Waterways and exclusions

For private boat owners and commercial operators

Boats are permitted on Sydney Harbour on Australia Day.

All non-participating vessels must observe a speed limit of 6 knots and minimise wash within 200m of any exclusion one for the duration of the event. Exclusion zones for the major events on Sydney Harbour are marked by yellow boundary buoys and/or patrolled by official control vessels.

Learn more about Sydney Harbour major summer events . 

A map of exclusion zones is available on the Transport for NSW website.

Safety on the water

With increased numbers of vessel traffic expected on the state’s waterways during Australia Day celebrations, NSW Police and Maritime authorities will be out in force, to ensure operators of recreational and commercial vessels are compliant with Maritime regulations.

Safely prepare your vessel, by checking you have all the correct equipment on board, an appropriate lifejacket for all crew, and each passenger on board. Know where to locate all your safety equipment in the event of an emergency. Check your navigation lights, that they are correct and in good working order.


  • Keep a safe and proper lookout.
  • When overtaking another vessel keep well clear.
  • Maintain a safe distance from other vessels.
  • Give way to other vessels as required.
  • In the event of an emergency on water, communicate with authorities on radio VHF16 or Call 000

Download the MarineRescue app from the App Store or Google Play and stay safe on the water.

Australia Day in NSW Partners