Australia is known as the “sunburnt country” and a top destination for boating enthusiasts who want to experience adventure and natural beauty. Here are some of the top Australia boating destinations the country has to offer, for boaters of all stripes – plus some tips for handling them.
The Gippsland Lakes, Victoria
Located at the southern end of the mainland and 250km (155mi) southeast of Melbourne, the Gippsland Lakes system is one of Australia’s largest tidal waterways. These waterways link together the Wellington, Victoria and King lakes, fed by the Nicholson, Tambo, and Mitchell rivers. The destination, especially Lakes Entrance, is a staple for local boaters from small sailboats all the way up to power cruisers.
The Whitsundays, Queensland
Comprised of 150 islands in tropical Queensland in Australia’s north-east, experiencing the azure waters from the comfort of your deck is a sight to behold. Whitehaven Beach is by far the most popular destination, where you can experience the sandy white beach and clear water with your sailboat or cruiser. Add to that the sophisticated nightlife and dining that’s open 7 days a week, and you have a perfect boating vacation for you and your family.
The Big River, New South Wales
The big Clarence River in northern New South Wales winds through sugarcane, rainforests and historic towns and is 115km by water through to the ocean. It’s also one of Australia’s homes of big bass fishing.
Even larger ocean-faring yachts can cruise from Yamba and Iluka up to the city of Grafton, although taller masts might require a rising of the lift span on the Harwood Bridge. The annual Bridge to Bridge race from Harwood to Grafton is the premier event for ski racers in the region.
Cape Jervis, South Australia
Located two-hours out of the capital Adelaide, Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula is the hub for boaters looking to explore historic Kangaroo Island, Investigators Strait or the Backdoor Passage. Though jetties cater for smaller craft, yachts and cruisers will have a harder time berthing. However, the beautiful Pages Islands at the eastern end of the Passage is a dream for cruisers and yachters, essential for viewing pristine country and sea lion colonies alike.
Tips for Exploring Australia’s Boating Destinations
All these destinations are unique in their own ways, and come with their own set of challenges. Navigation hazards may be abundant, especially in some of the less populated areas. Before you venture out into the water, you should check with experienced locals first, who will guide you to a safe journey.
Our friends at Savvy Finance have put together this guide for boating in foreign waters – especially when Australia gives even the most experienced skipper a run for his or her money!