Boaties illegally anchoring vessels on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) has responded to a recent spike in complaints by concerned boaties and the general public about illegal anchoring of vessels on Gold Coast’s waterways.

As part of its ongoing program of monitoring boats to identify those who have exceeded the maximum anchorage duration, GCWA has impounded six vessels on the Broadwater in the past 7 days.

GCWA manages the city’s waterways to ensure everyone gets a fair go at accessing the most sought after locations on the water.


GCWA CEO Hal Morris said that rivers, canals and creeks allow a stay of up to 24 hours, with this being extended to up to seven days in some parts of the Broadwater. “We receive many complaints each week from the public about vessels that overstay their welcome by exceeding the maximum duration of stay on our waterways”, said Mr Morris.

“These restrictions operate like parking restrictions for vehicles in city centres or camping restrictions in national parks. We have limits on the length of stays so everyone gets an opportunity to enjoy the many stunning anchorages available on the water.”

“Some of the most enjoyed real estate on our waterways include waters near Wave Break Island and Marine Stadium at Main Beach, and we will continue to monitor these areas closely. Of course we ask people to be fair and share the waterways but for those not doing the right thing, on-the-spot fines can be issued, and the boats can be removed.”

22 fines have been issued for anchoring illegally which carry a $235 on-the-spot penalty with a Notice of Removal also issued giving boats 14 days to move on and leave the anchorage. For those vessels removed, the owners must then pay the removal expenses before the vessels can be returned.

To find out more about anchoring on our waterways, visit