Published: Jan 29 2019
Australia is famous for being an adventure destination, and boaters are drawn to the promise of its beautiful waters. While the territory of Australia is expansive, Sydney, the Whitsundays, and Tasmania are all excellent places to begin your boating discovery of this remarkable continent. Rent a boat or book a boat charter in these places to get the most out of your Australian adventure.
Equally famous for both its barren and beautiful Outback as well as its Great Barrier Reef, Australia is a country of many faces. For boaters, no place on the planet can offer quite the same unforgettable sights and experiences as “the land down under.” While this continent’s coastline is both stunning and expansive, there are several select boating locations that are sure to please boaters of every experience and skill level with their varied activities and breathtaking views.
There is so much more to Sydney, Australia than just the illustrious Sydney Opera House — especially where boating is concerned. This diverse city is teeming with sites to visit and things to do, and there are plenty of hospitable marinas in the area where you can tie up your boat. The city of Sydney includes at least four distinct areas that are worthy of a boater’s attention, and each of them has its own distinctive personality.
Renting a boat in The Rocks will give boaters a taste of the urban atmosphere for which Sydney is renowned. There are a number of cultural and historic centers to explore such as the Sydney Observatory and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, as well as a multitude of shopping and dining opportunities. Boat lovers will appreciate Circular Quay in particular because of the historic ships that berth there.
Double Bay enjoys a quieter, more suburban atmosphere than The Rocks while still offering spectacular boating grounds and plenty of activities ashore. Independent boutiques and cafes are de rigueur here, and lovely parks offer enchanting views of the water.
Mosman is a great place to take the family, and after a full morning of boating, you can put into a marina and take them to the Taronga Zoo or one of several beautiful beaches for some fun in the sand. Boaters who can’t get enough of nature will enjoy the outdoor cafes, hiking trails, and snorkeling opportunities that Mosman is known for.
Boating “beach bunnies” will definitely want to chart a course for Manly to bask in the sun on many of the exquisite beaches that cover the area. Cycling trails, a quaint promenade, and outdoor markets will lure even the most enthusiastic sailor ashore for an hour or two.
Island hopping in the Whitsundays is one of the best ways to get acquainted with the raw, natural beauty of Australia. Its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef (in combination with its own considerable charms) makes it an excellent stop for boaters who wish to see the lush wildness that has helped create the region’s reputation. Book a boat charter from Airlie Beach to get out to the Whitsundays on a multi-day sailing tour.
Comprised of 74 islands (seven of which offer accommodating) and boasting the biggest bareboat fleet in the South Pacific, boaters will find both plenty of territory and the means to explore this luscious land. Depending on what type of boating experience you wish to have, you will want to keep the seasons in mind when planning your trip to the Whitsundays. If you fancy a challenge, then shoot for a spring voyage. If cruising is more your style, then plan an island boating excursion in the autumn.
Since much of the area is under federal protection, the ecological marvels of the Whitsundays are greatly preserved. You can find excellent fishing off of Whitsunday Island, Hook Passage, Nara Inlet, Haselwood Island, or Shute Harbour, or you can relax in the sun on one of the most incredible beaches in the world — Whitehaven Beach. Feed your thirst for adventure by undertaking the Ngaro Sea Trail, which traverses both land and sea paths to give you the complete Whitsundays experience.
Bearing the distinction of being the 26th largest island in the world, the gorgeous island of Tasmania offers a side of Australia that cannot be found anywhere else. Its sprawling, marvelous coastline features a variety of sailing conditions to appeal to any boater. With its rich history and varied aquatic environments, boaters will delight in investigating this oft-overlooked Australian gem.
The three prominent regions of Tasmania are each unique in the experiences and sights that they can provide. To the north of the island are meandering estuaries that adventurous boaters can traverse, the historic Port Stanley, as well as calmer cruising grounds for those boaters who would rather that their journey be more low-key. The eastern side of the island is the home of Port Arthur — an open-air museum that once housed convicts — and the cosmopolitan capital of Tasmania, Hobart. Georges Bay and Coles Bay will ensure that you are never without a place to put your boat, and St. Helens is often referred to as the game fishing capital of Tasmania. To the west, you will find more challenging sailing conditions — where experienced sailors can test their mettle. Strahan offers a convenient stop along the coast where you can get some well-deserved rest before continuing your tour.
