Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour
Reviewed Dec 2016
With our yacht based in Geelong we have visited this location twice, initially in 2007 and again in 2010, both on slow circumnavigations of Tasmania. This is the best cruising destination that we have experienced between Tasmania and Thailand. We spent a month each trip exploring and enjoying this serene waterway, exploring each of the rivers by dinghy, climbing Mt Rugby and the adjacent hills, hiking, swimming and relaxing. There are numerous anchorages that suit all weather conditions, holding is good, and there are lots of shore based activities, including observing the orange bellied parrot in one of its remaining habitats. Bathurst Harbour is isolated but there is a steady procession of visitors by boat around South-west Cape from the D'Entrecasteaux, or from Macquarie Harbour, 20 hours sailing to the north, so lots of new friends to make. We had a newspaper delivered weekly by one of the ex-fishing boats that regularly visited with tourists. Weather forecast are available on HF from Coast Radio Hobart, who will also take position reports, updates and messages (if required) from you. If you are provisioned up you can stay for as long as the food lasts, needing to wait for a weather window before heading back to Hobart, or northwards to Macquarie Harbour where you are rewarded with the charms of Strachan, and the etheral Gordon and Franklin rivers.
This is a magical location, isolated and remote.
Reviewed Dec 2017
We sailed with a very experienced group with local knowledge from the RYCT last year. It's a magical place. I took Katrina III all the way up to Melaluca. We visited Denni Kings old camp and Clyde Clatons hut. I climbed Mt Misery and we explored numerous little coves and bays.
The weather to and from Hobart was great but we did have a few wild days while we were in Port Davey. There is a very good anchorage at Calista Cove. If you anchor Med style, back up and tie to trees, you can fit up to a dozen boats here rafted together and watch the baby wombats feed on the mossy banks. We were sipping wine and reading on deck while the wind meter recorded 50 knots at mast height.
Be careful entering this anchorage - there are rocks on the port side of the channel there on the chart. We saw another yacht (not in our group) hit them. Some of the group caught crays almost every day. You can fill up your water tanks from a waterfall. The hiking and climbing is great and everyone becomes a photographer. There's just so much to see and do. Did I mention the sunsets over the Breaksea Islands?
Truly a magical place unlike anywhere else in Australia, more like Patagonia. If you can't go with a group, get some advice from locals like Jeremy Firth. He can be contacted through the RYCT .
Its real wilderness
Lots of wildlife
It can blow for weeks
Can get very cold & wet
Reviewed Mar 2015
To many Port Davey is 'the' cruising destination in Tasmania. Pretty, remote, on the edge of the Roaring Forties. This is one trip that planning is an absolute necessity. Some boats have been known to be trapped there for weeks unable to get back.
The best time to cruise to Port Davey is perhaps from mid-February to May. You should always seek knowledge from people who have been there if possible. There is good information in some of the guides but nothing beats sitting down with someone who has a good knowledge of the area.
The jewel in the crown of cruising Tasmania
Reviewed Dec 2017
Port Davey is considered the jewel in the crown of cruising Tasmania. Its remote location is considered really difficult to get to. Aussies in general consider Tasmania a wild and dangerous place for a boat, while Tasmanians themselves consider the trip to Port Davey a wild and dangerous place for a boat. Thus, making the trip to Port Davey is considered, danger-wise, like doing a great white shark dive without a cage.
The reality: this can be a nasty piece of ocean, but if you make the trip in the dead of summer and wait for a good weather window, even the Little Girls on Legacy can manage it. We motored to Port Davey in calm seas, little to no wind, on a warm sunny day...
Coast Radio Hobart is now known as Tasmaritime . Weather reports and position reports are
also available on VHF