South Australia: The forgotten boating destination?

Mike McKiernan
Posted October 19 2015

During the winter months in Australia, every boat owner’s thoughts wander to North Queensland and the lure of a tropical climate.

It is not surprising that the appeal of South Australia’s waters tends to be forgotten.

Industry facilities in the area are now considered to be as high as anywhere else in the country, meaning that the unique 5000km stretch of coastline is now more accessible than ever. The Spencer and St Vincent gulfs play host to a variety of boating lifestyles, from fishing to cruising and inshore watersports.

We asked Aaron Batts, Marina Manager at Marina St. Vincent, about what it will take to encourage and grow visitation to the region.

How many visitors from other states do you see each year at your marina, and where are they coming from?

About 95% of our business is intrastate (internal South Australia). Victoria would be the strongest market interstate followed by New South Wales. We occasionally have internationals from New Zealand passing around Australia that may stop in for a short visit.

Do you think these figures can change in coming years? If so, how?

There is great room for expansion, so yes, we anticipate growth. Cross marketing, online strategies and a general push by the Australian boating industry in recent times will drive more visitors to the area. South Australia has many beautiful destinations and marinas with matching infrastructure to accommodate interstate travellers, from Hindmarsh Island to Kangaroo Island, Port Vincent to Port Lincoln, and up to Whyalla (and of course Marina St Vincent). Every marina offers a base to explore our beautiful state.

What are some common misconceptions about boating in South Australia?

It’s not so much misconceptions, but breaking the barrier! We have all the facilities to accommodate a great stay, mixed with our very generous hospitality. There are plenty of supporting marinas on the way from the east coast – I recently spoke to a regular client that just motored back from the Gold Coast who reported that they all very accommodating.

Do you have a few helpful quick tips or suggestions for first time visitors to South Australia?

Take your time to explore. South Australia is a terrific state and offers a low cost lifestyle with a Mediterranean climate. We are a tourism destination providing a range of water based, wildlife and eco-tourism activities – and let’s not forget the best wine regions in the country!

Ensure you experience as many regions as possible because the diversification of South Australia is really quite unique.

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