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 halfway along the Western coast of the landmass, 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.
Not so long ago a 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 were 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.
Stunning places to visit on Australia’s vast coastline
The World Factbook says Australia has the world’s sixth-longest coastline, an awe-inspiring 16,020 miles of heavenly waters to explore. Other sources provide different measurements. Suffice to say it’s huge, including the coasts of mainland Australia and Tasmania plus coastal sections of every Australian state and territory, including Jervis Bay Territory. You could easily spend years exploring the waters alone, but what can you discover on land? As it turns out, coastal Australia has a lot to offer to visitors whatever your tastes and preferences.
The Coral Coast is quite something, home to some of the nation’s best-loved attractions. There’s the Pinnacles, a series of strangely beautiful limestone formations at Nambung National Park, near the town of Cervantes in Western Australia. There’s the magical Kalbarri National Park and Shark Bay World Heritage Area, and Monkey Mia with its famously sociable dolphins, which you can meet and interact with. Then there’s the Ningaloo Reef. If you want to experience them all, this is your change for a mighty road trip, leaving the boat safely moored and heading for the astonishing Coral Coast Highway.
You’ll find the Central Coast just an hour north of Sydney, famed for a lovely harbour, great beaches, attractive villages, very smart boutique hotels and truly stunning coastal terrain. There’s also excellent shopping and a choice of world-class national parks. Popular beach towns on the Central Coast include , Avoca, Terrigal and The Entrance, and there are world class luxury lodges at Pretty Beach House. Seaplane flights and dazzling seasonal cuisine, an unspoiled coastline and beautiful walks await you, including the Bouddi coastal walk. And this is your destination for food by the Australian celebrity chef and author Stefano Manfredi, one of Australia’s best with a ‘three chef’s hats’ award.
Australia’s Gold Coast is another spectacular destination, a subtropical delight with sunshine on more than 300 days a year. It stretches along the south east Queensland, from Coolangatta to Southport, and it’s a real tourist hub. Glamour is the name of the game here, nicknamed Surfers Paradise and very like Miami Beach. Designer shopping and top class entertainment venues are the name of the game here, along with stunning sandy beaches, wildlife parks, theme parks and World Heritage-listed rainforest.
Australia’s top 10 beaches
This place is famous for exceptional beaches. The top ten beaches in Australia are all worth visiting for their sheer, spectacular beauty and many come with either fantastic wildlife credentials or oodles of opportunity for watersports and entertainment. Busy or quiet, remote or city-based, here they are:
- Bondi Beach in New South Wales – surfing, beautiful people, endless partying
- Lizard Island, North Queensland – relaxing, exclusive, brilliant diving
- Byron Bay, New South Wales – Iconic lighthouse, pumping ocean breaks, less crowded
- Mandalay Beach, Western Australia – rocky headlands, untamed wilderness, Chatham Island
- Wineglass Bay, Tasmania – Pink granite peaks, turquoise water, fantastic outdoor pursuits
- 75 Mile Beach, Queensland – vivid sand, freshwater lakes, Champagne Pools natural spa baths
- Noosa main Beach, Queensland – Great for families, known for dolphins, fab food and posh shops
- Burleigh Heads, Queensland – Outstanding surf, perfect for families, trendy dining
- Cable Beach, Western Australia – Too beautiful for words, dreamlike sunsets, not too crowded
- Whitehaven Beach, Queensland – Voted Australia’s ‘most beautiful’, fine sand, coves and inlets
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.