Bundaberg Port Entrance
Reviewed Aug 2016
As you sail through the area between Lady Musgrave Island and Lady Elliott Island, you can truly say you have arrived in Australia. These islands mark the southern extremity of the Great Barrier Reef. A day's sail across Hervey Bay will bring you to the mouth of the Burnett River. From the sea the land is flat. There are some mountains visible but they are inland from Bundaberg. There is one hill in Bundaberg The Hummock, located to the south of the river entrance. It is clearly visible from well out to sea on a clear day. During the months of July to November it is often possible to see cane fires as this is the cane harvesting season. On arrival in Hervey Bay call Volunteer Marine Rescue, Bundaberg (VMR 81) to advise of your impending arrival. VMR Bundaberg operates between 0600 and 1800 daily.
The channel into the Burnett River is well lit and well marked, and extends approximately 3 miles out to sea. It can be entered in all weather, at all times of the night and day. In fact it is one of the few harbours that can be entered safely at any time. It probably helps to arrive with an ingoing tide but should that not be the case, it is easily entered against the tide. There is no bar. The entrance to the river is marked with the South Head lighthouse on the south shore of the river. The coastline to the south of the lighthouse is distinguished with Norfolk pines. The Burnett Heads water tower is also clearly visible. The area immediately to the north of the mouth of the river is very shallow with breakers in bad weather.
On entering the river, arriving yachts should motor or sail up stream. The Port Bundaberg Marina is located approximately one mile past the lighthouse on the port side. The Quarantine anchorage is immediately downstream of the Bundaberg Port Marina. The Quarantine dock (Red 16) is located on the end of the red finger of the marina but yachts should not tie up there unless advised by Australian Quarantine.
On arrival in the Burnett River, call Volunteer Marine Rescue, Bundaberg on Channel 81 VHF and advise. They will advise Australian Quarantine of your arrival and give you further directions. If your arrival is after hours, proceed to the anchorage area and advise them of your arrival when the station opens.
Channel is well lit and well marked
All weather entrance, no bar