There are so many epic places to boat, no matter where you live in Australia. Today, we’re celebrating the best ones, by taking a look at our favourite spots to launch in every state and territory. Take a look, and feel free to share your own favourite boating locations in the comments below, or on our Facebook page. (Although, we understand if you want to keep it a secret!)
Here’s what made the cut.
Western Australia – The Abrolhos Islands
The Houtman Abrolhos Islands are made up of 122 islands, which stretch across 100 kilometres, about 60 kilometres west of Geraldton. The islands are famous for their rich and diverse animal life, including sea lions, whales and dolphins.
There’s great fishing in the area, just do your research before you go, as there are daily bag limits and other restrictions that apply. The pristine blue waters of the Abrolhos are also home to incredible reef and sea life, making it perfect for snorkelling and diving.
Northern Territory – Corroboree Billabong
The Corroboree Billabong is an incredible freshwater boating and barramundi fishing spot, located around 80 kilometres east of Darwin. There are loads of waterways to explore, which span more than 40 kilometres in length.
There’s also some magnificent wildlife in and around the billabong, including wetland birds and the largest population of saltwater crocs in the world. (We recommend enjoying the serenity from onboard your vessel.)
Queensland – Moreton Bay Marine Park
Moreton Bay Marine Park stretches 125 kilometres between Caloundra and the Gold Coast. It’s one of Australia’s largest estuarine bays, with offshore reefs and islands to explore. It’s also home to widely diverse marine life, including turtles, bottle nose dolphins and dugongs.
In winter (June to October), you may just get a glimpse of the magnificent humpback whales, which migrate north through the region. Just be sure to stay within ‘caution’ zones and follow other rules for boating safely around marine life, to ensure these mammals are protected.
New South Whales – Jervis Bay
Jervis Bay can be found in Nowra, about three hours south of Sydney. The beautiful aquamarine waters are a playground for little penguins, fur seals, bottle nosed dolphins and other incredible marine and birdlife.
The coastal town itself is absolutely charming, so if you can moor up and head in, we highly recommend doing so. It’s also a great spot for water sports, including stand-up paddling (hire a board if you don’t have one), diving and fishing.
Tasmania – The Derwent River
Downstream from Hobart, you’ll find the Derwent River, an estuary that is said to be the deepest and most sheltered harbour in all of the Southern Hemisphere. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because it’s famous for being the last leg of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
The Derwent River is great for catching sand flatheads, Australian Salmon, bream, trout and mullet. However, it’s also a shark refuge area, which means anglers are restricted from taking sharks, skates and rays, and some areas are no-fish zones.
Australian Capital Territory – Lake Burley Griffin
Lake Burley Griffin is an artificially made lake, located right in the heart of Canberra. The lake is 11 kilometres in length, and was built so that important institutions, including the National Museum, National Gallery and the High Court, line its shores.
It’s also a popular fishing spot, famous for its generous supply of golden perch, redfin and Murray cod, which can be caught all year round. Powered watercraft do require a permit to access the lake, so be sure to apply for one before you head out.
Victoria – Gippsland Lakes
The Gippsland Lakes system covers around 420 square kilometres, and can be found about 250 kilometres southeast of Melbourne. The many different waterways are perfect for powerboats (big and small), as well as larger cruisers and smaller vessels, such as kayaks.
The waters are sheltered, with access to public jetties, as well as berthing and mooring options for the short and long-term. There’s also an artificially made entrance, which allows boaties to directly access the Bass Strait (via the Lakes Entrance).
South Australia – Whyalla
Whyalla has the kind of facilities most boaties dream of, including a multi-lane boat launch ramp, fish cleaning station and plenty of trailer parking. On the water, you’ll find great fishing, with some of the best red snapper fishing in Australia. (Big red catches of 15 kilos or more happen!)
There are plenty of secluded beaches and stretches of coastline to explore, as well as rich marine life, including dolphins, which are known to follow fishing boats in search of fish scraps. Between May and August, you’ll also find an abundance of cuttlefish.
Is your boat covered?
Before you head out on your boating adventure, we recommend taking a look at your marine insurance to make sure it’s still the right fit for you. Reviewing your cover at least once a year can help you save over the long term, while ensuring your covered for the stuff that really matters.