Note: This is a trial version, featuring our 34 most popular parks. View the full list of parks.

Water safety

Matt Harvey © Tourism and Events Queensland

Water safety

Water safety

Whether you’re snorkelling on a sparkling reef, canoeing up a quiet river or floating silently in a volcanic lake be safe and take care of the environment around you.

Read stay safe and visit with care for important information about staying safe, caring for parks and essentials to bring when you visit Queensland’s national parks.

Care around water

  • Know your own limits. Take note of the conditions and stay out of the water if they are hazardous.
  • Don’t swim alone and don’t put yourself or others at risk.
  • Take care when swimming in creeks, lakes, rivers and dams.
  • Always heed on-site information and signs.
  • Be aware of potentially dangerous wildlife in and around water.
  • Protect waterside and beach vegetation by using established tracks to access the water.
  • Protect waterways by minimising the use of soaps and detergents. Use gritty sand and a scourer instead of detergent and scatter water so that it filters through the soil.

At the beach

  • On the coast, where possible swim at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags.
  • Be aware of potential hazards and heed all warning and safety signs.
  • Very few national park beaches are patrolled. If you swim or snorkel at an unpatrolled beach, take great care—you do so at your own risk.
  • Stay away from nesting seabirds. If disturbed, adult birds can abandon their nests leaving eggs and chicks vulnerable to heat, cold and predation.

Snorkelling and diving

  • When snorkelling, practise in sheltered, shallow water and away from coral; always snorkel with a buddy. Make sure your fins don’t damage the coral and rest away from coral on sandy patches.
  • Avoid touching or picking up coral and other marine animals as they may inflict a painful sting or bite.
  • Read more about responsible diving and snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.