As we prepare for our departure from Tasmania, we wish to share some of the information we have collected during our 12 month visit to this wonderful cruising area. We leave reluctantly, asking ourselves, “Will we ever find another place as wonderful as Tassie?”
Before departing the Gold Coast for our trip down to Tasmania, we purchased the Admiralty charts which cover the region, and the “Admiralty Sailing Directions, Australia Pilot Volume II NP 14”.
Our cruising guides are: “Cruising Tasmania” by J. Brettingham-Moore, and “D’Entrecasteaux Waterways” by the Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology publishes an excellent general weather book “The Wonders of the Weather” by Bob Crowder, and the invaluable “Wind Waves Weather, Tasmania”, part of their Boating Weather Series. We found the most useful chapter to be “Weather in Tasmania” with sections on Climate overview, Common weather situations, Dangerous weather situations, Typical weather sequences, and Local weather effects. These publications are also available from the Bureau of Meteorology for New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland waters.
The Bureau of Meteorology is proud of their web site http://www.bom.gov.au, as well they should be.
Throughout Australia commercial radio traffic is carried via Telstra Coast Radio Stations, this includes normal voice communication and telephone connection by Radphone (MF/HF) and Seaphone (VHF).
Tasmanian waters are covered by Telstra’s Melbourne Radio (call sign VIM) which maintains a continuous listening watch on MF/HF frequencies 2182,4125,6215,8291 and on 12290 and 16420 between 0700 and 1900 local time. VHF Seaphone stations are located in Tasmania at Devonport (Ch.28), St. Marys (Ch. 26), Hobart (Ch. 07) and Bruny Island (Ch. 27 and Ch. 24). These stations operate continuously.
Hobart Ports Corporation maintains a continuous listening watch on VHF Ch. 16. Contact Port Control for details of entry into Constitution Dock. The operator of the bridge at the Denison Canal at Dunally maintains a watch on VHF Ch. 16 and on 27.880 MHz between 0800 – 1700 local time.
The Derwent River and D’Entrecasteaux Channel areas are well served by TASMAR RADIO. A listening watch is maintained between 0730-1930 local time daily on 27.880 mHz, VHF Ch. 16 and MF/HF 2524 kHz.
A further service is provided by TASCOAST Radio operated by Jeff Boyes. Frequencies monitored are 27.880 mHz, VHF Ch. 16 and 81, and MF/HF 2524 kHz. Jeff’s home telephone number is (03) 6265 2543. A former teacher and principal of The Hutchins School in Hobart, Jeff is very generous with his time in assisting cruisers find their way around the area and access local services. Check in with him by radio as you approach Tasmania and join his twice daily radio schedule roll call.
Weather Broadcasts for Southern Tasmanian Water: (local times are given)
Phone no. (03) 6221 2000
Times: 0733, 1303, 1933
Frequencies: MF/HF 2201,4426,6507,8176
Telstra VHF Seaphone Stations:
Times: 0803 and 1733 (not Bruny Island Ch. 24)
Times: 0745, 1345, 1903
Frequencies: 27.900MHz, VHF Ch. 67, MF/HF 2524
Times: 0805, 1805
Frequencies: VHF Ch. 81
Times: 0835, 1835
Frequencies: MF/HF 2524
Hobart Ports Corporation:
Times: 0535, 1135, 1735, 2235
Frequencies: VHF Ch. 67
Hobart region Yacht Clubs and Marinas:
Tides are irregular. Maximum rise and fall is 1.4m, but the difference between highest high water and lowest low water may be as much as 2.3m through the course of a year.
Marinas and such:
At Sullivan Cove, which is the port of Hobart, there are two inner harbours, historically called Victoria Dock and Constitution Dock.
Victoria Dock is reserved for the fishing fleet. We never saw a cruising yacht go in. Constitution Dock accomodates cruising yachts, and is accessed through an opening bascule bridge, width 28.5 feet. Pass through the bridge at slack tide. Vessels wishing to berth in Constitution Dock should contact Hobart Port Control on VHF Ch. 16 or Ch. 12 for details of entry into Constitution Dock. Vessels without radio should go alongside Elizabeth street Pier and contact Hobart Port Control by telephone (03) 6235 1000, fax (03) 6231 0693, email firstname.lastname@example.org, Internet http://www.hpc.com.au. A direct telephone to the Port Control Tower is available on the King Pier’s toilet block for contacting the duty officer. The bridge is kept closed except when a vessel is about to enter or leave. The “D’Entrecasteaux Waterways” cruising guide says that the bridges will be opened for vessels passing out only at the following times of day: 0830, 0930, 1130, 1330, 1530, 1830, and between midnight and half-past seven in the morning, or at such other times as the Harbour Master may direct. But our experience has been that when you phone Port Control, they will tell you how soon a duty officer will be available to open the bridge. It was never a very long wait, and we were always treated with the utmost courtesy and consideration.
