Guiding tours in Sydney
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your trips or experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your experience, we encourage you to check with your city or an attorney.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the law has not changed recently.*
Do I need a licence to offer a guided tour of public areas?
You do not need a licence to provide tours in general.
There are some activities which will require you (as a tour operator undertaking a commercial activity associated with recreation, tourism and/or education) to have licences or permits, or which might require you to comply with certain regulations. Some examples of activities in and around Sydney that will need a licence are:
- any activities in NSW national parks, ex: hiking, will need a Parks Eco Pass licence; and
- operating a commercial vessel (ex: for whale and dolphin watching activities)
In addition, you should be aware of regulations on certain activities, such as interfering with a cetacean or undertaking whale and dolphin watching activities in the Australian Whale Sanctuary or waters outside the outer limits of the Australian Whale Sanctuary, or undertaking certain activities in a Special Port Area, such as the Ports of Sydney, Newcastle or Botany Bay. Further information is available here about whale and dolphin watching activities and on the Port Authority of NSW website about activities in Special Port Areas.
NSW Fair Trading has established a free online service called the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS). We encourage you to use ABLIS to determine whether your experience would require any licences or approvals.
Is there anything else I should consider?
We encourage you to also read our other information pages on business licences. If you’re in any doubt, it is a good idea to get in touch with your accountant or legal advisor to find out whether you’re operating as a business.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).