All you need to know about cruising Tasmania’s east coast


Destination: Tasmania’s east coast

Details of over 20 cruising destinations along one of Australia’s favourite coastlines.

Everyone has to see Tasmania at some stage and Jack and Jude Binder give full details on where to go and what to see in this state of delights.

Tasmania’s east coast is the jewel in a crown filled with glorious wonders that make the island renowned as the natural state.

Here we find some of the world’s most dramatic dolerite cliffs close to Australia’s second oldest city first settled in 1803. A quaint delightful city beneath the protection of ‘The Mountain’ (Wellington) with its fluted organ pipes standing proud and tall before some of Australia’s best waterways that spread from it like the blue folds of royalty.

Tasmania’s east coast has everything. There are lonely bays backed by green forests while around an abrupt point lay the heinous remains of a convict settlement dating back to our earliest history. The fishing is some of the best, the walks are the best and, if you can handle the changeable weather and sometimes immense seas, then an experience of a lifetime awaits you on Tasmania’s east coast.

Non-stop action starts a few days after Boxing Day when the 68th Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet rounds Tasman Island and races those last miles into Constitution Dock. A few short weeks later, one of the world’s greatest spectacles, the unique Wooden Boat Show will occupy the waterfront, followed shortly in mid-February by the start of the Van Diemens Land circumnavigation, a challenging 800 nautical mile cruise-in-company around Tasmania with experienced, friendly people.

In these cruise notes, all GPS positions are approximate.


Derwent River
Let’s begin our tour in Tasmania’s capital city where every facility will be found in one of the prettiest cities in Australia.

Well sheltered marinas are available for visitors. We prefer living right downtown in Constitution Dock where a short walk takes us to so many places of interest like the museum, art gallery and maritime display. Comprehensive shopping is close by, provisioning at the downtown Woolies or Salamanca Market, or visit numerous restaurants, bookstores and variety shops as well as several pubs within minutes from your vessel.

For more peaceful surroundings, the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania offers visitor berths with a 20 minute walk to town.

Free anchorage can be found either off Battery Point, which is close to Salamanca, or off Sandy Point at Nutgrove Beach near the Wrest Point Casino, a longer walk to the city. Other anchorages can be found upstream of the Tasman Bridge, but we have not explored this part of the Derwent.

Upon arrival, either contact Port Control on Ch 16 or Ch 88, or telephone Tas Ports directly on 0362310693 to see if space is available.

If proceeding to Constitution Dock at Elizabeth Pier you will be instructed to enter Kings Pier and tie alongside the wharf on the right side of the lifting bridge where a Tas Ports official will have you complete the necessary paperwork.

You will need to show public liability insurance, credit card payment is preferred.

When ready, the lifting bridge will be raised for you to proceed into the basin. Be aware of your mast clearing this bridge, the masts of wide trimarans are particularly vulnerable to striking it.

We prefer mooring on the left side after the bridge, it’s the quietest as no road passes, but it is often full. Second best, directly right after the bridge, closest to the showers, quiet traffic.

But if you want the full blast of Hobart, proceed straight across to the main street. In our two visits, each for a month, we have not experienced any security issues. Great hot showers and laundry facilities.

Elizabeth Pier is quieter without street frontage and has cafes with outdoor seating adjacent to the berth.

Sandy Point at Nutgrove Beach (42°54.48’S ~ 147°21’E). Anchor just outside moored vessels in 11m sand. Good in all winds except easterlies and strong northerlies. Some slop in heavy weather.

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