The popularity of waterskiing, particularly along the River Murray, can lead to overcrowding. When combined with the high boat speeds needed to waterski, there is a higher level of risk for all river users in that location.

To minimise risk a number of special rules apply to waterskiing. This includes keeping clear of other vessels and un-powered craft like rowing boats, canoes etc. and to be mindful of the effect of your boat wash.


  • Waterskiing is not permitted before sunrise or after sunset.
  • No more than three people, or one device carrying up to three people, may be towed at one time.
  • .05 blood alcohol limits apply to skippers, observers and skiers as well as drug blood content limit restrictions.

Water skiers

  • Every water skier or person being towed in any other manner must wear an approved Type 2 or Type 3 personal flotation device.
  • A skier falling into the water must (unless injured) hold an arm or ski vertically in the air to signal their presence.


  • Waterskiing boats must carry an observer in addition to the skipper. The observer must continuously watch the skier and give the operator of the boat any directions necessary to ensure the safety of the skier.
  • Both skipper and observer must be at least 16 years of age. A person between 12 and 15 years of age may only act as an observer if they hold a special boat operator's permit and the skipper is at least 18 years of age.


  • Turns on leaving, approaching or in front of a take-off area must be made in an anti-clockwise direction, keeping to the starboard side of the waterway.
  • Boats leaving a take-off area must keep out of the way of boats arriving at a take-off area. This means that boats entering the take-off area have the right of way.
  • Ski ropes or skis trailing from a boat must be removed from the water before arriving at a take-off area.
  • Dropped skis must not be left in the water as they present a hazard to other traffic.
  • A boat must not travel within 100 metres of, or directly behind, a person who is being towed by another boat.

Related information

On this website

Alcohol, drugs and boating

Page feedback

Was this page useful?
What did you like about it?
How can we make it better?

We cannot respond to any comment made here. If you need a response, please use our contact page.

You can also help us improve the website by completing a short survey.

Page last updated: 27 August 2016