The great thing about our vast island continent is that it’s full of amazing places to go out on a boat.
Here are our four favourite boating experiences just waiting for you, your family, friends and your vessel.
1. The Whitsundays
This (rightly) famous archipelago of 74 islands located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park - a World Heritage area - is one of Australia’s most popular boating destinations.
With pristine, clear, tropical waters and unspoilt beaches and islands, The Whitsundays in Tropical North Queensland offers something for every sailor, beginner to experienced.
Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour have a number of charter companies with fleets of yachts, catamaran’s, power cats and cruises for bareboat hire, through local operators.
If you're towing a boat, both these areas have great boat ramps and marine amenities and there are good anchorages throughout the area.
Tides can be fast in the channels but The Whitsundays also has some of the best-sheltered waterways in the world, plus you can make your way to the Great Barrier Reef for snorkelling and diving.
2. Sydney Harbour
Sailing and city sight seeing are not usually activities you can do together, but if you're looking for a great day out on the water with an urban setting you’d be hard pressed to find anything that can beat Sydney Harbour.
One of the great natural harbours of the world you can navigate past the iconic Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Botanical Gardens and stop at secluded beaches in the Sydney Harbour National Park.
You can launch your own boat, hire a craft or jump on a cruise.
There are plenty of options from tall ship sailing to jet boats to catamarans and ferries.
If you live local, you can swap crewing for a free sail from some of the Harbour's yacht clubs certain nights of the week.
Check with the clubs to see how they organise it.
Destination NSW has some great info to plan a unique harbour boating adventure.
3. Rottnest Island
Much of Western Australia’s (WA) huge 1300 km coastline is remote and accessible only by boat so it’s no wonder that WA has the highest per capita boat ownership in the country.
One of WA’s favourite boating destinations is only 18 km's from Perth.
Rottnest Island is surrounded by some of the most pristine tropical coral reefs, beaches and bays in the world.
It's waters are home to dolphins, whales, sea lions and over 450 species of fish and 20 coral species.
With the journey taking about 40 minutes in the average runabout, it’s a great destination for a day trip or an extended stay.
Anchoring and admission fees apply to all boats visiting the Island and its important check the marine and boating guide for do’s and don’ts on ‘Rotty’ before you head off.
4. Gippsland Lakes
Located three hours drive south east of Melbourne and fed by five major rivers, the Gippsland Lakes is one of the largest tidal waterways in the country.
Its sheltered waters span from Lakes Entrance to Sale and cover 420 square km's offering lots of adventures for all types and size of boat’s.
There’s access to public jetties, berths and moorings throughout the area and access to Bass Strait through Lakes Entrance.
FAQ’s, boating guides and maps are online at Gippsland Ports.
If you're taking your boat on a trip - make sure you have good Boat Insurance.