Website of sailing yacht Tokomaru2's circumnavigation of the world
Crew: Nick Thomas and Liz Vernon
Compiled by Nick Thomas in “Tokomaru2” a Westerly
You need to have an Australian visa before arriving. This is easily obtainable via the internet for A$ 20. This exercise produces a number which you tell customs on arrival. This will entitle you to a 3 month stay (6 months possibly for US citizens). If you want something longer you will need to visit an Australian consul.
Australian customs must be notified 96 hours before arrival. There appears to be no way of contacting them by HF and VHF is not suitable thus the only practical way of doing this is via email to:
before departure from your last port. Tell them: boat name, names of pob,
eta etc. This may sound irksome but then
Once having checked, in foreign yachts have to apply for a cruising
permit. This is very straight forward and you simply have to state first and
last ports of your visit. In our case Bundaberg to
Alan Lucas’ book Cruising the
The voluntary marine rescue VMR operates on VHF channels 28, 81, and 82.
Using repeaters this service covers the whole
There are two marinas, one near the mouth of the river and one down river near the town. The former is newer but about a 20 minute drive from town. The marina runs a courtesy bus to town. The marina will arrange customs and quarantine there is a quarantine anchorage which saves paying overtime. There are few facilities in the marina apart from the usual boatyard things a restaurant and bar but no shops. Bread only may be available from the bar. Bundaberg is a pleasant small town with all the usual towny amenities.
It is almost possible to day sail all the way up the
A very tranquil and sheltered anchorage. There is a bar but with a rising tide and Lucas' book not a problem. Take care when leaving the leading line to find your anchoring spot. There are no facilities here just a beautiful setting.
Another town with a pleasant marina situated a short way up a busy commercial river. The port authority likes to be called on VHF they will tell you if any commercial shipping is expected.
The marina has all facilities and is a short walk from town where also all town like items can be obtained.
A rather rolly anchorage.
Great keppel island
A very charming and sheltered anchorage. Quite busy when we were there in June 2004. From the anchorage it is possible to walk across the island to the resort area. Here there are bars, restaurants and a small shop. The rainbow parakeets will be happy to share your sandwiches with you. The swimming is good here but cold in June.
The Percy islands are supposed to be a good stop but the anchorages did not seem to be very protected in the weather conditions we were having.
This is part of a military operational area and is occasionally closed to yachts. VMR will broadcast if this is the case or you can call them to ask (on VHF as above). It is a very sheltered anchorage and very beautiful. There are no navigation marks to help you in so Alan Lucas' description needs to be followed carefully.
Island head creek
Similar to Port
Pleasant town and new marina with all usual facilities
You can hire a car here and visit a nearby national park to see the Duck
First of the Whitsunday's. A small resort near the anchorage which is pleasant enough but not especially well sheltered. You can get ashore at the ferry dock.
A very pleasant sheltered anchorage on an uninhabited island.
One of the most sheltered harbours in the Whitsundays and consequently very busy. You can go ashore for a walk but there is not much there except a camp site.
A pleasant town and marina which can be quite busy but they should be able to fit you in. The entrance to the marina is quite shallow so with more than 2m draft a low water entry could be sticky. The anchorage just outside the marina is also very shallow.
Horseshoe bay is a very nice anchorage but reasonably busy so you have to anchor quite a long way off shore. There are bars and restaurants, an ATM and some small shops. There is a nice walk into the hill with a good chance of seeing wild Koala bears.
The last big town in
This is the very last town in Northern Queensland and the last place to
obtain any stores before
This is one of the jewels of the
From here it is possible to take your boat to “the cod hole” at the north end of “Ribbon reef No. 10” where there are marine park moorings on the GBR. This has some of the best snorkelling/diving in the world.
Humpback whales and their calves are likely to be sighted all the way up
A bleak anchorage in quite deep water
Several attractive anchorages amongst these islands. Some Aboriginal rock art to be seen ashore. Many fishing boats anchor round here but not many Australian yachts go further north than Lizard.
A classic desert island. Palm fringed and uninhabited except by birds. A comfortable anchorage in trade wind conditions. It is possible to go ashore to the beach by dinghy. We saw turtle tracks, but not the turtle, on the beach.
Also a good anchorage in trade wind conditions but a mangrove island.
There is a settlement here with a road which connects to the rest of
A sheltered anchorage but there is nothing here.
A very sheltered anchorage in a river which like others further south has no navigation marks. With Alan Lucas' help it is not a problem to enter. There are many shellfish rafts, some consisting only of balls on the surface so not easy to spot, throughout the river.
The current runs very fast through here so timing is important. Once in the passage the water was quite smooth although we reached speeds of 10 knots over the ground.
The more sheltered anchorage in trade wind conditions is off
The main action is on
Tides are an issue all along the North coast of
The 2 main possibilities here are anchoring in Fanny bay which is about 1 mile offshore or the Cullen bay marina. (There are 2 other smaller marinas but we did not investigate these).
The anchorage is ok if you have a good dinghy and outboard. Getting
ashore and back can be a wet ride as the afternoon sea breeze can reverse the
trade wind. At low water you have to pull the dinghy up a long way. There is a
friendly yacht club with bar and restaurant. A good chandler is situated
adjacent to the club. A bus to town runs regularly along the road outside. The
club will give you an info pack and temporary membership. Up the hill, past the
prison, there is a parade of shops including a supermarket and a very good
butcher who will vacuum pack meat and sells a very nice
The marina has a tricky entrance and their chartlet is very useful guidance although we discovered less water than indicated which makes a low water entry problematic. The marina has a lock which operates once an hour in each direction. There is a waiting pontoon and fuel dock outside the lock. You need to call the lockmaster on VHF Ch 14 before arriving.
The main problem with visitors using the marina is the quarantine
requirements even if coming from another port in
There are bars and restaurants at the marina and some small shops. It is a fair walk to town. The chandlery at the YC is better than the one at the marina.
To checkout of
|Website © Nick Thomas and Liz Vernon 2008|