If travelling to or from Flinders Island, a nice anchorage exists at Eddystone Point and shelter can be found to the South or the North of the light.  Make sure you have listened to the latest forecast before anchoring as the rocks around Eddystone are very tricky when navigating at night.  In southerly or SW weather, the anchorage in Picnic Corner is ideal.  When entering this anchorage, make sure you pick up Half Tide Rock, which is north of the anchorage at Picnic Corner and extreme care should be taken. There is also a boat ramp at Eddystone and whilst not a traditional 1:8 grade, it is recommended for 4WD only.

Eddystone Point

Further south, there is the hamlet of Ansons Bay. There is a boat ramp here and a small walkway, but access to open waters should only be done after seeking local knowledge. Runabout size boats only.

South of Ansons Bay, at Binalong Bay, there are two MAST cruising moorings (PM18 and PM19). This anchorage is best in  S–W conditions. When there is any weather from the NE-SE, it can be badly affected by swell and flopper stoppers will be required. Binalong is a small town but can be useful if you are not certain about crossing the bar into Georges Bay.

Binalong Bay Gulch

There is a taxi service in St Helens and the contact number is 0417 513 599 or 6376 2999 if you need supplies. There is a small gulch at Binalong Bay to leave a dinghy. There is also a boat ramp and landing stage however the ramp is affected by surge in most weather.

Georges Bay at St Helens (Chart: AUS 169) offers some nice overnight spots.  Humbug Point beaches and Moulting Bay give you a secluded spot not far from town but far enough away to relax and enjoy a night on the boat.  You may even take a little time for some floundering along the back channels opposite Akaroa.

Georges Bay is sometimes described as the mecca of bay fishing in Tasmania. There are two good double lane ramps both serviced by either pontoon or timber walkway. These are known as the town ramp or Stieglitz ramp.

Entering and leaving Georges Bay can be problematic in certain weather conditions and should only be attempted after seeking local knowledge and taking into account the prevailing weather conditions.

A nice anchorage not far from Georges Bay is on the southern side of St Helens Island. This is 6 nm south from the Burns Bay boat ramp. This anchorage is suitable overnight in northerly conditions. You should be conscious that the anchorage can be affected by SSE swells.  You are anchoring in about 8-9 metres of water on sand.

In westerly weather some good anchorages exist in Skeleton Bay and further north in the Bay of Fires at Seaton Cove, although these can be subject to a roll in certain conditions.

Another really good anchorage in northerly weather, if you don’t want to punch further north and it is late in the day, is Long Point, north of Bicheno. The gulch at Bicheno is not ideal for deeper draft boats so the anchorage at Long Point is a great alternative.  It is also suitable in NW weather in an anchorage that is often overlooked.

Bicheno Gulch
Long Point (looking South)

Further south we have Freycinet (Chart AUS 766 & 169).  This entire area can be enjoyed by boats of nearly all sizes. Trailer boats can access from Coles Bay with a run south of 11nm; at 20 knots this equates to 35 minutes.  If leaving for a few days from the ramp in a trailer boat, parking can be an issue. There are four lanes and also a good pontoon and a jetty to berth alongside. A public jetty is available for pick up and drop off west of the ramp.

MAST has two cruising moorings at Coles Bay – MAST PM4 and MAST PM1

On the Schouten side of the passage there is Moreys and further east Gravelly. Moreys will  give protection from the E to the S and W.

Gravelly will give shelter from the NE around to the W but ensure you get a decent hold as dragging is not uncommon due to the granite base under the sand.

Another nice anchorage is Hen and Chicken Bay on the southern side of Schouten; there is not a lot of room but well worth a visit in W through to N and NE conditions.

Hen and Chicken Bay
Hen and Chicken Bay, Schouten Island – looking back to the SE

From Schouten Passage you can also visit Wineglass Bay, a distance of 9 nm north. Wineglass Bay gives protection in E through to NW conditions.

Wineglass Bay

On the Freycinet Peninsula there is also a nice anchorage suitable in NE through to S at Cooks Corner, just north of Weatherhead Point. If leaving from Little Swanport and the breeze kicks in from the west, there are good anchorages at Mayfield or the southern end of Grindstone Bay. This anchorage however can get a little roly!

Mayfield Bay

Another great anchorage in Schouten Passage on the Freycinet side is Bryans Corner which is the most popular anchorage in North Easterly sea breeze weather.

Mayfield with Maria Island in the background to the south

Little Swanport, sometimes known as Saltworks, has a good boat ramp and pontoon and a barway crossing into Great Oyster Bay. Entry is limited to trailer boats however a planning style 40 footer could get in at the right tide – you should seek local knowledge.  

