Definitions of waterways
The table and maps on this page detail the three categories of waterway in Victoria.
Both the rules relating to speed and distance from shore change and the types of safety equipment you must carry and/or wear depend on the type of waterway you are operating on.
The specific operating rules for each Victorian waterway are set out in the Vessel Operating and Zoning Rules (VOZR).
| Term|| Meaning|
Rivers (inside the seaward entrance), creeks, canals, lakes, reservoirs and any similar waters either naturally formed or man-made and which are either publicly or privately owned but does not include any navigable rivers, creeks or streams within declared port waters.
- The declared port waters inside the seaward entrance of the following local ports:
- the Port of Apollo Bay
- the Port of Anderson Inlet
- the Port of Gippsland Lakes
- the Port of Snowy River
- the Port of Mallacoota
- the Port of Port Fairy
- The declared port waters of the Port of Barwon Heads upstream of the Barwon Heads–Ocean Grove road bridge
- The declared port waters of the Port of Corner Inlet and Port Albert east of a line between Port Welshpool shipping pier and Bentley Point (inside the entrances)
- The waters of Shallow Inlet
- The declared port waters inside the entrance of the Port of Portland
- The declared port waters of the Port of Port Phillip
- The waters of Western Port landward of its western entrance joined by a straight line drawn between West Head to the southern tip of Seal Rocks to Point Grant and landward of its eastern entrance joined by an imaginary line drawn between Cape Woolamai and Griffith Point as shown on the chart AuS 150 Australia - South Coast – Victoria - Western Port, published by the Australian Hydrographic Service from time to time
- The waters between the seaward entrance of Tamboon inlet and the northerly boundary of a straight line drawn between Flanders Track and the creek on the eastern side of the inlet
- The waters between the seaward entrance of Wingan Inlet and the northerly boundary of a straight line drawn between Rocky Creek and the bank directly opposite to the west
- The waters between the seaward entrance of Sydenham Inlet and the mouth of the Bemm River.
All waters other than inland waters or enclosed waters, and extending 3 nautical miles seaward.|
|Hazardous Area||(a) Port Phillip Heads, or|
(b) Any area of State waters declared by the Safety Director.
The following waterways are recognised as Victorian waters for the purposes of transport safety legislation:
- The waters of Ovens River south of the Murray Valley Highway Bridge
- The waters of Lake Hume downstream of the Bethanga Bridge
- The waters contained within the Victorian border of the lower Glenelg River.
Waters of the Murray River, Lake Mulwala and Lake Hume not listed above are within New South Wales jurisdiction. Operators are advised that NSW legislation applies on these waters.
Download the guide: Get to know your interstate boating rules - New South Wales and Victoria PDF, 328.2 KB
More information on the NSW Roads & Maritime Services website.
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