Tour Operator Licenses

Who requires a Tour Operator Licence?

If you conduct a commercial recreational activity anywhere on the Barwon Coast foreshore or beaches, you are required to hold a Tour Operator Licence.

What is a commercial recreational activity?

Commercial recreational activities could be anything from stand-up paddle boarding, walking tours, surfing to wellness and fitness activities such as stretch, strength, yoga, personal training, organised swimming and running.

You need a licence if the activity you operate has commercial gain and is regular or repeated. 

If the activity is a one-off, you will likely only need an event permit.

How to apply for a Tour Operators Licence

As the public land managers of the Barwon Coast, we are responsible for issuing Tour Operators Licences for activities carried out on the land we manage.

We support safe, sustainable, high quality nature-based tourism and recreational activities that provide opportunities to connect people with the outdoor environment and importantly, contribute to the local economy. 

The requirement to hold a licence is set out within key public land management Acts: National Parks Act 1975, Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978, Forests Act 1958, Land Act 1958, and Wildlife Act 1975. For full details visit the DEECA website.

Tour Operators Licences are awarded on Expression of Interest (EOI) basis. The number of licences is limited to ensure equitable use of the coast by businesses and the public.

Expressions of Interest (EOI) open now

Barwon Coast is currently seeking applications from all interested parties to provide an Expression of Interest (EOI) for licences to conduct the following:

  • Water-based human-powered activities such as surfing, sea-kayaking, kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding and similar activities at designated sites at Ocean Grove, Barwon River, 13th Beach and Breamlea Beach (Bancoora), or;
  • Land-based activities such as fitness, yoga/meditation classes or training on our coastal reserves along the ocean and river at Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove.

The permits will commence on 1 April 2024.

More information about Expressions of Interest

Express your interest

Apply now

All EOI documentation will be available on the TenderLink portal from Friday 15 December 2023, and applications will be treated in strict confidence.

Visit to complete your application.

Applications close 5pm Friday 19 January 2024 (via TenderLink only).