Applying for a Commercial Activity Permit

To conduct commercial activities in national parks, conservation parks, resources reserves, recreation areas and forests, you must apply and be approved for a Commercial Activity Permit (CAP).

You can apply for a CAP for a term of up to 3 months, 1 year, 2 years or 3 years.

You must submit the CAP application and fees to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) through Online Services.

You can use a single application to apply for more than 1 activity or to operate in multiple locations such as in a national park, conservation park, resources reserve, recreation area or forest.

Before you apply

Book a free pre-lodgement meeting

You can request a free pre-lodgement meeting to:

  • learn about the application process and time frames
  • ensure your proposed application contains adequate information
  • provide your draft supporting information for the proposed application for a general review against legislative application requirements
  • check on jurisdictions of proposed locations
  • be informed about legislative and policy constraints
  • check on required fees
  • learn about your rights under principles of natural justice.

We do not refund application fees if your application is refused, so this meeting could save you time and money.

Take out insurance and indemnity

You will not be issued with a CAP unless you have all of the following types of insurance cover, and maintain this cover for the duration of the permit:

Calculate fees

You must pay the relevant fees when you apply, including application fees and permit fees. Your application is not considered valid until fees and all the relevant questions have been completed.

There are also ongoing fees related to conducting a commercial activity in QPWS managed areas which vary depending on the nature of the activity and location. For example, guided tour groups can incur a fee charged per person per day. It is important to familiarise yourself with potential ongoing costs before applying.

Learn more about fees for CAPs.

Lodge your application via Online Services

To apply for a CAP, register for Online Services or log in to Online Services if already registered.

  • The application can only be submitted online using an internet connection. You cannot print and submit this form by post or email.
  • You can save a partially completed form and submit it at a later date.
  • If you have trouble with completing the form, contact us at
  • Choose your authority type or choose the existing Authority to action. This will dynamically change the following form questions about your proposed authority.
  • Provide the following:
    • applicant details, including an email address
    • details about the activities you plan to conduct, including attachments of supporting information such as maps, brochures or photographs if available.
  • Ensure that you have appropriate insurance, where required, according to departmental policy prior to commencing the authorised activity. Read the Operational policy – Insurance and indemnity requirements for QPWS authorities (PDF, 200KB).
  • Pay the relevant application and permit fees (if applicable). You can pay online using Visa or MasterCard.
  • Your application will be submitted for assessment.

Attach a statement to include any additional information not already provided that will assist in assessing your application. Your application will be assessed against a range of matters required by the relevant legislation including those listed below.

For activities in protected areas (for example, national parks)

  • The chief executive cannot grant an activity authority for a protected area that is inconsistent with the management principles for the area; or the interim or declared management intent, or management plan, for the area
  • The effect the grant of the authority will have on the fair and equitable access to nature, having regard to, in particular, the ecologically sustainable use of protected areas or wildlife
  • Any contribution the applicant proposes to make to the conservation of nature
  • Any relevant Australian or international code, instrument, protocol or standard or any relevant intergovernmental agreement
  • The precautionary principle, public health and safety and the public interest
  • Whether the applicant is a suitable person to hold the authority
  • Any recovery plan for wildlife to which the authority applies
  • Any other matter stated in a management instrument as a matter the chief executive must have regard to when considering an application for the authority
  • For an application for a relevant authority for an Aboriginal land protected area – the indigenous management agreement for the protected area
  • For an application for a relevant authority for a protected area, other than an Aboriginal land protected area, in the Cape York Peninsula Region – any indigenous land use agreement for the area
  • The impact the activities may have on the character and amenity of the area and adjacent areas
  • The likely cumulative effect of the proposed use and other uses on the area
  • The orderly and proper management of the area
  • Anything else the chief executive considers appropriate to achieve the object of the Act.

For further information, refer to the Nature Conservation (Protected Areas Management) Regulation 2017.

For activities in State forests

  • The chief executive must ensure each State forest is used and managed in the way the chief executive considers appropriate to achieve the purposes of the Forestry Act 1959 having regard to the benefits of permitting grazing in the area; the desirability of conservation of soil and the environment and of protection of water quality; and the possibility of applying the area to recreational purposes.
  • No permit, license, lease, authority, agreement or contract may be granted if it is inconsistent with any existing permit, license, lease, other authority, or agreement or contract granted or made in respect of the same land.

For further information, refer to the Forestry Act 1959.

CAP applications can either be granted with conditions or refused based on legislative or policy reasons. For authorities issued with conditions, it is the authority holder's responsibility to have read the terms and conditions.

The Department is collecting the information on the application form to assess your application for an authority. Depending on the authority applied for, the information is required under our relevant authorising legislation:

  • Nature Conservation Act 1992
  • Recreation Areas Management Act 2006
  • Forestry Act 1959
  • Marine Parks Act 2004.

The department may have entered into an indigenous management agreement relating to this managed area(s) or the area may be subject to joint management. If so, the completed application form and relevant supporting documentation may be disclosed to the relevant indigenous organisation(s) (including to any relevant Native Title Body Corporates) for the purpose of the department consulting with or seeking the consent of that organisation.

Depending on the permit you are applying for, the department may also need to consult with other government agencies, councils and other relevant entities where applicable and necessary to appropriately assess your application. For example, under section 69T of the Forestry Act 1959, the department is required to consult with a plantation licensee and any plantation sub-licensee before granting a lease, license, permit, agreement, authority or contract. Your personal information will not be otherwise disclosed by the department to any other parties without your consent unless authorised or required by law, further information about privacy is available.

This will allow the department to fully assess the application and meet obligations to third parties set down in various agreements, for example with HQPlantations and First Nations People.

Camping fees

If your proposed commercial activity involves overnight camping in a national park, conservation park, resources reserve, forest or recreation area, you will need to book and pay camping fees.

Learn more about camping bookings.

Penalties for operating without a permit

It is an offence to conduct a commercial activity in a national park, conservation park, resources reserve, forest or recreation area without approval from the department.

If you or your business is found to be conducting a commercial activity in a national park, conservation park, resources reserve, forest or recreation area without a CAP, you may be issued with an infringement notice or prosecuted through the court system.

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