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).
If you are heading into Stanley boat harbour, it is ok at half tide to high tide if you boat draws around 3m.
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.
- Three Hummock – East Telegraph
- Hunter Passage
- Three Hummock – Rape Bay
If cruising in larger boats, the best spot to lay up in the far north west would be the mini boat harbour at Stanley. This is run by Tasports and it is recommended you contact them prior to entering port. This traditionally is a fishing boat port, however the cruising boats are welcomed and Stanley is a great town with most services available.
The Tasports contact number for a berth is 0427 383 672.
Fuel is available by contacting Arnolds Fuel – 0419 522 592.
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.
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.
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).
Showers are available and the club has bar facilities and slipway to 10 tons.
The Mersey Slipways – Phone: (03) 6424 7944 is another private slip is also available in Devonport.
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.