Guiding tours in Melbourne
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your 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 official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have 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 an individual or business entity offering 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 Melbourne that will need a licence are:
- Any activity that is a commercial tour or recreational activity on public land will require a tour operator licence from Parks Victoria. Public land includes national parks and state forests, as well as marine areas, wildlife areas, crown lands and other land managed by a government agency. An example of such activity is a hike in a Victorian national park.
- Please note that many of the activities licensed by Parks Victoria under the tour operator licence scheme have applicable Adventure Activity Standards (“AAS”) that must be complied with as a condition of all tour operator licences. The full list of activities with applicable AAS can be found on the Outdoors Victoria website and includes canoeing and kayaking, four-wheel driving, mountain biking, recreational angling or caving, river rafting, rock climbing, snorkelling, surfing sessions and trail bike touring.
- Any activity involving driving passengers in a vehicle with more than 13 seats may require a commercial passenger vehicle licence under the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983. Please refer to our Experiences involving transportation page for more information.
- Operating a commercial vessel (e.g. for whale and dolphin watching activities) may require licences or permits from Maritime Safety Victoria.
In addition, you should be aware of regulations on certain activities, such as interfering with cetaceans or undertaking whale and dolphin watching activities in the Australian Whale Sanctuary or waters outside the outer limits of the Australian Whale Sanctuary, or transporting passengers on a tour vessel to swim with dolphins, seals or whales, or undertaking certain activities in a Special Port Area, such as the Ports of Melbourne, Geelong or Hastings. Using any part of a Victorian lighthouse for recreation and tourism activities is also regulated. Further information is available on the Transport for Victoria website about activities in Special Port Areas.
Fair Trading Victoria 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).
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