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Old 24-01-2016, 09:13   #1
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Oz to Where?

After spending the last 5 years in SE Asia and arriving in Darwin, Australia end of April we are wondering on what direction to go next. Although we are not in a hurry to depart our visa's will run out after 1 year and if we decide to stay longer there will be a cost of approximately $320.00 each to renew for a total of $640.00. So currently on the east coast at Bundaberg some of our options are;

-continue south maybe as far as Tasmania before jumping over to New Zealand in April/May where we would leave the boat for a return home to Canada for the Northern summer.

-jump off from Brisbane via Lord Howe Island to New Zealand which would allow us some cruising there before the end of season this year. Again leave the boat there for the Southern winter while we go home for a few months and return for another season in New Zealand.

-stay in Australia working south for the rest of the Southern Summer planning to sail back North for the winter season and then head to New Zealand late this year in December. This would give us a full season in New Zealand next year with the opportunity to haul out here in Australia for minor maintenance before we depart.

-jump over to New Caledonia at the end of April for the Southern winter and then head to New Zealand at the end of the year (Dec)for the summer.

After coming this far we certainly do not want to miss New Zealand and as this is the only real possibility to jump off eastward to the Society Islands or Tonga we would have to make this trip anyway or forego the South Pacific entirely. 1 season in the Pacific and then back West and North through the Solomon Islands and the Phillipines and by then we would be looking at a refit where the boat was built in Taiwan. From there maybe Japan and then West Coast Canada or Alaska if we are really adventurous.

To be honest one of the issues with staying in Australia is the harsh environment as we are now in the process of stripping the brightwork. Spending 3 months in the NT might have had something to do with this but after the 2nd time in 2 years we do not want to do it again any time soon. Lasted 5 years in SE Asia with only minor touch ups before we stripped it all prior to leaving Malaysia last January. The plan would be to replace all the topside brightwork as well as the rub rails during the next refit and other than Thailand, Taiwan seems like the only other logical place that the teak would be readily available along with a reasonable labour costs and the knowledge to complete the work. The cost in Australia would certainly make a refit here unrealistic but maybe New Zealand????

Hope to get some input especially from those from the south of Australia and New Zealand or anyone that has sailed these routes.
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Old 24-01-2016, 22:40   #2
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Re: Oz to Where?

Decided to get hauled out here in Bundaberg next week to do the cutlass bearing and pillow block shaft bearing so will be 2 weeks getting back underway again. Didn't want to have any problems if we decided to make the jump over to New Zealand this year.

Hoping to hear from someone who has made the trip from NZ to Society Islands or Tonga.
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Old 24-01-2016, 23:00   #3
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Re: Oz to Where?

Undercutter, we have made the trip from NZ Tonga, and from Brisbane to the BOI in NZ (and a lot of others, too!) What is it you are looking for?

We are in Tassie now... love it here in the summer (~late Dec to April) - too cold for us other times!

A bit more specificity in your questions would make answering more attractive.

BtW, we have not found Oz (in the lower tropical and temperate zones) to be any harder on brightwork than other places we have been.

Have fun on the hard... we're going up next week!

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Old 25-01-2016, 00:16   #4
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Re: Oz to Where?

Specifically, when is the best time to make the trip to NZ and where is the best place to jump off from? Is it any easier of more difficult to cross from Tas than it is from Brisbane or Sydney? I realize that the answers may depend on the time of the year and obviously we wouldn't want to be way south in June to September as even us Canadians have more common sense than that.

We are trying to figure out a plan for the next year with a possible trip back to Canada for 2-3 months over the Southern winter. We definitely want to do NZ and have some thoughts about the South Pacific as well. In reality after spending so much time in SE Asia and although we loved it there (diving was fantastic in Thailand and especially Indonesia) we were not sure on what direction to head next after NZ and whether to stay in NZ for 1 season or 2. This brings the question of how long the realistic sailing season is in NZ if we planned on leaving the boat there while we went home for awhile.

