Personal Watercraft (PWC) operating areas

This page outlines what PWC exclusion and restriction zones are, and where the 'no-go' PWC areas are located in NSW.

PWC exclusion zone

PWC exclusion zone means the waters of Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour), and includes the waters of all tidal bays, rivers and their tributaries connected or leading to Sydney Harbour bounded by high-water mark and lying to the west of a line commencing at the southernmost point of North Head and running to the northernmost point of South Head.

PWCs are not permitted to be driven in the exclusion zone at any time, unless exempt. Penalties apply.

PWC restriction zones

PWC restriction zone means the waters (including any tributaries) of Avoca Lake, Botany Bay, Brisbane Water, Broken Bay, Bulbararing Lagoon, Cockrone Lagoon, Cooks River, Dee Why Lagoon, Georges River, Hawkesbury River, Manly Reservoir, Manly Lagoon, Narrabeen Lakes, Nepean River, Port Hacking, Prospect Reservoir, Terrigal Lagoon, Wamberal Lagoon and Woronora River (but does not include any open waters).
PWCs are not permitted to be used for 'irregular driving' within 200 metres of a river bank or shore when operating in the restriction zones. Penalties apply.

Examples of irregular driving are:

  • Driving in a circle or other pattern
  • Weaving or diverting
  • Surfing down or jumping over or across, any swell, wave or wash.

This means that PWCs must be operated generally in a straight line within 200 metres of the shoreline.

No go PWC areas

A list of areas in which PWC use is prohibited. PWCs are not permitted to be driven in these areas at any time, unless exempt. Check relevant boating maps for details. Penalties apply.

North Coast

PWCs are not permitted upstream of Lake Lismore on the Wilson's River.
Marine Parks at Byron which also includes Brunswick Heads South to Lennox Point.

Tweed Heads area

No power boating in these areas, which includes PWCs (electric powered vessels are permitted).

  • Southern and western side of Ukerebagh Island
  • Kerosene Inlet (opposite Tweed Hospital)
  • Wommin Lake (Fingal)
  • Wommin Lagoon (Fingal)
  • Cudgen Lake.

Coffs Harbour area

  • Bonville Creek (all waters of)
  • Corindi River (upstream from boat ramp)
  • Coffs Creek entrance is a signposted No power boat area.

South West Rocks area

  • Trial Bay(Gaol area) – No power boating including PWCs includes an area extending from the Arakoon Camping area foreshore bordered by 3 yellow buoys indicating NO PWC or powerered vessels
  • Manning Region
  • Knappinghat Creek.

North Coast boating maps.


  • Upper Williams River.

Hunter/Inland boating maps.

Hawkesbury/Broken Bay

  • Nil.

Hawkesbury/Broken Bay boating maps.


Botany Bay and Port Hacking PWC prohibited zones.

  • Botany Bay – Yarra Bay, Frenchmans Bay, Congwong and Little Congwong beaches
  • Port Hacking – Darook Park.

Sydney boating maps.

South Coast

Roads and Maritime is conducting personal watercraft ‘no go’ zone trials in the Eurobodalla area. The prohibited zones in place are:

  • Durras area – South Durras prohibited zone and Durras Lake speed restricted area allowing access to the boat ramp. Durras area PWC map (PDF)
  • Broulee Bay – Prohibited zone areas to include Broulee Beach, Tomakin Beach, Tomakin Cove with PWC restricted to a narrow speed restricted channel allowing access to the boat ramp at Mossy Point on the Tomaga River. Broulee Bay PWC map (PDF)
  • Tuross Lake – A prohibited zone, with PWC restricted to a narrow channel between the boat ramp at Tuross Head and the open ocean with an 8-knot speed restriction. Tuross Lake PWC map (PDF)
  • Batemans Bay – PWC excluded from Cullendulla Creek. Batemans Bay PWC map (PDF).


  • Lake Mulwala - between the road and railway bridges.

Murray/Inland boating maps.

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