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Tidahapah 03-24-2014 10:14 PM

Cruise to Tassie
Guys I am seriously considering heading down to Tassie either this or next year.
I go north all the time and know the country sort of like the back of my hand.
So if I head south, after I leave the Gold Coast Seaway bypass the Tweed what are the next recommended stops. Preferably I will want to day cruise as there will only be the Boss and myself and we don't want to be in any real hurry.
Any ports/marinas you guys would recommend.
Once south of Sydney it all becomes a bit sketchy re good berthing spots.
I suppose Lakes Entrance is a good stop over and once away from there one has to commit to the south passage to Tassie with a departure from Refuge Bay.
As at some stage I may have to leave the boat for a few weeks is there a good marina in lakes entrance.
Any ideas etc would be greatly appreciated.


Peter B 03-25-2014 05:05 AM

Aquabelle should be able to help down as far as Sydney - possibly further south. Sounds a great plan Benn. You still trying to get to the wooden boat festival on your own (boat's) bottom..?

Aquabelle 03-25-2014 05:19 AM

Benn: heading out of the Southport seaway, you want to get to the Yamba bar that first day. The only possible intermediate stops are under the lee of Byron Bay open roadstead anchorage that is acceptable only in very settled conditions of <1m swell and winds <10kts from the S or SE: nothing else. The 2nd possible is Ballina: very bad bar in all but perfect conditions. Yamba bar is good so long as you are 3-5 hours after low tide with no more than a moderate E swell. Once inside Yamba you have an excellent opportunity to cruise up the mighty Clarence to Grafton. Highly recommended, Admiral will love it. Closer to time I can PM you details.

After Yamba, next night would be Camden Haven: very good bar, beautiful anchorage.

Then next night you have choice of Broughton Islands if settled (anchorages on 3 sides so doesn't matter what winds, as long as under 20kts) OR Port Stephens (no bar...option of spending a few days exploring within) OR push on to Newcastle Harbour (no bar).

Next stop Broken Bay.

Next Sydney Harbour.

Next Botany Bay.

Next Port Hacking...plan to spend a couple of days...beautiful.

Next Shoalhaven.

Next Jarvis Bay: plan to spend a couple of days...beautiful.

My personal experience ends there: Alan Lucas 'Cruising the NSW Coast' will take you further south.

Maybe we should try to put together a flotilla...& get some of our US friends to join in??!!

Tidahapah 03-25-2014 06:49 AM

I have ordered Alan Luca's cruising the NSW Coast. All his books are good value.
I am presently doing a passage plan on my laptop whilst I am over here in WA.
My work plans are going to change in the next few months as I am going to a job share arrangement. 4 weeks on and 12 weeks off. A bit of relief work thrown in my 12weeks off at my own discretion.
So may be it will all come together.

Thanks for the info, anchorages are good if we get good conditions.
Will keep you guys informed if and when it gets the go ahead.

At present Tidahapah is up in Mackay and we have this cruising season to complete before the next set of plans.

I may have to call into Gold Coast City Marina on my way south as I want to get my stabiliser arms lengthened by about 4 or 5 feet, at present the fish are traveling a bit to close to the boat.

Peter, that would be the best plan , coincide with the Wooden Boat Show and then join the round Tassie cruise after that.
We will see!!!!


Tidahapah 03-26-2014 06:41 AM

The flotilla is not such a bad idea, but most probably very difficult to organise.
Any how I will see how my plans pan out.

I may have too much fun up north again.


stornoway7 03-26-2014 07:15 AM

Hi,We just did the run from Broken Bay to Hobart in January.
We went Broken Bay to Port Jackson then to Jervis Bay then Eden.
A lot of the NSW towns have bars so it pays to have a couple of plan B's.
You will probably hole up in Eden till you get a good window,a great spot to shelter is in south of Twofold Bay at the back of the Naval wharf,usually a bunch of boats there waiting to make the jump.
Try to get a good couple of clear days before you cross.There are very few spots to pull up for a rest till you get to Maria Island,be very careful about approaching Flinders from the East,it's called the Pot Boil for a good reason.Same with St Helens,the bar demands respect.Local knowledge required.The police will usually help you at St Helens if you have to get in.
Radio coverage on VHF is excellent all the way,Coast Radio Hobart has a repeater on Flinders that reaches almost to Gabo.
It's a challenging trip but really worth it,Tassie is arguably the prettiest state in Oz.We came for a week and never went back(Sydney)