I figure we will be due for a major refit sometime in the next 2-5 years as we have some minor rot on the inner gun'l rails and the rub rails are showing there age as well. We want to upgrade the fridges, the large lights in the transom need to be pulled and reworked as well as a minor leak in the starboard hatch in the main cabin. Non of this is affecting the seaworthiness of the boat however you know how it goes. The Mrs also wants to do some interior painting, etc and the boat is now 17 years old and it would be nice to redo the cabin soles, etc. As the only 2 places where it seems realistic to do this work are Taiwan or Thailand we were trying to come up with a plan that would fit this in. We already did the west coast of Thailand all the way up to Ranong so we thought Taiwan as this was where the boat was built in 99 and the yard there is still in business. Also an area of the world that would be interesting to get to. On the other hand the wife as always talking about Greece, Spain, etc, so if we did decide to tackle the passage through the red sea and the Suez canal then Thailand might be the better fit.

We both retired early and have just turned 52 and 50 respectively so we should have some time to kick around for a bit. The wifes health is much improved after a proper diagnosis in Switzerland so hopefully we will be good on that front for awhile.

Anyway some long term planning going on and in reality we were looking for some input especially about making that eastward plunge toward Tonga or the Society islands as this is supposed to be a difficult passage. Searched this forum extensively and of course Jimmy Cornell's book has some information but hearing from some of those who actually did this trip would be helpful in making some decisions.

Thought you guys were in New Cal but obviously I wasn't paying enough attention. Hope the weather down there in Tassie is suiting you fine. Any info you can provide would be welcome.
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Old 25-01-2016, 00:59   #5
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Re: Oz to Where?

Ok, here goes:

We did the Brisbane to BOI in January IIRC. Not a particularly great passage, with noserly winds the whole way to North Cape. IMO, and this isn't backed by personal experience, only vicarious, the best way to get from Oz to Nz is leaving Tasmania in mid summer, say February, and sailing to Nelson, or possibly easing north to get to the BOI and Auckland.

We did the NZ to Tonga with a stop at Raoul Island. Wasn't a bad trip, except that on 15 May cyclone Lisa caught up with us, leading to an "adventure". Raoul was definitely worth a stop, and out of season cyclones are hard to predict! NZ to Fiji the next year was the usual Tasman crossing: some crappy weather a few days out of Opua, then a reasonable passage the rest of the way. It is pretty hard to get across the Tasman without at least one frontal passage. We tried to get up to 26-28 degrees before it caught up with us... generally, the farther north, the less sting in the fronts.

IMO, asking about individual experience like this is a poor planning tool, for the statistics are very poor. Pilot charts or compendiums like Cornell's are perhaps a better method, for they do some multi-year, multi-voyage averaging. Of course, they are not guaranteed either, but likely offer better advice than from us, who have only a couple of trips to base on. As to NZ eastward, try Sapient Sue here on CF... they have done that bit fairly recently and might be able to answer questions.

Oh... we got back from New Cal in late November, and arrived in Tasmania on New Y ear's day. Wx has been pretty good so far, save having scheduled slipping for this week only to have rain f/c for each day... so we aborted and delayed a week. Of course, it has now changed, and only showers f/c. Grrr.

All the best with your decisions, and hope that all goes well in Bundy.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 26-01-2016, 09:06   #6
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Re: Oz to Where?

NZ is losing talent to Australia due to higher wages in AUS, so I'm guessing a refit in NZ would be less expensive. I question if they'll have the wood you want though.

I'd say skip Tonga ("there's nothing to do in Tongatapu") and go to Cook Islands instead.
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Old 26-01-2016, 09:56   #7
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Re: Oz to Where?

Go visit the new Royal Nomuka Yacht Club in Tonga.

Id go south from Brisbane across to NZ then up through the islands avoiding Australia. On the side youre on. Although Bundaburg is nice.. There isnt much down the East coast of Oz except just mileage to do to Sydney harbour. If anything id try and sail around the top North West from Broome to Darwin. It is lovely up there and untouched. Darwin is awesome right round to Gove and then over the top of QLD and down but you have already come that way?

My favourite yacht club in all of the oceans is the Dinah Beach yacht club in Darwin... Love it there!
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Old 26-01-2016, 13:35   #8
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Re: Oz to Where?

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Originally Posted by undercutter View Post
After spending the last 5 years in SE Asia and arriving in Darwin, Australia end of April we are wondering on what direction to go next. Although we are not in a hurry to depart our visa's will run out after 1 year and if we decide to stay longer there will be a cost of approximately $320.00 each to renew for a total of $640.00. So currently on the east coast at Bundaberg some of our options are;

-continue south maybe as far as Tasmania before jumping over to New Zealand in April/May where we would leave the boat for a return home to Canada for the Northern summer. A number of friends have made the Hobart to Nelson run. It will be cold, there will be at least one frontal passage.

