Sailing in Australia: Sailing Destinations and Bareboating spots


Sailing in Australia is a fantastic way to experience the ocean lifestyle this vast continent is famous for.

Whether your are an Aussie wanting to explore our coastlines or an overseas visitor interested in adding a sailing adventure to your Itinerary, the rugged, pristine locations you can explore on a sailing holiday in Australia will not disappoint.

Below, we’ll share some of the best places to sail in Australia. Including, of course, the world-class Whitsunday Islands.

sailing australia

Is sailing popular in Australia?

With a (mostly) warm climate and diverse, vast coastline, sailing is popular in Australia.

In 2017-18 there were over 80,000 registered sailors and over 16,000 events held across the country.[2]

Where is the best sailing in Australia?

Sailing in Australia is a popular sport and hobby, with many places around the country supporting local yacht clubs and sailing culture.

However, some key locations around this Great Southern land are the best destinations for a sailing holiday. We’ve pulled together this quick list, and below, we’ll go into more detail about sailing vacation locations around Australia.

  • The Whitsunday Islands, QLD
  • Fraser Coast and The Great Sandy Strait, QLD
  • Broadwater, The Gold Coast QLD
  • Morton Bay, Brisbane, QLD
  • Lake Macquarie, QLD
  • Pittwater and the Hawkesbury River, NSW
  • Port Jackson, Sydney Harbour, NSW
  • Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne, VIC
  • Gippsland Lakes, Lakes Entrance, VIC
  • Kangaroo Island, SA
  • Exmouth, Ningaloo Reef, WA
  • Rottnest Island, WA
  • Hobart, TAS
  • D’entrecasteaux Channel, TAS

sailing vacation

Sailing Holiday Destinations around Australia

The locations below are the most popular for a bareboat or skippered sailing holiday.

The Whitsundays, Queensland

The Whitsundays are Australia’s most famous sailing destination. Located off Airlie Beach in Queensland, the Whitsundays is a tropical haven with calm waters, blue skies and 74 stunning islands to explore. Those on a sailing holiday in the Whitsundays can mix things up with a combination of Island resorts, tropical forests, stunning views and famous beaches. No license is required.

Bareboat, skippered, and toured charters are all available in the area. For bareboat holidays contact – Whitsunday Rent a Yacht for bareboat charters

Fraser Island’s West Coast and The Great Sandy Strait, Queensland

The Great Sandy Strait runs from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to Bundaberg and lies between the mainland and Fraser Island. This coastline is a world heritage site and includes the stunning Fraser Island, with its diverse locations from massive sand blows, lush rainforests, clear inland lakes, expansive beaches and abundant wildlife.

For bareboat holidays contact  Sweet Escape Yacht Charters

Morton Island, Queensland

Conveniently located off the coast of Brisbane, Morton Island and the Moreton Bay Marine Park offer several cruising and charter experiences. Dive the spectacular Tangalooma wrecks, climb the pristine white Moreton Island dunes or Whale watching in season; Moreton Bay is an exciting marine playground.

Bareboat or skippered tours operate from Brisbane. Try Morton Bay Sailing

Exmouth – Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

Exmouth is a remote town on the tip of the North West Cape in Western Australia, 1,270 kilometres from Perth. This area is the gateway to the world heritage listed and the completely breathtaking Ningaloo Reef. Many sailing holidays couple diving and snorkelling so visitors can fully enjoy the unique underwater magic of the Ningaloo.

Toured yacht charters are available through Sailing Ningaloo.

Gippsland Lakes, Victoria

The Gippsland Lakes are on the coast, a 4-hour drive from Melbourne. The sailing grounds are close to town, meaning accessing town facilities by boat is simple. The lakes are calm and protected, so cruising this area is a stress-free boating experience.

Bareboat, toured or skippered yacht charters available. Try Riveiera Metung.

Hobart, Tasmania

Hobart, the Derwent River and the Tasmanian coast are amazing places to explore from a boat. Being in the south, you need to be aware of the weather, with summer being the best time to sail.

Toured or skippered yacht charters are available. Try Hobart Yachts.

Sydney Harbour, New South Wales

Enjoy a scenic sail past the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, or anchor in a quiet cove next to one of Sydney’s beautiful sandy beaches. Consider booking a sailing holiday on the Harbour during New Year’s Eve and catching the fireworks on deck.

Bareboat, toured or skippered yacht charters available. Check out East Sail.

No matter where you travel in Australia, there will be options for sailing in your itinerary. If you plan on heading to the tropical Whitsundays, contact us and help you arrange your trip.



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