West Coast Tasmania

More and more trailer boats are exploring Macquarie Harbour (Chart Aus 177) on the West Coast.

This is an immense waterway and offers some unique cruising right up the Gordon River and Birches Inlet area.  This area in particular needs careful planning and is probably best when there is a high pressure system SE of the state producing on-shore easterlies to the east coast.

Make sure you have a plan and also equip yourself with reference guides and the applicable Aus charts.

There are a number of cruising guides on the market and it is vitally important you have one of these aboard to check the suitability of anchorages.

Larger cruising boats also travel to Port Davey (Chart: AUS 176). To many this is “the” cruising destination in Tasmania. Pretty, remote, on the edge of the Roaring Forties. This is one trip that planning is an absolute necessity. Some boats have been known to be trapped there for weeks unable to get back.

The best time to cruise to Port Davey is perhaps from mid-February to May. You should seek knowledge from people who have been there if possible. There is good information in some of the guides but nothing beats sitting down with someone who has a good knowledge of the area.

Runabouts over 6 metres have also been known to travel around to Port Davey. If doing this, do not go alone – always go with a number of other boats for safety reasons. Make sure you have enough fuel.  Some fishermen have been known to take fuel around for these trips and drop off for the smaller boats. The distance from Recherche to Port Davey, around 60 nm, does not seem far, but you are travelling along the south coast of Tasmania where the weather can change quickly.

Bathurst Harbour
Entrance to Bathurst Channel