-jump off from Brisbane via Lord Howe Island to New Zealand which would allow us some cruising there before the end of season this year. Again leave the boat there for the Southern winter while we go home for a few months and return for another season in New Zealand.

-stay in Australia working south for the rest of the Southern Summer planning to sail back North for the winter season and then head to New Zealand late this year in December. This would give us a full season in New Zealand next year with the opportunity to haul out here in Australia for minor maintenance before we depart. New Zealand is beautiful in a different way than Australia, and it is well worth a look-see. Our friends who went from NZ, went from Gisborne to the Societies, and some others, from Bluff to the Australs. No personal experience of these routes.

-jump over to New Caledonia at the end of April for the Southern winter and then head to New Zealand at the end of the year (Dec)for the summer.

After coming this far we certainly do not want to miss New Zealand and as this is the only real possibility to jump off eastward to the Society Islands or Tonga we would have to make this trip anyway or forego the South Pacific entirely. 1 season in the Pacific and then back West and North through the Solomon Islands and the Phillipines and by then we would be looking at a refit where the boat was built in Taiwan. From there maybe Japan and then West Coast Canada or Alaska if we are really adventurous.

To be honest one of the issues with staying in Australia is the harsh environment as we are now in the process of stripping the brightwork. Spending 3 months in the NT might have had something to do with this but after the 2nd time in 2 years we do not want to do it again any time soon. My suggestion here is to paint it now, while the varnish has not checked. I have seen this done with timber color paint, maroon, and teak silver gray color. When you're ready to go back, strip using a heat gun. The paint over will last much longer than varnish.Lasted 5 years in SE Asia with only minor touch ups before we stripped it all prior to leaving Malaysia last January. The plan would be to replace all the topside brightwork as well as the rub rails during the next refit and other than Thailand, Taiwan seems like the only other logical place that the teak would be readily available along with a reasonable labour costs and the knowledge to complete the work. The cost in Australia would certainly make a refit here unrealistic but maybe New Zealand???? Just keep your eye on the exchange rate. The Kiwis are really good boat workers. And you can usually understand what they're saying

Hope to get some input especially from those from the south of Australia and New Zealand or anyone that has sailed these routes.
If this is your only chance to go to the South Pacific, would it not be a shame to miss it? However, it depends a bit on what you like. If you like schmoozing with the locals, it is wonderful; if you crave bright lights and cities' delights, nope. Some people love them, and you might want to spend more than one season doing it. If you do that, then your major re-fit could be in NZ, and while the teak would be imported, the Kiwis do lovely work. No matter where that work is done, you will want to keep a close eye on it, but you will not have to work alongside them, as you might in Thailand. At least, that is the gossip, I don't know how true it is. A friend of ours has completed a once-in-a-lifetime re-fit in NZ during the past year, and only visited about every 3 to 4 weeks while it was in process. If you did that, you could then go to the Med, by either the Red Sea or South Africa and Brazil. You'll want to be up to date on yacht predation along the Red Sea Route.

One time we met an Australian family who had sailed from Brisbane to the Societies. We met them in Bora Bora. It is a long trip to windward.

With reference to the length of the sailing season in NZ, they sail all year around there. We found it really cold there by June, there was a little ice on the docks.


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Old 26-01-2016, 13:59   #9
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Re: Oz to Where?

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-jump off from Brisbane via Lord Howe Island to New Zealand which would allow us some cruising there before the end of season this year. Again leave the boat there for the Southern winter while we go home for a few months and return for another season in New Zealand.
Tis best to go a little further south if you can, before heading to Lord Howe, Port Macquarie is a good option, obviously it depends on the wind direction on any given day but usually, the angle is much improved if you get a bit further south from Brisbane. Lord Howe is definitely worth the visit, though checking with the Island before you commit is a good idea because you can't anchor in the lagoon, have to take a mooring and the yachts draught can be an issue.
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Old 26-01-2016, 14:01   #10
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Re: Oz to Where?

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There isnt much down the East coast of Oz !
except for that little barrier reef thing
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Old 26-01-2016, 14:04   #11
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Re: Oz to Where?

