Sailing in Australia

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Sailing in Australia: Some top tips.

One of the best things about Australia is the fact that it’s predominantly a coastal region. All the major cities, tourist sites and places of importance are near the coastline (save for a couple of interesting continental landmarks). When deciding to sample all that Australia has to offer, a lot of people decide to go on a road trip, after all there are thousands of miles of uninterrupted road often going on and on in a straight line for hours and hours, which gives you a chance to reflect and unwind. However, why not take a more unique approach and try to sail around Australia (at least partially). Here are a couple of tips for all those who dare to take on such an adventure.

Check weather conditions before departure

The importance of checking the weather conditions before you depart cannot be underestimated. Keep in mind that your cruise might take a while and during that time weather conditions may change. However, you won’t stay in the open waters for the entire duration and if a day or two get announced as particularly dangerous, you can always stay in the port for a bit longer. Remember that getting off the water is always an option.

Is everything set and ready?

Another thing you need to ensure is whether your boat has an up to date license and the registration is current because it’s easy to overlook. If not this is something you have to deal with right away. Second, are you absolutely sure your boat is seaworthy – it’s always worth another look. If you are hiring a boat these things should be taken care of for you. Also it’s important to make sure you are familiar with the area and journey and you do your maths to ensure that you have enough fuel, supplies and time for the trip (including the return trip). Keep in mind that drinking water and food reserves are also essential.

Ensure you have safety equipment

The next thing you need to take into consideration is the safety equipment. For instance, you need items like oars, knife, rope, radio, torch, mirror and flares but also a boat hook, a first aid kit, and a fire extinguisher. Apart from these it’s only logical that you also take a chart and compass as you can’t always rely on your smartphone or its internet connection. Lastly, make sure to bring buoyancy aids and life jackets for every person that you’ll have on board. In order to take one more step of precaution, you should definitely have the EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon). If you are hiring a boat then discuss the safety equipment with the provider before sailing.

You can’t plan everything

Going on a sailing trip means leaving your comfort zone and getting yourself into a lot of scenarios that you were never in before. This is why you can expect to face a lot of the unexpected on this journey. While it’s impossible to prepare for absolutely everything, there are a couple of tips that would raise your overall preparedness. First of all, you need to be aware of the fact that one-third of all boating fatalities involve alcohol. Second, you shouldn’t go out there on your own. Next, you need to use common sense all the time. Finally, going on a sailing trip without learning how to swim is always a bad idea.

Plan your itinerary

While sailing, you’re the master of your own itinerary however, this doesn’t mean that you can stay indefinitely in every port that you like. This is why you need to plan your itinerary to the last detail, which should help you get the most out of it. For instance, for any sailing trip around Australia a visit to Tasmania is a must. This is why you need to look up several Tasmania attractions and do some maths on how much time and money it would take you to see them all. Do this for every place that you intend to visit and you should have no problems.

Set your own challenges

One of the things that could definitely be interesting is setting some challenges of your own. For instance, those who plan to do this in December might want to consider embarking on a Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. As we’ve already mentioned, both Sydney and Tasmania are already on your must-visit list and by using this challenge as a vessel to visit them both, you’ll make it all appear somewhat more adventurous.

Sailing with a pet

A lot of people prefer to take their pets on a long-distance voyage. Naturally, taking your pet on board is a notion that raises a lot of concern for everyone’s safety. Still, there are a lot of people who see nothing wrong or troublesome with this idea. Keep in mind, though that, if you’re taking them between countries, you might have to get them a password. Other than this, they need to be well-trained and well equipped. The last thing you have to keep in mind is the fact that pets also get seasick. Have a float plan

Have a float plan

One of the things that you need to take into consideration is the fact that having a float plan doesn’t mean getting restricted in any way. It’s just a necessary safety precaution. The way this works is that you plan out the itinerary and then let someone else know of your float plan. For those who are extra cautious, you can even set up a routine where you let a person in question know once you reach the port in question.


As you can see, if you do your preparation stage right, the journey itself can be quite safe, while being adventurous and exciting at the same time. Who you bring on board and where you go depends exclusively on your own interests and desires. As for the sailing around Australia itself, it’s an incredible experience that you shouldn’t miss out on.

Posted by Neil White

Neil White

Neil White is a automotive & travel journalist from Sydney. Neil was into cars since he can remember, and road trips are his greatest childhood memory. Combining journalism and travelling is something that he was dreaming about, so now he is considering himself a really happy person.

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