. the operational “distance-off” speed limits.

Also, boaties and riders of personal watercraft must remember there are different “distance-off” speed limits —

For boats, a speed limit of 6 knots within 30 metres of:

  • boats anchored, moored or aground
  • jetties, wharfs, pontoons, and boat ramps
  • people in the water.

For personal watercraft, a speed limit of 6 knots within 60 metres of:

  • boats anchored, moored or aground
  • jetties, wharfs, pontoons, and boats ramps
  • the shoreline (certain exceptions apply) or the boundary of a bathing reserve
  • people in the water.

Even at slow speeds, boats or personal watercraft may cause a significant wash. Be aware of the impact this can have on other boats, pontoons, people in the water, and the shore. Travelling at the speed shown on a speed sign does not guarantee you are not causing excessive or damaging wash.

Before heading out, you should check the speed limit map for the particular waterway, so you know the marine speed limits.

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

Check the gazetted speed limits in Queensland.

Gazetted speed limits in Queensland.

Speed and Behaviour on our Waterways

The Speed Limits and Behaviour Management Strategy 2018-2020 (the Strategy) was approved by the GCWA Board in December 2017.

By building on earlier community consultation and stakeholder engagement, the Strategy provides a framework for deciding speed limits. The Strategy also explains rules around speed and behaviour on our waterways, as well as the availability and easy access to speed limit maps for Gold Coast waterways.

The Strategy aligns with GCWA’s overarching vision of Access, Connections, and Destinations.

The Strategy also introduced Who’s Who in the Blue, a handy reference that explains which agencies enforce speed limits, operator behaviour, and other waterways matters on the Gold Coast.

You can find the Strategy here

Behaviour Management Strategy 2018-2020

Download PDF

How are speed limits enforced on the water?

The issue of speeding is important to us. Water Police, Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol and Maritime Safety Queensland are responsible for enforcing speed limits and other unsafe activities or behaviours on the water.

Speeding boats can be reported to the Water Police through Policelink, either online at or by calling 131 444.

Alternatively, please contact Maritime Safety Queensland at or Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol on 13 25 23.


Gold Coast Speed Limits
McCoys Creek
Southern Moreton Bay near Jacobs Well
Nerang River near Broadbeach Waters
North Wave Break Island
Coomera River including North Branch and South Branch
Coomera River (North Branch)
Coomera River from Foxwell Island to Coomera River Rail Bridge
Coomera River from Hope Island to Foxwell Island
Coomera River near Coomera
Coomera River near Oxenford
Broadwater near Crab Island
Broadwater near Coomera Island and Coomera River (South Branch)
Broadwater near Paradise Point
Australia Day – Wave Break Island