We recommend that a newly arrived visiting yacht stay in Constitution Dock for at least the first few days. If tieing to the concrete wharf, you will need fender boards and strong dock lines protected with fire hose to tie up to the wooden pilings. Otherwise, you can raft up to another boat that is tied to the wharf. “The Dock” affords good protection from wind and swell, and is where we lived aboard ADAGIO from late autumn through early summer. This is where you will find Penny Parker and Jeremy Firth aboard ROSINANTE (January 2002 bulletin, page 35). Five minutes walk to the Federation Concert Hall for symphony concerts, ten minutes walk to Salamanca Market, two minutes walk to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Maritime Museum, five minutes walk to the general post office and the central business district, and minutes away from dozens of excellent cafes and restaurants and fresh fish shops, this is the best location in town. You will be right next to Mawson Place and the Waterside Pavilion which are popular with the locals where they stroll with their families in the evenings, lunch on fish and chips in the noon day sun, hold their wedding receptions and live music concerts. We especially loved meeting the many Hobartians who stopped by Adagio for a chinwag.
None of the yacht clubs or marinas were able to accommodate Adagio, our 52′ long 27′ wide catamaran when we arrived in March, 2001. The local yachts were all in their marina berths. We could have tied up alongside Elizabeth Street Wharf, but we found a better location at Constitution Dock. We entered through the bridge in mid-March and stayed until November. We think this is the best location in the Hobart region.
A toilet block with hot showers (but no heated air), clothes washers and clothes dryers is located on the wharf near King’s Pier.
City water and electricity are included in the monthly fee. We paid one Australian dollar per foot per week. Space availability is on a first-come first-served basis. You cannot reserve a space alongside the wharf in Constitution Dock, and if you should go out for a daysail, you might have to find a different space, perhaps rafted up alongside another boat when you return. All boats are required to leave Constitution Dock at the end of December for a few weeks to make room for the Sydney-to-Hobart racing yachts.
Kings Pier Marina and Elizabeth Street Marina are located at the head of Sullivan’s Cove, inside the breakwater, but rarely have vacant berths. Hobart Port Control will allow you to berth alongside Elizabeth Street Pier, near the restaurants. This is a wonderful location in the center of Hobart, but not as protected from wind and swell as inside Constitution Dock. Telephone Hobart Port Control (03) 6235 1000 to make arrangements.
The small Pier Marina at the water end of Murray Street is managed by Lewis Boat Sales (03) 6224 8288.
There are very few floating docks in Tasmania. The only one we know of for visiting yachts is at the Motor Yacht Club of Tasmania in Lindisfarne. Some marinas provide pile moorings with bow or stern to the wharf.
Visiting yachts are welcome at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania (03) 6223 4599. On arrival you should berth on the southern inner arm of the marina adjacent to the fuel berth and then contact the bosun or the Club Secretary to arrange a visitor’s berth. A 30 minute walk, uphill, to the Hobart city center, is located in a beautiful residential area south of CBD.
Another alternative is for yachts to anchor out from the Yacht Club, beyond the line of moorings, where it is quite comfortable except in strong E-SE conditions (your typical summer sea breeze).
Derwent Sailing Squadron (03) 6223 6626 is located next to the RYCT and occasionally has marina berths available for visiting yachts.
Motor Yacht Club of Tasmania (03) 6243 9021 is on the east side of the Derwent River in Lindesfarne Bay just north of the Tasman bridge. We stayed here in the new marina extension behind the breakwater, for several months in 2002, finding the floating docks very convenient, as well as the ease of coming and going without having to wait for a bridge opening. There is good public bus access into Hobart, and plenty of shops and services within easy walking distance of the MYCT. Robert Young, the bosun, can be reached at 0419 572 316.
Bellerive Yacht Club (03) 6244 1353 is in Kangaroo Bay just south of the Tasman Bridge.
Prince of Wales Marina (03) 6272 6699 is on the west side of the Derwent River north of Hobart.
Deepwater Marina (home) (03) 6228 7221, (offiice) (03) 6278 2878 in Newtown Bay north of Hobart, is said to be family-run, laid back.