Tidahapah 03-26-2014 11:49 PM

Stornoway 7
Broken bay to Hobart in Jan.
How long overall did the trip take.
Did you do it with just the Boss lady on board.
Just curious as I get my info together.
If I go I think it will be November/Dec as I am back in WA from Xmas day on until just before the Wooden Boat Festival.

Andy G 03-27-2014 06:06 AM

[QUOTE=stornoway7;222650]Hi,We just did the run from Broken Bay to Hobart in January.

Were you by any chance moored at the RMYC Pittwater?

stornoway7 03-27-2014 06:14 AM

Hi Andy,yes Theresa was at RMYC when owned by here previous owner.
She was a one owner boat from new 1983 to Dec 2013 when I bought her.
The owner Joe Cordini was patron of the club for most of that time.
Cheers Craig.

stornoway7 03-27-2014 07:05 AM

Hi Benn,We day tripped down to Eden,generally one day boating,one or two days at anchor or tied up.Spent New Years Eve on Sydney Harbour anchored right near Taronga Zoo watching the fireworks which was a lot of fun.
We stayed in Eden for four days because of high winds,most days were up to 40 knots, one night 50 knots at 1am.
We left Eden at about 1500,cruised through the night and the next day and were at Orford at 0800 the next morning, so approx 40 hours at 8.5 to 9 knots,we were off Flinders about 24 hours after leaving Eden.
If you check out the EAC eddies you can pick up a couple of knots when your in the groove.
We had 7 POB,mainly family along for the ride,more passengers than crew.My dad was a ships master and is getting on,so it was his last long trip.I think he wanted to keep going at the end.
There's really only two overnighters required so two crew would be fine,one extra would be nice to bring your watch times down a bit,we mostly cruise with just us and maybe one or two of our three kids.(Plus the mutts)
So overall from Broken Bay to Hobart we took almost bang on 75 hours,using 1.5 of our 4 fuel tanks.Distance covered 675 nm's.
We stopped at Maria Island for a few days to swap some crew and catch up with mates on other boats before proceeding to Kettering via Denison canal.This will save you about 8 hours or so by not going around Tasman Island.Although if you do go the long way round you can go to Port Arthur which is worth the hassle.
I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't know,but take your time and wait for the weather windows,they are quite regular.Don't set any tight deadlines.Bass Strait can be both the smoothest and roughest place to be in a boat,it's all in the timing.
Cheers Craig

Tidahapah 03-27-2014 08:11 AM

Thanks Craig,
Yeah I have done the Tassie run often enough but always in ships used to run to Hobart and Port Latta on a products tanker many years ago and did bass straight often enough on our runs to Westernport and Port Phillip Bay.
Just the 2 of us but should be fun and picking the weather windows is the crucial part as you say.
I may be able to con one of my mates to do the run to share the load but most of them are still working full time. Work , its a bugger isn't it.

All going well may run into you down there some time in the future.

By the way where is Orford?


Tidahapah 03-27-2014 04:37 PM

From your post I take it you steamed down from Eden well clear to the East of Flinders down to Maria Island. No stops Deal, Flinders or others.
Is this in case you may have been trapped by the weather and still up in Bass Straight.
If so I can see the reasoning behind it.


stornoway7 03-27-2014 05:26 PM

We stand well out mainly because it's nice and deep,it gets shallow very quickly when you get too close.A lot of boats steer 180 once they round Gabo and only head in when they pass St Helens,aiming towards Maria.
Orford is a village on the inside of Mercury Passage (Between Maria and the mainland)
It's a handy spot for crew changes because it's only one hour by car from Hobart and the first port the highway meets on the East coast.
If you have good weather Bass Strait cruising is fantastic.Deal is well worth it.
A lot of people miss it because they are in transit and rush through.
I guess rapid weather changes,strong tidal flows and large tide ranges worry skippers a bit,it's challenging,but hey who said life wasn't meant to be easy.
I would suggest cruising the Strait in Autumn,lots of nice highs hanging around.
We'll probably cruise to Flinders and the islands in April 2015,got a cruise to Port Davey to do first.Southern Ocean cruising,yahoo!

