Commercial Filming Permits

Commercial filming activities envisage the usage of film crews, props, sets, models, and/or the utilisation of Rottnest Island Authority staff and resources, beyond that made available to normal visitors to the Island. Commercial filming projects are defined as still, digital or video images taken for promotion of a product or service regardless of medium or format (e.g. digital, magnetic tape, celluloid, still, motion).

Commercial filming includes, but is not limited to:

  • Educational programs (documentaries)
  • Tourism promotion
  • Advertising (TV and print)
  • Feature films
  • Still photography or filming by commercial businesses (including weddings and events) 

Guidelines and permits are in place in order to manage the commercial filming and photography on the Island. Requests for commercial filming can vary enormously in scale, locations and other requirements and each application will be assessed on an individual basis.

The commercial filming policy outlines guidelines for commercial filming on Rottnest Island. Please read this carefully before submitting a commercial filming application.

Download the commercial filming application form and email it to Commercial Filming for authorisation. Please note that applications for a Commercial Filming Permit should be submitted at least one month prior to commencement of filming.

For any enquiries or assistance, please contact the Rottnest Island Marketing Coordinator on +61 8 9432 9300 or email

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) Policy

Remotely piloted aircraft of UAVs, also commonly referred to as 'drones', are becoming increasingly popular particularly those fitted with camera equipment which allows both professional and amateur operators to capture aerial footage.

As a major tourism destination, UAVs or drones are not permitted on Rottnest Island for recreational use - this is to reduce risk and respect visitor privacy. As per Rottnest Island’s UAV policy, drones may be used for commercial filming pending approval by the RIA.

The purpose of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Policy is to provide Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) with a framework to manage the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) on Rottnest Island. 

All drone usage for commercial filming must be outlined when submitting Filming application forms, and must be supported by a Risk Management Plan which will be reviewed by the RIA General Manager – Environment, Heritage, Risk and Safety. A risk management plan is required to be completed so that your relevant risk management controls can be assessed for suitability prior to operation. 

The use of UAVs is regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) through the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1988 (Commonwealth law). In accordance with CASA regulations UAVs are prohibited from flying within 5.5kms from an airfield; other relevant regulations are outlined in the policy. 

As there is an operating airport on Rottnest Island, the UAV exclusion zone rules out most of the Island apart from the West End. However, as Rottnest Island is highly valued by its visitors as a tranquil environment and sanctuary for people to relax, the RIA will monitor and limit the use of UAVs on the Island, including West End. If you wish to use a drone on the Island for filming purposes, please read the Commercial Filming and Photography guidelines and notify the RIA when sending in your Filming application.

Please note that drone applications may take up to one month to be approved. To avoid delays, please ensure you have sent in a Filming application form and all documents as per Annex A (page 5), as well as a Risk Management Plan for drone usage.