In the far North West out of Montagu or Smithton a pleasant weekend can be had at Robbins Island and if the weather allows, try visiting Three Hummock and the Hunter group.

(Chart: AUS 790) These destinations are as picturesque as anywhere in the State, but you should go only when the weather is right – this is normally an easterly weather pattern. Definitely seek local knowledge if leaving from Montagu. Many people in larger boats are now understanding the magic of the Hunter Group and what is on offer; a big tip though is to watch the currents in Hunter Passage. The Hunter group is recommended only for boats in excess of six metres.  Cruising along the coast is also popular and is very scenic but best with an offshore wind, south or south west. There are some great ramps for trailer boats at Montagu, Stanley and Rocky Cape (Burgess Cove Boat Ramp).  

Rocky-Cape (Burgess Cove) Boat Ramp
Stanley Boat Ramp
Stanley Boat Ramp

If leaving from Montagu, it is important to have a good understanding of the area. It is very tidal and there are some nasty rocks so local knowledge is a must. Trefoil and Robbins Islands are popular destinations from Montagu, which is also the site of a good caravan park.

Montagu Boat Ramp (looking across to Robbins Island

Must sees:

  • Three Hummock – East Telegraph
  • Hunter Passage
  • Three Hummock – Rape Bay
Hunter Passage
Chimney Corner – Three Hummock Island

If you are heading into Stanley boat harbour, it is ok at half tide to high tide if you boat draws around 3m. Once in, you will notice a pontoon. This provides 4 short term berths for recreational boats. The facility is owned and managed by Tasports. To ask about the berth try VHF Ch 14 – Tasports VTS. Shops and services are a short 5-10 minute walk from the berths.

The Tasports contact number for a berth is 0427 383 672.

Fuel is available by contacting Arnolds Fuel – 0419 522 592.

Stanley Boat Harbour
Stanley Boat Harbour

Other ramps along the coast with good access include Wynyard, however you will find it difficult two hours either side of low tide with a trailer boat.

If entering the Inglis River in a larger cruising boat don’t attempt it at anything less that ¾ high tide and if you draw over 2m, don’t bother.

At Wynyard, all the services are available and there is also a public wharf to lie along side. Refer to the Aus Chart for leads.

If heading to Wynyard it is recommended you contact the Wynyard Yacht Club to seek further knowledge about tying up alongside the wharf or the town pontoon.

There is also an adequate boat ramp at Burnie (Emu Bay Boat Ramp), but it is  subject to surge. There is a “mini boat harbour” at Burnie, however with larger shipping movements it is not an ideal cruising destination for larger boats.

The entire north coast is subject to around a 2.5-3 m tidal range so care should be taken whilst launching and retrieving and entering rivers.

Wynyard Boat Ramp. Berthing for larger boats – wharf in the background
Navionics graphic not to be used for navigation. Use correct Aus Chart 164.

East of Burnie is the town of Ulverstone.  Access with trailer boats is well catered for and also access to the Leven River is possible for shallower draft cruising boats. There is a public pontoon at the wharf where you may lie alongside.  The tidal range is significant and strong so ensure springs and lines are firm. At low water you have around 1.25m draft at the entrance. There are leads into the River however please refer to AUS Chart 164.

Navionics graphic not to be used for navigation. Use correct Aus Chart 164

The next major port east is Devonport. Ramps at Horsehead Creek and Victoria Parade give great access for trailer boats. They are both serviced by pontoons, however for all tide access for larger boats the Victoria Parade ramp is best (parking is limited).

Larger cruising boats often make landfall at the Mersey in Devonport after leaving Melbourne or Adelaide. The only berths available are at the Mersey Yacht Club – email or Phone: (03) 6427 8655.

Showers are available and the club has bar facilities and slipway to 10 tons.

The Mersey is the arrival and departure port for the Bass Strait ferry service so care should be taken to avoid commercial shipping entering and leaving port. If launching a trailer boat at Victoria Parade, ensure there are no larger commercial ships entering or leaving port at the time.

Horsehead Creek Boat Ramp
Victoria Parade Boat Ramp
Navionics graphic not to be used for navigation. Use correct Aus Chart 164
Mersey Yacht Club