Andy G 03-27-2014 05:31 PM


Originally Posted by stornoway7 (Post 222876)
Hi Andy,yes Theresa was at RMYC when owned by here previous owner.
She was a one owner boat from new 1983 to Dec 2013 when I bought her.
The owner Joe Cordini was patron of the club for most of that time.
Cheers Craig.

Well congratulations, she was a fixture at the club for a long time. Good to see she is getting a chance to show her seagoing legs.

BruceK 03-27-2014 06:24 PM

[QUOTE=Andy G;222874]

Originally Posted by stornoway7 (Post 222650)
Hi,We just did the run from Broken Bay to Hobart in January.

On Sarawana? Crossing Bass Strait?
That sounds heroic, info/pics welcome.

eagle419 03-27-2014 07:37 PM

Hello Benn,

I'm going down to Hobart again mid January for the wooden boat show, then back up mid February.

Last year we went with down with two up, ex Sydney Harbour to Jervis Bay, then Eden to wait for a weather window, then direct to Wineglass Bay, Triabunna, then Hobart via Dunnally Canal.

On the way back, because of time restraints, we went direct from Hobart, via Tasman Island, non-stop to Eden, then Jervis, then Sydney Harbour.

These were 'delivery' type trips with a time-poor (ie non-retired) mate, but once there I spent plenty of time cruising southern Tassie with various groups of fly-ins.

There are enough intermediate stop-offs along the NSW coast, with the usual proviso of timing bars and phoning ahead to Fishing Coops for berthing space and bunkering, but I reckon it's worthwhile staying out in the east coast current as much as possible.


Tidahapah 03-28-2014 01:41 AM

Craig, John,
Thanks for the info. That's the stuff this forum is good for, first hand info.
I may well have to recruit one of my mates to give me a hand from Sydney down.
Shouldn't have to bunker ( as long as I fill up in Sydney) but what are the best places to get diesel on the southern NSW coast?

John where do you tie up when you get to Hobart as I suspect down town would be pretty full with the Boat Festival?

All these questions and more are to be asked over the next couple of months.


BruceK 03-28-2014 02:06 AM

Benn, In Sydney, refuel at Baileys Marine Fuels in White Bay near Darling Harbour, good price, 24hr access, big throughput as they supply commercial operators too. You need a Baileys card first, you do some tests online, they send you a card.
Eden should be good for fuel and just about anything else, favorite refuge for Sydney Hobart competitors in trouble. Batemans Bay,Narooma, Bermagui, all have trawler fleets but I don`t know about bar access. Wollongong does not have a good reputation for visiting boats (see Afloat mag), it`s close to Sydney anyway.

eagle419 03-28-2014 05:58 AM


I agree with BruceK - Baileys in White Bay is the cheapest fuel I've found in Sydney. If you phone ahead someone will come down and look after you as a visitor.

Us locals have to use self-service after passing a written OH&S questionaire.

Like you, I have enough range but in Eden I arranged for the local agent to drive his tanker onto the wharf and fill up direct - no hassles. Same in Hobart[ it needs a day's notice, but the tanker meets you at constitution bunker wharf and just passes over the hose.

Both times I've been in the Hobart Festival I called TasPorts and arranged for a pile berth at King St Marina. All berths must be vacated the day before the Festival begins, but since I was an entrant I got to stay where I was, but with a bit of a shuffle around as other entrants arrive.

When there's no event on, all the easy access pontoon berths in King St Marina are filled with locals, so visitors have to go alongside the commercial pier using plenty of fender boards, or against piles using high jump or long jump depending on tides.

I enjoy the scene in Hobart docks, but there are plenty of more civilised marina options in surrounding suburbs.


Navigator 03-28-2014 06:55 AM

Hi Benn, you can also add Gabo Island between Eden and Lakes Entrance depending on the weather. Don

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