Filming, photograpy, sound recording and artwork
Kakadu National Park is a Commonwealth reserve established under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) to manage the environment of the region for the benefit of all people, present and future. The Director of National Parks uses a permit system to help regulate some activities. Permits may be issued subject to conditions that help to identify, protect, conserve and manage biodiversity, heritage and other values of national parks.
When a permit is required
You will need to apply for this permit if you wish to conduct filming, videoing, photography or art in or of Kakadu National Park (Kakadu) for commercial purposes. Commercial purposes means carrying out an activity with intent of a reward, i.e. money, merchandise or services, or the possibility of future reward (if done for financial reward or commercial gain, under contract or consignment for another person, and/or with a view to being sold or hired out, or for promotion/advertising of a product or service).
Please make sure you and your staff (if any) are familiar with, and adhere to, the permit conditions of any permits you are issued with. Breaching permit conditions may lead to the permit being suspended or cancelled.
Obtaining or using an existing image of Kakadu
If you want to use or obtain an existing image of Kakadu you do not need to fill out this application, but will need to contact the Kakadu Project and Communications Officer on 08 8938 1176 or email firstname.lastname@example.org regarding permissions and acknowledgement that might be required.
Apply well in advance
Please allow at least 14 days for your application to be processed. Some projects, particularly where consultation with traditional owners is required, may take a minimum of 8 weeks.
If you intend carrying out filming or photography for commercial purposes while in Australia it is a requirement under the Australian Migration Act 1958 that you obtain a Temporary Work (Entertainment) (Subclass 420 Visa). These can be applied for from any Australian Embassy.
Permit application fees are payable under Part 18 and Schedule 11 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Regulations 2000. The fees are:
- Cine/video/recording | AUD $250 per day or part-day
- Still photography/artwork/audio recording | AUD $30 per permit
Rock art sites
Filming at all rock art sites must be accompanied by a member of Kakadu staff, and potentially also overseen by traditional Aboriginal owners of the site. You will need to contact the Kakadu Project and Communications Officer and have the staff supervision times agreed upon before you arrive in Kakadu. Please carefully consider what times you need for filming, as changing the allocated supervision times may not be possible.
Still photography in public areas and at the three main art sites of Ubirr, Nourlangie Rock and Nanguluwurr may be done without accompaniment by Kakadu staff.
Working with traditional Aboriginal owners
Projects that seek to involve traditional owners are welcomed in Kakadu. If you wish to involve traditional owners in your image capture, or if you are filming in sites that require permission from traditional owners, please provide those details in your permit application, as traditional owners will need to be consulted. Please contact the Kakadu Project and Communications Officer for help in arranging traditional owner's involvement and seeking permissions to access restricted areas. In certain circumstances traditional owners may be required to oversee filming, photography or sound recording. Traditional owners will negotiate a separate fee for their time.
Alternatively, Kakadu offers unique opportunities to connect with Aboriginal culture through a range of independent commercial tours. These tours are designed to enlighten and inform, and the filming or photography of the tour experience may be arranged. Visit environment.gov.au/parks/kakadu/explore/tours.html to explore the different tours available.
Public liability insurance
You will need to provide a certificate of public liability insurance showing that you, your staff and contractors are covered for the proposed image capture and use. Your public liability insurance needs to be with an insurer that is approved by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, and for at least $20 million for each and every event. Please contact the Kakadu Project and Communications Officer if you are unable to meet this requirement.
Once you are granted a permit, you and your staff (if any) are required to attend a briefing by park staff before you commence your image capture. Briefings are conducted at the Bowali Visitor Centre within normal business hours of 8am to 5pm, and you can nominate your preferred time in your permit application.
Planning for your visit
Throughout the year, Kakadu's landscapes undergo spectacular changes. Bininj/Mungguy (traditional Aboriginal owners) recognise six different seasons, as well as subtle variations that signpost the transition from one season to another. This knowledge of nature is fundamental to the culture of Kakadu and its people. For an introduction to Kakadu's six seasons and to check out what you can do at different times of the year, visit environment.gov.au/parks/kakadu/nature/seasons.html to explore what is on offer.
During the dry season, you can join rangers for free activities throughout Kakadu, including daily art site talks, walks, cultural activities and slide shows (at night). Please contact the Project and Communications Officer to request a timetable at email@example.com.
How to apply
Please read through the permit conditions and complete the application form. Please also make sure you:
- understand and are prepared to comply with permit conditions
- answer all the questions in the application form - if you need more space than is available on the form, please attach a separate sheet
- complete the application checklist (see page 12)
- signed and witnessed the agreement and declaration pages (see page 10 and 11) - a permit cannot be issued unless these pages have been received
- email or send the application to the address at the end of the application package.
- pay the permit fee (non-refundable)
Please answer all the questions to the best of your knowledge; there are severe penalties for giving false or misleading information. All information will be treated in strict confidence.
Download the permit application form
- Capturing film, photo images and sound recordings in Kakadu National Park (PDF - 150KB)
- Capturing film, photo images and sound recordings in Kakadu National Park (DOCX - 196KB)
Completed applications should be posted or emailed to:
Phone: +61 8 8938 1176
Fax: +61 8 8938 1117
For more information to help plan your visit, please visit the following links:
You can also contact the Kakadu Project and Communications Officer on 08 8938 1176 or email your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.