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Boating around the NSW and VIC border

COVID-19 Border Restrictions

As at 17 September 2020, the Public Health Order has been updated. Under the Public Health Orders the border region extends to 50 kilometres either side of the NSW/Victoria border.

Border Region residents who hold a valid border entry permit are allowed to cross the border and move within the Border Region for any reason. However:

  • Victorian residents are not permitted to travel beyond the Border Region in NSW.

These latest provisions allow boating activities to take place on the Murray River, provided Border Region residents hold a relevant permit and follow the conditions outlined in the Public Health Order. View the order here.This includes the tansportation of commercial vessels such as houseboats or paddlesteamers from Victoria to NSW using the Murray River, for the purpose of hire and use by people currently in NSW.

Any NSW resident, other than a Border Region resident who holds a permit, who goes ashore in Victoria will require a permit to re-enter NSW and will be subject to the conditions and requirements of that permit.

Visit the NSW Government website to view the border region map, check your address and access additional information.

Commercial vessels

The impact of this amendment for commercial vessels is that they can now carry Victorian residents on charter boats or houseboats anywhere on the Murray River.

While the Order does not create an obligation on Maritime operators to check customers’ permits, it is an important part of your COVID-Safe Plan to remind customers that they are not permitted on the Murray River without a Border Region Resident permit, if they are not a NSW resident.

Again, we urge you to be conscious of the significantly increased health risk in Victoria. NSW Health strongly recommends that all drivers and customers wear a face mask on public transport and in all enclosed spaces.

Border restrictions on the Murray River

NSW waters are considered to commence from the high water mark situated on the Victorian side of the Murray River.

People currently in Victoria who intend to enter NSW waters using a vessel on the Murray River must have a permit.

This requirement applies:

  • To each person on board a vessel entering NSW waters from Victoria; and
  • To all recreational and commercial vessels, including houseboats.

NSW Police are patrolling the area and enforcing border entry requirements, similar to road travel into NSW. A person found breaching the Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020 faces an $11,000 fine and six months in prison. Further information about border restrictions can be found here.

You can apply for a border entry permit via Service NSW.

People currently in NSW may continue to boat on the Murray River while staying within NSW waters. Transport for NSW encourages boaters to keep safety top-of-mind, including wearing a lifejacket, carrying the required safety equipment, regularly checking weather forecasts and being aware of the risks associated with cold water.

We urge you to be aware of the increased health risk in Victoria, so please take extra care and be vigilant about physical distancing, minimising contact with others and maintaining good hygiene to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

Border restrictions on Lake Mulwala

The majority of navigable waters within Lake Mulwala are in NSW.

Please note that the Victorian Government is asking people currently in Victoria (outside of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire) to use common sense when it comes to travelling and visiting others. The NSW Public Health Order which introduces border restrictions aims to limit movement between Victoria and NSW in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Boaters using Lake Mulwala are also asked to use common sense and stay within the border restriction rules.

People currently in Victoria who intend to enter NSW using a vessel on Lake Mulwala must have a permit, including local residents who may be eligible for a cross-border permit.

This requirement applies:

  • To each person on board a vessel entering NSW waters from Victoria; and
  • To all recreational and commercial vessels.

You can apply for a border entry permit via Service NSW.

People currently in NSW may continue to boat on Lake Mulwala while staying within NSW waters.

NSW Police are patrolling the area and enforcing border entry requirements, similar to road travel into NSW. A person found breaching the Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020 faces an $11,000 fine and six months in prison. Further information about border restrictions can be found here.

Transport for NSW encourages boaters to keep safety top-of-mind, including wearing a lifejacket, carrying the required safety equipment, regularly checking weather forecasts and being aware of the risks associated with cold water.