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Hosting an event in Port Stephens

Port Stephens Council invests in supporting an integrated event approval process or a one stop shop for event licensing.  This simplified application process is designed to encourage events across Port Stephens by providing a seamless and efficient process for event organisers.

Our dedicated Tourism and Events Unit that manage all event applications and enquiries in Port Stephens and can provide assistance to all event organisers, big or small to ensure safe and successful events are held in the region.

In addition to your event planning requirements, our Tourism and Events Unit can also provide assistance with accommodation, functions and tour bookings.

Application Process

There are five steps to obtaining a licence to stage an event in port Stephens.

Completed by the event organiser and submitted to Council noting all relevant information (including site plans and all insurances).

If you would like to hold an event on Council owned or managed land, you are required to complete an Application for a Licence to Stage an Event that can be found on our A-Z forms page.

Application fees are outlined on the relevant application forms.

You should submit your application before advertising your event.

For events held on private property, please contact our Development Assessment and Compliance Team on or email events@portstephens.nsw.gov.au.

Don't worry, we'll assist in managing the Council internal processes for you. Your application will be assigned to an event officer who will contact you to discuss your application and any further information that may be required.

Our Events Team will then coordinate the assessment of your event across the relevant sections of Council. Initially we will contact you with in principle approval and then work with you to determine any outstanding information we require to complete the assessment.

Please allow adequate time for the assessment of your application, we recommend you submit the form at least 6 weeks prior to your event.

We'll let you know as soon as we can as to how your assessment is progressing, to allow your planning to continue while we finalise your approval and event licence.

For large scale, high impact events, we recommend this application is submitted at least 3 months prior to your event.

Event fees and charges are determined based on the impact and scale of your event. Our Tourism and Events Team can provide a quote to allow you to determine an estimate for fees prior to submitting your application if required.

Payment of fees secures your event site and allows for processing of your event licence.

Event fees can be found under Administration on Councils Fees and Charges page.

Final approval and "Licence to Stage an Event" issued. This is the final step. We'll ask you to read and sign your event licence which outlines your responsibility as the event manager

Frequently Asked Questions

We love events in Port Stephens. If you’re an event organiser looking to bring your event to our area, we want to hear from you. To get you started, here are a few frequently asked questions and five simple steps to follow to ensure a happy, safe and successful time is had by all.

In most cases, yes. Organised events or activities requiring exclusive or shared use of public land – with the exception of scheduled sporting activities on sports grounds and some commercial ventures require Council approval.

Council’s Tourism and Event unit manages event applications in Port Stephens. To get started, contact Council’s Event Liaison Officer on (02) 4980 6900, email at events@portstephens.nsw.gov.au or download an application form today, see the links below.

In the majority of cases, yes. All public events and some private ceremonies held in Port Stephens will require public liability insurance. Organisations or groups planning to host an event should have insurance already in place. It is important to check with your insurance broker that the nature of the event is covered under your policy.

Council requires a minimum of $20million in cover and must be listed as an interested party on all Certificates of Currency.

Your application cannot be assessed without this insurance in place.

Importantly, any vendors you engage to operate at your event (such as food vendors or amusement operators) are also required to have their own insurances in place. As the event organiser, it’s your responsibility to ensure you receive a copy of the vendor’s public liability insurance in addition to your own. Food vendors may also require a current Food Safety Supervisors (FSS) Certificate. This can all be explained by one of our Event staff.

The time required to assess an event application varies from event to event, ranging from as quick as two weeks to over six months. Council is required to perform a host of checks (often involving other authorities) in the assessment process so please ensure you plan ahead and allow us enough time to assess your event properly.

Generally, yes. However, every effort has been made to keep fees as low as possible for event organisers and ensure Port Stephens remains an event location of choice. If you are a community or not-for-profit group running a low impact event, you may qualify for a fee exemption.

Fee advice is available by speaking to our events team on (02) 4980 6900 or email at events@portstephens.nsw.gov.au.

Depending on the nature of your event other permits and approvals may be required for things such as:

  • Road closures
  • Serving or selling alcohol
  • On water activities
  • Selling food

This is not an exhaustive list, but includes the most common permits and approvals required in most event licences issued by Council.

No worries! Call our friendly Events team on (02) 4980 6900 or email events@portstephens.nsw.gov.au should you need any help!

Documents and forms


Port Stephens Visitors Information Centre
Phone (02) 4988 0900
Email events@portstephens.nsw.gov.au