Commercial filming and photography in national parks, conservation parks, recreation areas and state forests
If you are a commercial filmmaker or photographer wanting to operate in a national park, conservation park, recreation area or state forest, you must apply for a Commercial Activity Permit (CAP) if the activity involves 11 or more people and is with or without prescribed structures.
Filming and photography activities involving up to 10 people without prescribed structures do not require a CAP.
Prescribed structures are equipment or construction used for filming or photography including, but not limited to a:
- shelter and building
- unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over 2kg.
Prescribed structures are not:
- camera or camera accessories
- tripod used to support a camera
- portable bird hide large enough to shelter one person
- UAV 2kg or under.
Read the prescribed structures definition in Schedule 7 of the Nature Conservation (Administration) Regulation 2017 and the Schedule dictionary of the Recreation Areas Management Act 2006.
State plantation forests
If you only want to conduct your activity in a state plantation forest, you must apply to HQPlantations for a permit.
If you want to operate in a state plantation forest and a national park, conservation park, state forest or recreation area, you only need to apply to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS).
Before you apply
Book a free pre-lodgement meeting
You can request a free pre-lodgement meeting to:
- discuss and develop your proposal
- learn about assessment time frames.
Public liability insurance
Public liability insurance - the government standard $20 million is required for filming and photography permit holders.
Check for parks alerts and closures
Check park alerts for any closures before you apply for a CAP and before you visit a national park, conservation park, recreation area or state forest.
Applying for a CAP
You need to pay fees when you lodge your application form.
Fees for filming and photography for 11 or more people without prescribed structures (effective 1 July 2017)
|Renewal or extension of permit fee||$350.30|
|Permit fee (per day for activities carried out under the permit)||$175.70|
Fees for filming and photography – with prescribed structures (effective 1 July 2017)
|Fee title||Number of people involved|
|1-5||6-25||26-50||51 or more|
|Renewal or extension of permit fee||$175.70||$870.00||$1,750.00||$3,512.00|
|Permit fee (per day for activities carried out under the permit)||$175.70||$870.00||$1,750.00||$3,512.00|
If your application is refused, your application fee will not be refunded. Your daily permit fees can be refunded.
Consider requesting a free pre-lodgement meeting to save time and money.
Return of operations
For CAPs with terms longer than 3 months, you must submit a return of operations form within 20 business days of the end of each calendar month or quarterly period. To submit returns monthly, select the quarter that your month falls into.
Even if no activity occurred during the month or quarter, you are still required to submit a 'nil' return. The quarterly cycles end on the last day of March, June, September and December each year.
- Submit a filming and photography return of operations form for July 2016 to June 2017
- Submit a filming and photography return of operations form for July 2017 to June 2018
Your CAP conditions may require you to submit a notification at least 14 days before you enter a protected area for filming or photography.
If your commercial activity involves overnight camping, you will need to pay camping fees.
Learn more about camping bookings.
- Last reviewed: 22 Sep 2017
- Last updated: 22 Sep 2017