Another area for cruising and trailer boats is the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.
(Charts: AUS 173 & 174) and Huon River (Chart: AUS 173)
The “Channel” as it is commonly referred to, offers enormous potential for boats of all sizes. Ramps on the western side of the channel at Margate (Dru Point), Tinderbox, Trial Bay, Woodbridge and further south at Gordon and Dover offer access to the entire Channel area. All these ramps except Woodbridge are serviced by either a pontoon or walkway. From any of these ramps you can spend a few days exploring from Mickeys Bay, Tinpot and Partridge in the south right through to Barnes Bay and places like Little Fancy.
For those interested in exploring the Huon, access can be gained from ramps at Charlotte Cove, Cygnet, Huonville Boat Ramp, Huonville Jetty, Shipwrights Point (Port Huon) or Surveyors Bay.
Care should be taken if travelling up or down the Huon River from Huonville to Port Huon. It is recommended a copy of the Cruising Yacht Club’s “Cruising Southern Tasmania” is kept on board, as this is a very useful publication for the entire D’Entrecasteaux area.
Throughout this area there are a number of marine farms which boaters need to be aware of. Care has been taken, when the leases were assessed, to ensure that lease boundaries do not intersect transit lines with point to point navigation. You are advised to make yourself familiar with the leases and a copy of the location of the leases is shown.
Further south, pristine destinations such as Recherche Bay and Southport (Charts: AUS 173 & 174) are all possible, even in a trailer boat. Great ramps are located at Southport and Cockle Creek further south. Some larger trailer boats have also travelled to Port Davey from these ramps in the right weather conditions. This should not be considered though unless careful planning has been carried out, which would include a fuel drop from a commercial fisherman at Davey and if you had extra free days up your sleeve for poor weather.
For larger boats there is a great private marina and slipway at Port Huon and the Margate Marina Park at Barretta.
Another private marina is the Oyster Cove Marina at Kettering. MAST also has a public jetty at Kettering and two pontoon berths for an overnight stay provided you are on board.
- Mickeys Bay
- Butlers Beach
On the eastern side of Bruny Island there are also some scenic anchorages. Bull, Trumpeter and Variety Bays are all pleasant in SW to NW conditions and can be accessed by trailer boats from Margate (Dru Point) Ramp and Tinderbox ramp. If you have a larger trailer boat, don’t launch at Tinderbox as this is designed really for boats under 6 metres.
If taking your boat to Bruny Island, you can explore south of Adventure Bay down to The Friars, but again, check the weather as westerly conditions at The Friars can be unpleasant. Larger boats should go to Cloudy Bay (Chart: AUS 173) a great anchorage in easterly to southerly conditions. It can be uncomfortable if there is a heavy swell running.
If travelling to Recherche in any size boat ensure you have checked your charts as the Acteon Island and surrounding charted rocks can be tricky if you are going there for the first time. These areas give good shelter in westerly weather. Remember, there are a great number of fish farms in the Channel and Huon River. Make sure you are aware of their locations.