Shared boat ownership lets you access some of the most remarkable seas and oceans our lovely blue planet has to offer, rich in mystery and always beautiful. This time around we thought we’d take a good look at one of the most popular boat syndicate destinations, the coastal waters around one of the world’s biggest island nations, Australia.
Share a boat and discover the extraordinary Australian coast
Australia is an island continent where almost every state is surrounded by ocean. Look south and there’s the Southern Ocean. To your west there’s the Indian Ocean, and to your east lies the mighty Pacific. The coast of Australia is also bordered by various seas. The Arafura sea lies between northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Timor. The Coral sea sits between the north east coast of Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. And the Tasman sea lies off the south east coast of Australia, the remote stretch of water that separates it from New Zealand.
Salinity levels around Australia
Oddly, the seas along the country’s northerly coast are less salty than the rest thanks to enormous amounts of fresh water being dumped there by the region’s relatively high rainfall levels. Head south of the tropics and the ocean’s salinity steadily gets higher because of the high levels of evaporation and comparatively low rainfall. In the coastal seas, which hug the land, the salinity of the seawater is higher than in the oceans, and the Southern Ocean is less salty than average because of lower levels of evaporation and the steady streams of fresh water from melting sea ice.
Currents around the landmass of Australia
Australia’s seas and oceans feature four major currents. The Indonesian Throughflow is a system of several currents taking water westwards from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean via the complex Indonesian Archipelago. It’s the only location on the planet where warmer equatorial waters flow from one ocean to another, and it has a profound effect on the Leeuwin Current.
The Leeuwin Current kicks off half way along the Western coast of the land mass, flowing down the coast and around the bottom of Western Australia before making its way east over the Great Australian Bight, as far as Tasmania’s west coast, where it becomes the Zeehan Current. The East Australian Current flows south from Fraser Island in Queensland to the east coast of Tasmania, more powerful during the summer months when it flows even farther south. It’s actually a Western Boundary current that sheds violent eddies off the coasts of Queensland and New South Wales. Last but not least the Antarctic Circumpolar Current flows east, a massive 21,000 km in length and the planet’s longest ocean current. It drives a remarkable 130 million cubic metres of water every second, an impressive one hundred times more than the world’s rivers.
Islands around Australia
Australia’s Whitsunday Islands are just some of the magical islands to explore in the seas around the continent. They’re admired by many as the most paradisal yachting destination of all with their clear crystal blue waters, pristine pine forested islands, coral reefs and pure white sandy beaches. But there’s more. You might find yourself sailing around Kangaroo Island off South Australia, Rottnest just off the coast opposite Perth, Bruny Island and King Island, both off Tasmania, Tasmania itself, Wilson Island and Fraser Island, both off Queensland, Cockatoo Island off the New South Wales coast, and Lord Howe Island, again off the coast of New South Wales.
What sea and ocean life might you spot on your voyage?
Sharks are common off Australia, and they are mostly harmless. Considering there are so many sharks there, deaths from shark attacks are extremely rare in the region, usually one or two a year, fewer than the US’ coastal waters. The entire nation is surrounded by a shallow continental shelf, basically an extension of the landmass, and the water is a lot shallower here than farther out, around 200m deep rather than thousands of metres out in the open ocean.
A recent scientific expedition uncovered a wide variety of astonishing sea life deep down, everything from fish without faces to giant spiders and sea pigs, all found on the first ever deep sea exploration of the unexplored eastern coast. On its month-long voyage the ship tracked the eastern fringe of the continental plate, a strange place where the shallow water suddenly drops to four kilometres deep, a huge abyss. More than a third of the invertebrates discovered on the expedition and many of the fish were completely new to science.
Australia also has more than 200 sea bird species to spot, all protected under the nation’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Share a boat to discover all this and more
If all that sounds far too exciting to miss, why not see what boat shares for sale are available on our website? It’s a brilliant way to enjoy the sheer joy of the open seas and oceans without breaking the bank.