Little Swanport Entrance
Saltworks Ramp at Little Swanport and entrance from Great Oyster Bay, looking East to Schouten Passage
Wineglass Bay

Many trailer boats are now accessing Schouten Island from Little Swanport, a distance of 13 nm or just 40 minutes at 20 knots.

Car parking at this venue is plentiful but there is no security.  Care should be taken crossing the barway.  Larger planing hull boats to 40 feet have been known to be able to access Little Swanport, however it is not recommended unless you have someone on board who knows the area.

Must sees:

  • Wineglass Bay
  • Bryans Corner – Schouten
  • Moreys
  • Hen and Chicken Bay – Schouten
  • Beaches north of Little Swanport – ideal for trailer boats in Westerly weather

Swansea is also a popular launching spot.   The ramp however is subject to sand movement and siltation when easterly weather patterns prevail. Alternative ramps are at Coles Bay or further south at Little Swanport. Prior to launching at Swansea ensure you check the ramp.

The town has all services and is one of the busiest on the east coast. Driving from Launceston or Hobart is around the same time if towing a boat.

Triabunna, Orford and Dunalley also offer great departure points for the Maria Island experience
Triabunna Port

(Charts AUS 170 & 175)

If leaving for Chinamans Bay from Triabunna, allow around 35 minutes at 20 knots – it is a distance of slightly over 12 miles. Chinamans is ideal in most conditions.  If blowing W-N, tuck up well into the northern end of the bay and if blowing SW go to the southern side, but it is only suitable for shallow draft boats. The Deep Hole is a popular anchorage in N-S; this is half way along the neck.

Deep Hole

A great anchorage on the eastern side of the island is at Whalers Cove at the northern end of Riedle Bay.  This is ideal in NW through to E and smaller boats can get some way up the creek to an ideal camping spot.

Whalers Cove

The southern end of Riedle is ideal in SE to SW conditions.  It is all sand and although not as deep as Whalers, there is plenty of room to drop the pick offshore in deeper water.

Reidle Bay

All through Mercury Passage (Charts AUS 170 & 175) on both sides are some pleasant anchorages and like Schouten and Freycinet, it is worth the trip for a night or two. Access to Maria Island from Dunalley is also reasonably quick and around the same time and distance as Triabunna to Chinamans.

From Lachlan Island northwards to Darlington there is an existing mussel lease. There are some surface buoys however the lines should be at lease 10 metres below the surface. Boats are able to pass through the lease. From Darlington to Point Home the northern boundaries of the lease will be just south of the transit line.

Darlington, Maria Island – Three MAST public moorings

The Spring Bay Boat Club (SBBC) has a new state-of-the-art marina at Triabunna. The Club now has 27 fully serviced marina pens and with plans to expand in the future with more berths being made available.

The Town has a great butcher, the supermarket makes provisioning with fresh food easy and it is only a walk of a few minutes.

There is also a main fishing wharf owned and managed by the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council.

Glamorgan Spring Bay Council has now completed sections 3 and 4 of their port re-development which includes additional marina berths.  In addition to the extra berths, a fuel berth is also available.  This facility was completed following a funding application driven by MAST through the Federal Government.  See Fuel Services below for contact details if you need fuel.

MAST and Council have also completed a boat ramp with four lanes and pontoon. This ramp is ideal for those leaving Triabunna to camp or explore the anchorages at Maria Island or if travelling north to Freycinet. It has a large car park which is fully lit. It can be found next to the boat club on the eastern side of the port.

Triabunna Wharf :

  • Casual wharf berthing for commercial and recreational vessels
  • Loading area for loading and unloading vessels
  • Fuel
  • Public Toilets
  • The wharf has been extended and diesel fuel facilities have been installed. Fuel available 24 hours with a swipe card systgem.
  • Port Control Officer – Ian – 0422 808 166 or Dan – 0427 341 298.
Triabunna Wharf

MAST has also installed two cruising moorings at East Shelly Beach (PM2 and PM3) at Orford. These moorings are for short stays only and boats must not be left longer than overnight.

East Shelly Beach

In addition to these moorings, MAST has installed three moorings at Darlington on Maria Island (PM11, PM12 and PM13). Two of these moorings are for runabouts and are in reasonably shallow water. The other is deeper and for larger boats that may want to visit Darlington.

Must sees :

  • Whalers Cove – northern end of Riedel Bay – Maria Island
  • Chinamans Bay- Maria Island
  • Haunted Bay – Maria Island
  • Darlington – Maria Island
  • Boomer Bay
Encampment Cove – Chinamans Bay – Maria Island
Spring Bay Boat Club Marina
Beach at Lisdillon – north of Little Swanport