Drone in Australia..?

So, we are taking a grand trip to Australia later this year…and I’m wondering if I should invest in a drone to take to capture some footage. We’ll be going on a tall ship cruise through the Great Barrier Reef, and staying for a week on Lady Elliot Island, and I thought it might be cool to capture some aerial footage.

I was considering getting a DJ Mavic Pro for its portability.

Before I go buying anything though - are there Australian regulations I need to adhere to with regards to flying it? In the United States, you can’t fly them within 5nm of an airport, there are licensing requirements for certain weights, and a bunch of other hoops. Since there is an airport on Lady Elliot island that is obviously very close to the entire island…would I even be able to use it there?

I don’t want to take something if I don’t have much legal ability to use it…

Google might be my friend on this…but was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on it…


Hey…Australia seems pretty laid back…and they have a great site to steer you in the right direction… (2 minutes of Googling…)


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Sounds like I do not need a license…but I might have to check with specific authorities (like that on Lady Elliot Island) to make sure I can fly it locally…

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Sharks are spotted easier from the air

I just don’t want to have a mid-air with an F-111 that might have escaped termination. The Phantom F-111 still prowls the coastline right?

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Any Mudspikers along the east coast of Australia? I know @Toppometer is a new transplant. Heck…I might bring a resume and make a big change…

Some say that the night sky suddenly glows orange, though the sonic boom isn’t heard.

Rumour has it, that the essence of australias coastline pines for military coverage. And the rainbow serpent is saddened by short legged patrols and lack of navy.


You see quite a few drones out here, but they are subject to the same rules as model aircraft. Effectively rendering them little more than a quad copter with some fancy FCS which you must keep in view at all times.

There are some national and state parks when you can fly them (for New South Wales details are here Drones in parks policy | NSW Environment and Heritage). The general rule is “as long as you aren’t being disruptive asshat, it’s ok”.

Sounds like my work rules. *

  • More or less. Or maybe everyone is just talking about me behind my back.
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Australia awaits… Work for the Flying Doctor | Royal Flying Doctor Service

Hey Beach - saw you found the drone regs. There hasn’t been a huge crackdown here yet, but Govts are very aware of them.

If you are travelling to Sydney, check out the James Craig - tall ship based in Sydney Harbour as part of the heritage fleet, regularly travels outside the heads - recommended.



Point #1 - Remote areas. Eastern North Carolina feels sort of remote. I mean, their BBQ is pretty good, but I don’t know that they could find Raleigh on a map. Just sayin’… (@Navynuke99 can attest)

Point #2 - @fearlessfrog objects to me claiming this on direct observational grounds

Point #3 - RFDS - The Racing Federation of Dinghy Sailors knows no better historian than I. Check as qualified!

Point #4 - The Koalas can kill you. Don’t pick up snakes. Stay in the airplane. Never get off the boat. Amiright? I’m right. Check as qualified.


Oh…just wait til’ I’m done there. New regs inbound.

“I swear Your Honor, I had no idea that it was a predominantly topless beach…”

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…and further examination…


Point #1 - Exam? Sigh. Yes. I’m sure.

Point #2 - Medical certificate - hmm…memorize ICAO eye chart. Check. Qualified.

Point #3 - English language proficiency - errrr…have I lived south of Richmond long enough to be difficult to understand? Maybe. Partial check.

Point #4 - Security/background check. Fake it til you make it baby!!



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Remember the quality of English is relative. Are you more easily understood than @Bogusheadbox?

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Looks at margarita. Looks at screen.

Can I defer that decision until tomorrow morning?