Boat docking leases
Boat docking leases

Leases and licences
(Nature Based Tourism, Reserved land and Crown land)

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​​​​​​​The PWS issues leases and licences to individuals, community organisations and businesses for a range of activities on the PWS managed land. The PWS acts as landlord on behalf of the Crown (and the people of Tasmania).

The PWS manages Crown land reserved under the Nature Conservation Act 2002.  Most land management functions undertaken by PWS are governed by the National Parks and Reserves Management Act 2002 and the National Parks and Reserved Land Regulations 2019.

The PWS manages the remainder of Crown land in accordance with the Crown Lands Act 1976.  In a broad sense, the Crown Lands Act 1976 is a set of rules on what can and can't be done on Crown land and how Crown land is sold, leased or made available for use under licence.  The PWS also manages land designated as Future Potential Production Forest (FPPFL) land which land is managed in accordance the Crown Land Act 1976.  Crown land which has been reserved as public reserves are also regulated by the Crown Lands Regulations 2011.

Leases authorise the exclusive occupation of the PWS managed land for a fixed-term and specified purpose.  Generally, leases are issued where longer-term or commercial activities are proposed.  Examples include marinas, community halls, caravan parks and sporting facilities.

Licences are agreements that authorise the use or occupation of the PWS managed land for a specified purpose.  Licences, unlike leases, do not allow exclusive occupation and are often issued for shared use of the PWS managed land, such as shared access over reserved roads.  Other examples include apiary (beekeeping), grazing, and private slipways and jetties.

Applying for a lease or licence

Prior to lodging an application – applicants need to discuss their requirements/proposal with Property Services by emailing or phoning the number below.

Following the PWS consultation you may need to complete the relevant application form, submit the fee and provide any supporting information that is requested on the application.

The applicant is responsible for any additional costs that may come about as part of their application.  These can include stamp duty, legal, valuation and survey fees and environmental or heritage assessments. Applicants are usually required to acquire public liability insurance and pay rates and water charges.  

The PWS assesses each lease and licence application on its merits.  A range of factors may be considered, including the potential impact on surrounding land owners, environmental, cultural or Aboriginal heritage concerns, or local Council plans for the area.  The PWS may contact adjoining landowners during the assessment; it is recommended that applicants consult with these owners prior to their application.

All applications for leases and licences require approval from the Minister or their delegate prior to any occupation or use of the PWS managed land.

Fee from 1 July 2023 under the
Crown Lands Act 1976
Fee from 1 July 2023 under the
National Parks & Reserve Management Act 2002
Lease application fee
$1,174.80 (GST exempt)
$1,292.28 (GST inclusive)
Licence application fee - access only$293.70 (GST exempt)
$323.07 (GST inclusive)
Licence application fee - general purpose
$729.80 (GST exempt)
$802.78 (GST inclusive)

The guide sheets provide information to read prior to completing an application.

  Lease Guide Sheet for Applicants   (298Kb)

  Licence Guide Sheet for Applicants   (298Kb)

  Lease Application Form   (447Kb)

  Licence Application Form   (451Kb)

Variations to existing agreements

Changes to lease or licence boundaries, or changes in permitted use, may require either a variation to an existing agreement or the issue of a new agreement.

To apply to vary a lease or licence, complete the relevant application form​.

Transferring existing agreements

If you wish to apply to transfer a lease or licence to a third party, you will need to submit a Transfer Request form along with an application fee. Please refer to the guide sheet while completing your application.

Approval is not automatic, and each request requires individual assessment. The extent of the process largely depends on the location and type of the PWS managed land involved.

Ensure you allow plenty of time for the assessments to take place. A transfer will not occur while there are outstanding rental fees and until an agreement is signed by the Crown and the new party. The transferor remains the agreement holder and rates notices and rental fees (if applicable) will continue to be forwarded to that person until the new party has finalised their agreement with the crown.

Fee from 1 July 2023 under both the
Crown Lands Act 1976 and 
National Parks & Reserve Management Act 2002
Lease Transfer fee where consideration is $60,000 or less
$106.80 (GST exempt)
Lease Transfer fee where consideration is greater than $60,000$213.60 (GST exempt)

Licence Transfer fee where consideration is $60,000 or less
$106.80 (GST exempt)

​Licence Transfer fee where consideration is greater than $60,000
$213.60 (GST exempt)

To transfer a lease or licence, complete the relevant application form.

  Transfer Crown Agreement Guide Sheet   (259Kb)

Renewing an existing agreement

To renew your lease or licence, complete the relevant application form.

Fee from 1 July 2023 under the
Crown Lands Act 1976
Fee from 1 July 2023 under the
National Parks & Reserve Management Act 2002
Lease renewal application fee$284.80 (GST exempt)
$313.28 (GST inclusive)
Licence renewal application fee$284.80 (GST exempt)
$313.28 (GST inclusive)​

​​Cancellation or non-renewal of existing agreements

If you wish to cancel your lease or licence, you will need to lodge an application. 

