West Coast Regions
Western Australia has a huge coastline – 13,000km on the mainland and another 8000km on offshore islands – much of it remote and accessible only by boat, that is why we are working on ensuring there is facilities for cruising members around the coast of WA.
PERTH METRO AREA
The majority of boat owners in WA live in the Perth metropolitan area, with Rottnest Island off Fremantle being a major attraction no matter what time of year. It’s secluded bays of pristine waters and coral reefs offer great family destinations for extended stays, or day trips for owners of smaller boats as the journey takes about 40 minutes at around 12Knots.
The Swan and Canning rivers are protected waters and good to cruise on any time of year
70km south of Perth, offers WA’s largest inland waterway with the Peel-Harvey Estuary, fed by the Murray and Serpentine Rivers from the nearby Darling Range. It is possible to enter the estuary at Mandurah and exit at DAWSEVILLE CUT. Tis 100sqkm inland waterway is a massive habitat and nursery for marine life. Its very popular among locals and Perth boaters and well suited to houseboats.
In the state’s southwest, BUNBURY and BUSSELTON offer good boating conditions and cruising holiday destinations serviced by harbours and marinas. Geographe Bay off Busselton is a popular summer attraction.
A new boat harbour is now under construction at AUGUSTA, at Cape Leeuwin, and will provide safe anchorage for vessels rounding the Cape heading to Albany and Esperance.
THE SOUTH COAST
ALBANY’s King George Sound and Princess Royal Harbour, from where the ANZAC fleet sailed for the Middle East in World War 1, offer natural harbours and many boating opportunities. A new marina at Albany was opened late 2011 and provides excellent facilities.
ESPERANCE is also blessed with what is claimed to be Australia’s whitest beaches and is a very popular holiday destination and stopping-off point for thousands of people traveling around the country.
The surrounding Recherche Archipelago is made up of some 105 islands, with holiday accommodation on nearby Woody Island. Esperance has a large local boating population, plus pulls-in boaters from Perth, Bunbury and Albany for its annual fishing classic every March. The 700km journey by road from Perth is well worth the effort. The town has boat ramps, plus there is a boat harbour at Bandy Creek a five-minute drive from the Post Office. There’s talk of a new marina also going in at Esperance. There are many beautiful white beaches and protected bays in the region with many visitors stopping at government provided camping grounds at Lucky Bay and Hellfire Bay.
The Abrolhos Islands, 60km off the coast of Geraldton in the mid-west and graveyard to many sailing ships, is an archipelago of 122 islands, many untouched in a harsh, but strikingly beautiful environment.
The islands are an A Class Reserve, although visitors by boat are welcome. There is tourist moorings, but you must take your own food and water provisions, but the trip is well worth it – and the fishing is fantastic.
Dept. of Fisheries publication:
SHARK BAY AND FURTHER NORTH
Further north Shark Bay, Coral Bay and Exmouth make beautiful boating destinations with excellent marine facilities for both large and small craft.