Useful Information


Pittwater is an open estuary that flows north from its starting point at McCarr’s Creek to Broken Bay. Although generally hospitable in storms this estuary can experience large waves and high winds. Boat owners should take care.

Boat Stickers, License and Permits

You need a permit or licence to tie up to the following Council Wharves:

  • Church Point Commuter Wharf
  • Cargo Wharf – Scotland Island
  • Careel Bay Wharf
  • Mackerel Beach Wharf

Application Form

More information and application forms are available from the Northern Beaches Council Wharves Page.


There are informal mooring protocols in place relating to position on public wharves. Basically the longer you stay the better your mooring spot. New residents should moor at the furthest location from the seaward end of the jetty. As people move out from the area, everyone takes a turn at moving along into deeper water. Adherence to this system stops any problems. It’s just fairer.

And don’t let anyone tell you private moorings under the control of NSW Maritime are transferable with houses. They are not. Applications for a mooring have to be made by new residents and are subject to waiting lists. Again, this is fair as moorings are limited.

Private and Commercial Moorings

A mooring licence is required for private and commercial/club moorings on NSW waterways. You can lodge an application for a mooring licence at any registry or service centre.

Only approved vessels are eligible for private, commercial/club or emergency mooring. Penalties apply for non-compliance.

Water Safety

Source: NSW Roads and Maritime

Check the weather and your vessel before heading out on the water. Make sure your vessel is appropriate for the conditions and that you have the necessary experience to handle the forecast conditions.

Remember, if in doubt, don’t go out.

Before you go boating

Before you head out on the water consider these simple tips to assist in trouble free boating:

  • Check that your boat is in good condition
  • Check that you have all the required safety equipment on board. Ensure all safety equipment is in good condition and easily accessible in the event of an emergency and everybody aboard knows its location
  • Make sure you have local boating maps for the waterways you will be using. Boating maps are available for purchase for a nominal fee. They are a vital tool for negotiating NSW waterways and include handy hints for safe boating. The maps are printed on special waterproof paper and can be viewed online before purchasing – see Maps. To buy a map, contact your local service centre, or order online
  • Report your trip. Let someone know where you are going, how many people are on board and when you intend to return
  • Make sure you and your crew know how to handle the boat, especially on the waterway that you’re using. If in doubt, get information from locals or Roads and Maritime
  • Check the weather before you go out. Register for the Maritime Alert system that is based on official weather data
  • Make sure you have sufficient water and fuel for the duration of the trip
  • Go easy on the drink. Waves, wind and weather multiply the effects of alcohol. Far too many boating fatalities involve alcohol
  • If crossing a bar, log on to view live web camera footage for a number of coastal bars in NSW.

Get to know Marine Rescue NSW

Marine Rescue NSW is the state’s volunteer marine rescue organisation and provides boating safety education, marine radio communications and emergency search and rescue services for recreational boaters. Get to know how Marine Rescue NSW can help make your boating safer and more enjoyable. To locate your local base, visit Marine Rescue NSW.

Safety on the water

This section provides the rules and regulations associated with boating on NSW waterways, including the penalties for breaking the rules.

Know the rules

Navigation marks and signs

Night safety

Special areas

Big ships small boats

Go easy on the drink

Codes of conduct

Emerging technologies

Speed limits and other boating restrictions

Safety videos

Waterway Safety Apps

Two new mobile apps have been released to help recreational boaters find safety checklists, weather updates and tips on travelling on the water. Find out more.

Additional Information