Boat Safety

Boating is a popular way to pass the summer in this district. Make sure you know the rules and please be courteous of other boaters.

In this district it is compulsory to wear a life jacket at all times in any boat under six metres.

Other boat safety tips

Safety is no accident! Follow some simple advice to make sure you and your family are safe in the water during the summer months:

  • Check the boat, engine and equipment before heading out onto the water.
  • Check the weather forecast before leaving.
  • Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Know  the rules – get a copy of the Waterways Bylaw (see related links)
  • Never overload the boat
  • Make sure there are enough life jackets on board for everyone on the boat.
  • Make sure you have an anchor, bailer, spare fuel, torch and warm clothing on the boat.
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Always have two means of communication, for example cell phone, flares.

Boat Safety Brochures


Queenstown Coastguard 24 hour Call Centre

Queenstown Coastguard now have a free 24 hour call centre service for non urgent but assistance required calls.

If you need Queenstown Coastguard assistance on the water please dial *500 on your cellphone. This will be answered by Coastguards 24hr control centre, where they will take the call and activate pagers for the caller to get assistance.

For all emergencies, please call 111.

Please note: *500 only works from a cellphone.


Instant fines

New legislation allows the Harbourmaster or his team to issue instant fines for 59 water safety breaches.


Marty Black
03 442 3445
0274 345 289 

There is also a full time Deputy Harbour Master - Dave Black phone 0274 142 270

During the summer, patrols are put into place on Lake Wanaka.

Further resources

The Maritime Safety Authority of New Zealand website has lots of use information for boaties as well as full regulations for all waterway users.

>> Visit the website here