Commercial filming and photography in national parks, recreation areas and state forests

If you are a commercial filmmaker or photographer wanting to operate in a national 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

Prescribed structures are equipment or construction used for filming or photography, including a:

  • tower
  • platform
  • generator
  • vehicle
  • shelter and building
  • 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.

Read the prescribed structures definition in Schedule 7 of the Nature Conservation (Administration) Regulation 2006 (PDF, 1.2MB) and the Schedule dictionary of the Recreation Areas Management Act 2006 (PDF, 985KB).

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, 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 is required for filming and photography permit holders where there are 11 or more people, with or without prescribed structures.

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, regional 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 2015)

Application fee$327.10
Renewal or extension of permit fee$327.10
Permit fee (per day for activities carried out under the permit)$164.10

Fees for filming and photography – with prescribed structures (effective 1 July 2015)

Fee titleNumber of people involved
1-56-2526-50 51 or more
Application fee$164.10$813.00$1,634.00$3,280.00
Renewal or extension of permit fee$164.10$813.00$1,634.00$3,280.00 
Permit fee (per day for activities carried out under the permit)$164.10$813.00$1,634.00$3,280.00 

Refunds policy

If your application is refused, your application fee will not be refunded. Your daily permit fees can be refunded.

Complying with permit conditions

Payment of the permit fee per day must be paid up front. For a 3-month permit, you must include the starting date and total number of days filming or photography in your application.

Return of operations

For permits 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. If you submit returns monthly, select the quarterly return of operations form that your month falls into.

Even if no activity occurred during a particular month or quarter, you must still submit a 'nil' return for that month or quarter. The quarter cycle finishes at the end of March, June, September and December each year.

From the 1 July 2015, all invoices must be paid within 7 days. Failure to pay within 7 days may result in the suspension or cancellation of your CAP or agreement.


Your permit conditions may require you to submit a notification at least 7 days before you enter a protected area for filming or photography.

Submit a notification

Camping fees

If your commercial activity involves overnight camping, you will need to pay camping fees.

Learn more about camping bookings.

Last reviewed
March 31, 2016


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