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A good resource for researching Queensland holidays/maps is
On the coast, up to 300 km north of Sydney, there are many coastal lakes which are very popular for all types of boating activities. The sheltered bays and inlets are popular for fishing, sailing and short pleasure cruises but such activities seldom involve boats which provide overnight accommodation. There are numerous centres along the coast which provide boats for hire and other facilities. The type of boats available are almost exclusively either motor cruisers or house boats with a range of accommodation available from 2 to 10 persons.
As well as the cruising activities, there are many places of historical interest and numerous National Parks close to the waterways. All the major towns near to the waterways provide other tourist activities and plenty of facilities for all types of outdoor sports.
Visit NSW is the official NSW tourism website.
The following notes include lists of the principal boating centres within the state. Further information about a particular area may also be obtained by contacting the local Tourist Information Centre which is normally controlled by the appropriate Shire or Municipal Council.The most popular coastal waterways and their principal centres providing boating facilities are:
Lake Eildon is a large water storage which offers a number of boating holidays. It is situated on the Goulburn River which flows into the Murray. However, this Lake is over 100 km from the Murray, and there is no navigation in between.
The most extensive lakes and river system in Australia is in the Gippsland area in the east of the state. Within Gippsland there are two major areas for boating: the Gippsland Lakes between the towns of Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance, and Mallacoota Inlet at the extreme east.
The state tourism authority is: Tourism Victoria.
Gippsland LakesBairnsdale and Paynesville
These towns lie on the Mitchell River in the centre of the Gippsland Lakes which covers 400 sq kms of sheltered waterways and offers excellent marine facilities. Every type of boating is catered for. The lakes extend into the heart of Paynesville in a network of canals known as Riviera Harbours. A ferry takes passengers to Raymond Island.
There are a number of fishing ports on the coast but, apart from limited boating within the harbours, there are no facilities for inland boating. The remainder of waterways within South Australia are not suitable for any practical boating and no facilities for tourist cruising are available.
A good website for research into South Australian holidays is The Official Site of the South Australian Tourism Commission.
Information can also be obtained from Tourist Information Centres in the principal towns. Top
The Murray/Darling basin involves four Australian states and in the 19th century was of great importance to the transportation system of a large part of the country. In the 1870s and 1880s hundreds of paddle steamers and their associated barges plied the two main rivers and parts of many of the tributaries and were the major form of transport of primary products to the markets and goods and supplies for settlers. Echuca, in Northern Victoria, was the largest inland port in the Southern Hemisphere with wharves stretching continuously for over 1 1/2 km along the river bank.
Although no longer used for commercial transport, the river system is still important to primary production in Australia by providing water for irrigation. The river system however still provides facilities for pleasure boating and supports a flourishing tourist industry. The Murray River is provided with locks and is navigable from the Hume Dam near Albury in south east New South Wales to Lake Alexandrina in South Australia. Paddle steamers providing overnight accommodation, operate from many centres along the river, and houseboats are available for hire. Just south of Lake Alexandrina is the Coorong National Park. The Coorong is a narrow stretch of water separated from the sea by large sandhills. Although an interesting area for fishing and observation of water birds, it is not available for boating cruises.
The principal river towns are very interesting historically and offer a wide range of tourist and sporting facilities. Wine is produced at many locations and numerous vineyards welcome river tourists. The river flows past, or close to, several national parks.
Only short sections of the tributaries are navigable because of weirs, dams and other obstructions.
Towns along the Murray, working towards the mouth
The New South Wales, Victorian and South Australian government tourist authorities all provide more detailed tourist information and all the principal towns support Tourist Information Centres from which more detailed information can be obtained.
In the Kimberley area in the north west of the state, there are numerous inlets and areas sheltered by offshore islands where cruising is possible. This area is however relatively remote from population centres and the only facilities available for tourists are charter crewed vessels operating from centres such as Broome and Wyndham. These charters are however more of an adventure than a cruise for tourists. Information is available from:
In the South West of the state houseboats can be hired for travelling on estuaries and rivers at the following locations where other tourist facilities are also available.
Information on these locations can be obtained from Tourist Bureaus which operate in each principal town. Top
Tasmania has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons - spring, summer, autumn and winter. However because of its geographical position south of the Australian continent, regional differences are marked. The western coastal areas are wet and the climate can be severe. Further east, it has a temperate maritime climate where extreme conditions are rare. The three major areas for boating holidays are D'Entrecasteaux Channel, Macquarie Harbour, and Port Davey to Bathurst Harbour.
D’Entrecasteaux Channel region: D'Entrecasteaux Channel is a continuous 140 kms long waterway, south of the state capital, Hobart. It is studded with islands and bays and is excellent for cruising. Diverse scenery includes rolling farmlands, apple orchards, mountain lakes and rainforest. In addition, a number of cruises are available from Hobart.
Macquarie Harbour and the Gordon River: This harbour is an open waterway 285 square kms in area, which fed by several large rivers including the Gordon and is surrounded by dense rainforest.
Port Davey - Bathurst Harbour: This remote area is in the heart of the South West World Heritage Area. The terrain is rugged, but the waterway is sheltered with many tiny islands.