ALL water bores are drilled in accordance to the Australian Minimum Construction Requirements for Water Bores.



1. Think about the location of your bore. Where is the power source to run the pump? Is there any possibility of contaminants or other pollutants [eg septic]? Where are your property boundaries and underground phone, power or gas lines? How far will you have to run pipe to pump water from the bore to your house, shed or troughs for stock?
2. Enquire about whether you need a water permit or not – speak to your local DNRM office.
3. Is the area where you want to drill accessible? Do you have road access to the site? Our T3 truck mounted rig has proven to get into some very inaccessible sites.
4. Talk to us – drilling bores for 25+ years in Cape York has provided us with extensive experience and knowledge about the depth and quality of water available.

We will work with the landowner to find a suitable location for the water bore.  To establish the viability/presence of water on your property we use a variety of means including looking at the geological formation of the area, looking at records / knowledge of existing bores and/or divining.

You may refer to GeoScience for more information.

A test hole is then drilled to determine stability of soil strata, water bearing formations and depth. Once a stable hole and suitable flow has been achieved, the hole is then cased with 5” PVC, gravel packed and cement sealed to the surface.

Development Permit: Development permit applications are managed through the Department of State Infrastructure and Plannings (DSDIP’s) State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA).

Development permit applications for a water bore require following 2 forms to be completed and submtted:

  2. IDAS FORM 12

The forms are submitted through the MyDAS online preparation and lodgement system.

The Cairns SARA office deals with applications in Far North Queensland. See CONTACT LIST


How long does it take to drill a water bore?

This depends on the type of bore [irrigation or domestic], depth of the bore and the formation of the country.   A simple relatively shallow bore can take just few hours, whereas a more complex bore [deeper, difficult formation] may take a few days.  When the bore is completed, you will receive a copy of the bore log which sets out the types of soil/rock formations that were drilled through, the depths at which water was found and the quality of the water. A copy of the bore log is also sent to the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

Cost structure for Water Bores

Quoting for bores can usually only be best estimate due to the variability in the exact depth that water will be located and the types of soil/rock formations that have to be drilled through. Depth of water and soil formation within districts, and even within a property, can vary widely. Nonetheless, through experience in drilling for water in Cape York over 25 years, our quote will give you a fair indication of the cost of producing the water bore you are seeking.

The cost of drilling a water bore will vary according to:

  • Whether the bore is intended for domestic or for irrigation use
  • The size of the hole bore
  • The depth of the hole drilled [per metre]
  • The material cost of lining the hole with PVC casing.
  • Additional per metre costs are added when steel casing is required to seal unstable formations.
  • Other additional costs may include an establishment fee [if significant travel is involved], costs of preparing the site to commence drilling and costs of clearing the site after completion if required.

Department of Natural Resources and Mines – Guide to drilling for water: provides good information about what you can expect and what you are required to do when wanting to construct a water bore on your property.