Commercial filming and photography in national parks, recreation areas and forests
If you are a commercial filmmaker or photographer wanting to operate in a national park, recreation area or forest, you must apply for a Commercial Activity Permit (CAP) if:
- you have a team of more than 10 people
- you are using structures.
Commercial filming and photography involving 10 people or less:
- does not require a CAP if you don't use structures
- does require a CAP if you do use structures.
Note: A tripod used to support a camera or a simple bird hide large enough to shelter one person is not defined as a structure.
State plantation forests
If you only want to operate in a state plantation forest, you should apply to Hancock's Queensland Plantations for a permit.
If you want to operate in a state plantation forest and a national park, state forest or recreation area, you only need to apply to QPWS.
Before you apply
Book a free pre-lodgement meeting
You can request a free pre-lodgement meeting to:
- discuss and develop your proposal
- reduce assessment time frames
- increase your chance of success.
Public liability insurance
Public liability insurance is required for filming and photography permit holders where there are more than 10 people or structures involved.
Commercial filming or photography involving 10 people or less:
- does not require public liability insurance if you don't use structures
- does require public liability insurance if you do use structures.
Check for parks alerts and closures
Check park alerts for any closures before you apply.
Applying for a CAP
You need to pay fees when you lodge your application form.
Fees for filming and photography activities involving 11 or more people without prescribed structures (effective 1 July 2015)
|Renewal or extension of permit fee||$327.10|
|Permit fee (for each day for which the activities are carried out under the permit)||$164.10|
Fees for filming and photography – structures involved (effective 1 July 2015)
|Fee title||Number of people involved|
|1-5||6-25||26-50||51 or more|
|Renewal or extension of permit fee||$164.10||$813.00||$1,634.00||$3,280.00|
|Permit fee (for each day for which activities are carried out under the permit)||$164.10||$813.00||$1,634.00||$3,280.00|
If your application is refused, your application fee will not be refunded. Your daily permit fees can be refunded.
Complying with permit conditions
For a 3-month permit, you must include the starting date and total number of days filming or photographing in your application, since upfront payment of the permit fee is required.
Return of operations
For permits with terms greater than 3 months, you must submit a filming and photography quarterly return of operations form within 20 business days of the end of the quarter (i.e. at the end of March, June, September and December). You must still submit a return, even if no filming or photography has occurred in a quarterly period. However, no fees will apply.
- Submit a filming and photography return of operations form for July 2014 to June 2015
- Submit a filming and photography return of operations form for July 2015 to June 2016
You can pay any fees due online by Visa or MasterCard. Alternatively, you can choose to be invoiced and then pay by BPay.
Your permit conditions may require you to notify us before you enter a protected area for filming or photography. Please provide notice at least 7 days before entering the protected area.
If your commercial activity involves overnight camping, you may need to pay camping fees in addition to your application fee and daily site fees.
Learn more about camping bookings.
Penalties for operating without a permit
It is an offence to conduct a commercial activity in a protected area without a permit.
If you or your business is found conducting a commercial activity in a protected area without a CAP, you may be issued with an infringement notice or prosecuted through the court system.
- Last reviewed
- July 1, 2015