Water quality is a key concern in the current global environment, with the need to promote practices that help to protect water quality, such as riparian zone management, being paramount. The present study used the theory of planned behaviour as a framework for understanding how beliefs influence decisions about riparian zone management. Respondents completed a survey that assessed their behavioural, normative, and control beliefs in relation to intentions to manage riparian zones on their property. The results of the study showed that, overall, landholders with strong intentions to manage their riparian zones differed significantly in terms of their beliefs compared to landholders who had weak intentions to manage their riparian zones. Strong intentions to manage riparian zones were associated with a favourable cost-benefit analysis, greater perceptions of normative support for the practice and lower perceptions of the extent to which barriers would impede management of riparian zones. It was also evident that willingness to comply with the recommendations of salient referents, beliefs about the benefits of riparian zone management and perceptions of the extent to which barriers would impede riparian zone management were most important for determining intentions to manage riparian zones. Implications for policy and extension practice are discussed.