I was recently in Thailand in a place called Krabi. Its on the west coast near Phuket. There was an Australian guy there owning a boat yard business and was employing local labour and they worked on timber boats. He was getting 40ft max ones shipped from Europe and rebuilt and shipped back out. The cost of shipping and labour etc was cheaper than work done in Europe. The Thais working for them new their stuff. I would let them work on my cold moulded hull any time. The rates were cheap as well..
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Old 26-01-2016, 15:10   #12
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Re: Oz to Where?

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except for that little barrier reef thing

Yeah i was meaning South of that.. The guy is in Bundy though isnt he?
Once youre past Fraser Island it gets a bit boring..
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Old 26-01-2016, 15:55   #13
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Re: Oz to Where?

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Originally Posted by nauticalnomad View Post
Go visit the new Royal Nomuka Yacht Club in Tonga.

Id go south from Brisbane across to NZ then up through the islands avoiding Australia. On the side youre on. Although Bundaburg is nice.. There isnt much down the East coast of Oz except just mileage to do to Sydney harbour. If anything id try and sail around the top North West from Broome to Darwin. It is lovely up there and untouched. Darwin is awesome right round to Gove and then over the top of QLD and down but you have already come that way?

My favourite yacht club in all of the oceans is the Dinah Beach yacht club in Darwin... Love it there!
You have got to be kidding ( east coast is boring) Maybe you have forgotten all of the great sailing through the "Sandy Straights / Morton Bay / the Inland Passage to/ The Gold Coast then all of the wonderful ports in New South Wales the mind Boggles at that statement ??
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Old 26-01-2016, 16:43   #14
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Re: Oz to Where?

I have had Australians tell me somewhere in Oz was "beautiful", and not found it so. Where I came from, "beautiful" was bright green, not olive green, and with dark green pines of a different hue than you see here. I think we think what we grew up with is beautiful, and may have to stretch to see the beauty in mangrove flats. Everybody seems to like the magnificent aqua, turquoise through sapphire places. It is even possible that someone from the subsiding coasts of the continents finds more to love along Oz's east coast than someone from the uplift sides. It is not that Oz lacks beauty, but it is of a different sort than that of the UK, where nauticalnomad is from. He may not have had the luxury of the time to get to understand the many beauties of Oz, so different from that of our homelands.

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Old 26-01-2016, 17:46   #15
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Re: Oz to Where?

Yes, I think you be right Ann, we found the North coast majestic but stark. So different from home where as you say everything is bright green whether it be the east coast, the inland great lakes, the rocky mountains or British Columbia. I don't think it helps that it has been so dry here in Oz for the last few years and the contrast to Canada where it typically rains 2 days out of 7 or more is significant.

One of the best things that we have found about Australia is the great people here. They are typically very friendly and outgoing and we haven't met anybody yet that we didn't like. Unfortunately the climate here is tough on us and that is one of the reasons that we thought to leave soon for NZ where I hear that it is much closer to home.

No we are not city folk although it is nice to stop and see some of the highlights of the larger centres. We flew into Sydney a few years ago when I was still working to do some consulting work for one of the railroad contractors there and had a chance to see some of the sites. Generally one of the greatest things that we enjoyed about SE Asia was hobnobbing with the locals, especially in Indonesia. So many small islands with little villages where the people made you feel welcome. We were amazed at their hospitality, invitations to dinner were common, and just the walk through the village would take hours due to everyone coming out to talk yo you. Even with the language barrier there was always someone on the Island that could interpret and of course our Bahasa was improving all the time. Then of course there is the diving which I mentioned earlier is probably the best in the world. We dove several spots on the barrier reef on the way down including the Yongala wreck and although it was good it did not compare to either Indonesia or Thailand.

We did a bit of research on Lord Howe and as Factor indicated Draught maybe an issue for us to get inside. As well we were hoping to continue south for a bit as so many people indicated that the south east coast and possibly Tas were an entirely different ballgame than the North and northeast coasts. Besides, have to go and watch the surfers on the gold coast, eh!!

Obviously we have a bit of time to consider our options but I think we will plan to make the jump over to NZ this fall before the weather turns colder over here. We will see how quickly we get down the coast as we may well end up taking a while to see the sites on the way down. Seems like the further south the better for wind angle and the East Australia current seems to swing eastward the farther south you go.

The only other issue was that we wanted to replace our liferaft before making the jump across as ours is now quite dated. Anyone have any suggestions in this respect for an Australian model/supplier as apparently it is very difficult to get one shipped from North America.
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