In some cases, existing agreements may not be renewed upon expiry. Reasons can include the need to use the PWS managed land for a public purpose, an agreement's terms and conditions have been breached, or the permitted use is no longer considered appropriate.

To cancel an existing agreement in a lease or licence, complete the relevant application form.

Nature Based Tourism

The Tasmanian Government (with the PWS as the lead agency) will assist people wishing to operate a nature based tourism business within Tasmanian parks, reserves and on Crown land.​

The Tasmanian Government, in affiliation with the Tasmanian Tourism Industry, aims to set minimum standards of public safety and public liability cover for nature based tourism business operators throughout the state.

This advice is intended for those operators requesting authorisation of a trade, business or occupation to be carried out by the private sector or an area managed by one or more of the following authorities:

  • PWS – which land includes National Parks, reserved land and Crown land (including Future Potential Production Forest (FPPF) land) throughout Tasmania;
  • Sustainable Timbers Tasmania (Permanent Timber Production Zone land);
  • The Wellington Park Management Trust (Mount Wellington Park/kunanyi); 
  • and/or the Department of State Growth (state road network).


The PWS commenced operations in 1971 with the vision of protecting, presenting and managing in concert with the community, Tasmania's unique and outstanding reserve system for all people, for all time.

The PWS is the managing authority of Tasmania's world-renowned reserve system and seeks to conserve Tasmania’s natural and cultural heritage while providing for sustainable use and economic opportunities for the Tasmanian community. 

​If you intend on operating your business on land that is managed by PWS, you must be a licensed Operator and you must hold a valid Nature Based Tourism Licence issued by PWS.​

Please note that all applications to operate within the PWS managed lands are subject to assessment and approval from the Crown. Nature Based Tourism Licensees are not to provide Clients or Guides with single serve plastic items (including but not limited to containers, bowls, plates, cups, straws, utensils and stirrers) for use and to ensure single serve plastic items are not bought onto or used on the Land in connection with the operation of the Business by either Clients or Guides. 

​​The issue of an agreement is not automatic.  Further information may be requested from parties on receipt of applications.  Assessment of applications will not commence until all required information is received by the PWS.

Why are licences required?

The Nature Based Tourism licensing system provides:

  • A mechanism for measuring and directing the use of Crown land with the prime aim of ensuring these activities do not compromise conservation values; 
  • A set of minimum standards of public safety and public liability cover; 
  • Security of access for contract holders; and 
  • Operators with the opportunity to inform their customers of conservation values and the importance of conservation.

What you need to do

You may apply for a licence by completing a NBT Application form, providing supporting documentation such as relevant maps and an operations manual and paying an application fee that is currently $150.00 (GST exclusive). 

To obtain an application form please contact (+613) 6169 9015 or Before completing your application, we suggest you contact the PWS staff to discuss your proposal.

  NBT Business licence application (540Kb)

Is it a Licence or a Lease?

If you are applying for a standard business licence, you will (subject to approval) be issued with a 5-year contract. Ongoing fees include an annual licence administration fee that is currently $300 (GST exclusive). Depending on the operation, the licensee may be required to collect Park Entry fees on behalf of the PWS. 

Please note that in some cases a 'Reserve Activity Assessment' (RAA) may be required if the activity you propose is new or has the potential for environmental impact.

However if your business is seeking exclusive use or occupation (lease) of Crown land or requires special monitoring or infrastructure, could you please contact the PWS staff who will be able to provide you with further information on the application and assessment process.

Please note that in such cases, the licence or lease and the fee return to Government is negotiated on a case by case basis by the relevant management authority.

If your business is providing a community based, rather than a tourism based, service (eg a post office, library) you will also need to contact the PWS staff who be able to explain the approval process to you.

Prior to Issuing a Licence

​If your business will provide commercial bushwalking tours on specific tracks, you will need to review the following documents to determine the classification of the track and the maximum party size and client to guide ratio.

Please note that prior to the issue of a contract, you will also need to provide evidence that you hold: 

  • Public liability insurance cover to the value of $20 million; and 
  • All other relevant certificates and licenses (eg Marine and Safety Tasmania, First Aid, CASA) required, which will be dependent on the type of your operation.

After the Licence has been Issued

While your licence will have a number of conditions that relate to your specific business or activity, you will also be required to obtain accreditation with the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania, or equivalent industry body, within 12 months from the commencement date of your licence.

The Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania website will provide you with further information in relation to this process.

Resources to support your application

  Evidence guide sheet   (535Kb)


Property Services
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: (+61) 03 6169 9015