Oyster Cove Marina (03) 6267 4418, fax (03) 6267 4349 in Kettering 30 minutes by car south of Hobart.
Margate Marina Park (03) 6267 9600 is 15 minutes south of Hobart.
We bought a used car in Hobart and arranged for permit parking at a cost of $AUS 99.00 per month.
Contact Hobart Ports for permit auto parking. Hobart Ports Corporation Pty Ltd, 1 Franklin Wharf, GPO Box 202, Hobart, Tasmania, 7001. Telephone (03) 6235 1000, fax (03) 6231 0693, email: email@example.com.
Goods and Services:
We found that the marine trades are numerous and competent in Hobart, probably due to the local fishing fleet and that Hobart is the home port for the ships of the Australian Antarctic Division.
“You can get anything you want” at the Saturday Salamanca Market. Practically a festival of arts & crafts, live music, fruits, veges, fresh-cooked foods, baked goods, used books, clothing, Aussie hats, jewelery, toys, and much more. You’ll love it. Take your camera.
Salamanca Fruit and Veg Market is a small grocery store with an amazing assortment of fresh and packaged food. The WurstHaus nearby at 1 Montpelier Retreat (03) 6224 0644 is an excellent delicatessan and gourmet food shop. There are numerous bakeries in the Salamanca area and the central business district. There is a small grocery store in the CBD and large Coles and Woolworths groceries in New Town and Sandy Bay.
The General Post Office on the corner of Elizabeth and MacQuarie Streets also houses the public bus schedule office.
There is a Visitor Information Center at the corner of Elizabeth and Davey Streets, one block from Constitution Dock. They book travel and provide information for all of Tasmania, as well as an extensive calendar of events.
ATM machines are located at the Brooke Street Pier on the waterfront, Salamanca Place, at the Westpac Bank across Elizabeth St. from the post office, and at the Antarctic Experience at Salamanca Square.
Go to J. Walch & Sons, 130 Macquarie Street, for navigation charts and books. They correct their charts to the notices to mariners.
Service Tasmania at 134 Macquarie Street sells topological maps for Tasmania as well as maps of the parks and cycling guides. The Map Centre at 96 Elizabeth Street also sells a wide selection of topo maps, Lonely Planet Guides and travel books.
Hobart Book Shop at Salamanca Place has a large collection of books about Tasmania, but also check into Angus & Robertson at 36 Elizabeth St and Fullers Book Shop at 140 Collins St.
There are two boat chandleries within walking distance of Constitution Dock: C. H. Smith Marine at Franklin Wharf and Peter Johnston Ship Chandlers at 21 Morris Street. We also liked Bay Chandlery on Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay. See the phone book for numerous other chandleries, canvas workers, riggers and sailmakers.
Fuel can be ordered and delivered to your boat by tanker truck while you are in Constitution Dock, from Metco. Phone Colin Gregory at 03 6278 1044 in Hobart. The Royal Tasmanian Yacht Club has a fuel dock, as does the Motor Yacht Club of Tasmania.
The D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Huon River offer some of the most beautiful cruising in protected waters in the world. Bruny Island is a gem with safe anchorages. Our daughter and her family visited us for Christmas and our grandchildren enjoyed the beaches and parks, with Santa locating ADAGIO in spite of our remote location.
In January, 2002 we cruised up and down the East Coast of Tassie, visiting Wineglass Bay, Coles Bay, Maria Island and Fortescue Bay. We visited four National Parks during this one outing. We waited until calm weather to round the spectacular Tasman Peninsula and Tasman Island, avoiding the Denison Canal. The Triabunna scallops at Freycinet Lodge in Coles Bay are not to be missed. The 300 ft high dolorite cliffs are spectacular, and make you happy to have GPS and good weather. Excellent hiking ashore.
In February, 2002 we cruised down the D’Entrecasteaux Channel to Recherche Bay then around the SE tip of Tasmania and up to Port Davey and Bathurst Channel and Harbour. We cannot begin to describe the beauty of this World Heritage Area and National Park. The tannin-stained water make for spectacular reflections in the still waters.
It is certainly worth the crossing of Bass Strait, and if you go to the trouble to get here, then it’s worth staying a year to enjoy all of the excellent cruising and festivities. We have forgotten to mention the Taste of Tasmania, The Hobart Summer Festival, the Cygnet Folk Festival, 10 Days on the Island Festival, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, wineries galore, Targa Tasmania, The Three Peaks Race, the numerous flower shows, open gardens, Hastings Cave, Strahan, Launceston, Mt. Field National Park, Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula and more. You will love it here.