An increase in the planning and environmental restrictions associated with wind energy has led to a growth in interest towards wave energy. However, as the connection cost of a wave energy development is a driving factor in the development's feasibility, existing wind farm cable-routing techniques used by renewable energy developers may not be satisfactory. A Geographical Information System (GIS) method is presented which optimises the cable route between a wave farm and the electricity network, while taking a range of exclusion zones, such as native vegetation, into account. The optimisation is presented for a South Australian study area, which subsequently showed that exclusion zones reduce the number of suitable locations for wave energy by almost 40%. The method presented also assesses the effect that each exclusion zone applied has upon the number of suitable locations within the study area. The analysis undertaken showed that National Parks and cliffs pose a significant limitation to the potential of a wave energy industry within South Australia. Allowing the transmission route to travel through a National Park, or traverse a cliff, resulted in an increase in the number of locations from which a connection could be made to the electricity grid for less than $10 million of 33% and 50%, respectively. Conservation Parks, Wilderness Areas and native vegetation also have an effect upon the number of suitable locations for wave energy within South Australia. The GIS methods developed may be of assistance to governments in setting appropriate marine renewable energy policy, and also in identifying existing policy which may require amending if the government wishes to pursue and support the development of wave energy.