The largest city situated on the largest bay in the state of Victoria, Melbourne is a gem of a destination. Sometimes referred to as an inland sea, this thriving city offers watercraft fun for everyone no matter his or her vessel. Nearby destinations include Queenscliff, Portarlington, Geelong, Williamstown, and Martha Cove for those with the intent of a longer cruise. Numerous rivers and estuaries that meet Port Phillip provide alternatives to open water and make great day trips. The innumerable docks, piers, beaches, marinas, and inlets allow every boater to find a perfect place to anchor and relax.
Leave your worries on the shore when you sail through the Great Sandy Strait also located off the coast of Queensland. The northern entrances of Great Sandy, Hervey Bay, Frasier Island, and Kingfisher Bay, lure wandering sailors into the strait, while temperate, clear waters keep them there. Though the sand bars must be navigated with care and paper charts are recommended, the Great Sandy Straight is a wonderful body of water to explore with an infinite amount of caves, inlets, and anchorages from which to launch an adventure.
This Archipelago, located off the coast of Western Australia, is a sailor’s playground. With crystal-clear water and pristine beaches, 42 of which are uninhabited, this boating destination is a no brainer. If exploration of the Archipelago is not enough fun, the islands of Enderby, Rosemary, East, and West Lewis, Angel Island, Dolphin, and Gidley offer nearby fishing, sightseeing, and wildlife watching galore.
Located between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Moreton Bay and the islands to the south offer respite from the hustle and bustle of life for boaters young and old. Brimming with history, natural parks, freshwater springs, islands, and beaches, this bay offers all types of entertainment. Anchorages off of historic islands such as St. Helena, Green, North Stradbroke, and Peel are great for sightseeing. Shipwrecks like the Tangalooma Wrecks or Days Gutter boast great fishing. For those who seek calm water, the nearby islands of Coochiemudlo, Karragarra, Lamb, Macleay, and Russell offer marinas, docks, and a waterway that leads straight to the Gold Coast Broadwater.
The Geographe Bay hosts Western Australia’s largest sailing regatta, the Geographe Bay Race Week, which is held in February. However, the regatta is not the Bay’s only claim to fame. The marinas and docks make the water easily accessible while beaches, clear waters, watersports such as jet-skiing, waterskiing, and windsurfing provide endless relaxation and entertainment. Sailing and yachting are also popular activities in the Geographe Bay.
Located off the coast of the Northern Territory, Fannie Bay is surrounded by boating bliss. With Port Darwin and the Middle Arm in the South and the Vernon and Tiwi Islands to the north, there is plenty of room to explore. Marinas, docks, boat ramps, and clubs provide the necessities for every boater to extend their stay in the region. Best visited in the winter months, Fannie Bay is a gem and an entrance to the Timor Sea.
Located in South Australia, Boston Bay is the gateway to the Great Australian Bight. Surrounded by islands, calm, sheltered waters, and relaxing beaches, the bay is a popular boating destination for locals and vacationers alike. In February, the Bay hosts the region’s most popular regatta, the Port Lincoln Regatta, but the Spencer Gulf and the Yorke Peninsula are year-round attractions.
Off the coast of Victoria, Australia, boaters will find the Gippsland Lakes situated on one of Australia’s largest waterways. Sailboats, powerboats, yachts, kayaks, and canoes can all find a place on the sheltered waters. Large commercial fishing fleets, sailing and yachting clubs, and even public jetties call the Gippsland Lakes their home.
Best visited during the dry season (May to October), the Kimberley Coast has an abundance of attractions to offer. Accessible only by watercraft because no roads lead landlubbers to the beautiful sights of this mysterious coast, Kimberley Coast is a boater’s dream. Cliffs, inlets, and islands offer geographical eye candy while the blustery winds, reefs, and strong tides keep a sailor on his toes. Exploration, adventure, and shark sighting are in no shortage.
Australia’s reputation as a land of beauty and adventure is well deserved, but no amount of words can compare with the experience of actually boating her waters and seeing it for yourself. Because the continent and its surrounding islands are so massive, it can seem overwhelming at first when deciding where to go. While there is true appeal practically everywhere, Sydney, the Whitsundays, and Tasmania make for excellent places to start. Whether you are looking for smooth sailing and big-city excitement or roaring winds and astonishing coastal views, you will find the experiences you seek in Australia. Now that you have the travel bug, it’s time to find the perfect vessel for your journey. Book the perfect boat for exploration with GetMyBoat. There are hundreds of boats listed all over Australia, making it easy for any boater to rent any boat he or she desires. The process is quick and simple and renters communicate with owners directly to you can find the best watercraft for your needs.