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Old 28-04-2017, 11:41   #1
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Liveaboard on Eastern Australian coast

My wife and I are South African sailors, assuming we had permanent residence in Australia are there marinas up and down the east coast that allows liveaboard yachties either on or off marinas?

What about mooring or anchoring in the rivers, creeks etc?

If not officially legal, is it tolerated provided one is well behaved eg, no washing hanging on the boat, no loud music, no nuisance and moves on fairly regularly?

Any advise would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Bert.
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Old 28-04-2017, 12:26   #2
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Re: Liveaboard on Eastern Australian coast

We have lived aboard our KP44 for 9 years now, mostly migrating between Queensland and Tasmania, with occasional voyages to New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

It used to be easier but regulations involving anchoring restrictions are causing itinerant liveaboards to "keep moving". For example, it used to be OK with the Maritime authorities to stay in Sydney harbor for months, if not years. They are now enforcing new regulations (although as yet unpublished, which seems wrong to me) that restrict living aboard a vessel in Sydney to "28 days every 3 months". I doubt they can legally enforce these rules until they clarify and publish what this means. If you move around the harbor I doubt they will hassle you. But it seems very clear that, from the authorities viewpoint, living on a boat is a bad thing and should not be allowed. One Sydney water cop explained to me they don't want it to become Hong Kong harbor. This is hardly a realistic assessment.

Living on a mooring is not allowed unless its a commercial mooring and you keep quiet about it (NSW). I am fairly certain it is not allowed in QLD. Most marinas will not take liveaboards although some may look the other way, or have a fixed quota (e.g.10%). Marinas are very expensive in NSW and QLD. Tasmania, on the other hand, is still a place where nobody cares and nobody bothers you and marina fees are low. Unfortunately it is quite cold in the winter and often in the summer as well. The cruising is GREAT, though.

I keep trying to understand why a country like Australia that ostensibly prizes independence and freedom should act this way? Perhaps their heritage is more jailor than convict.

"no washing hanging on the boat, no loud music, no nuisance" is just good manners. "moving on" is what the lifestyle should be about.

There are quite a few people who live on boats, but I guess that the number is in the low hundreds and I cannot understand the reaction against us; jealousy perhaps.
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Old 28-04-2017, 12:52   #3
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Re: Liveaboard on Eastern Australian coast

Thanks for info.
Spent some time in Pittwater bay and Hawkesbury River in January, got me really thinking.
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Old 28-04-2017, 13:22   #4
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Re: Liveaboard on Eastern Australian coast

Living aboard at anchor in the Brisbane area for near a year now.
Never had a visit from officialdom but weather usually has us moving weekly if only a few miles.
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Old 28-04-2017, 14:23   #5
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Re: Liveaboard on Eastern Australian coast

Living aboard in QLD is fine, but some places like mooloolaba limit your time at anchor. In marinas it's allowed, some marinas charge extra.

In NSW you're really not allowed to live aboard permanently.

We've been living aboard for 7 years now.
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Old 28-04-2017, 15:18   #6
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Re: Liveaboard on Eastern Australian coast

We've recently spent time at Kawana marina near Mooloolaba and at Port marina Bundaberg and both allow live on board and have a great variety of "characters" living there.
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Old 28-04-2017, 16:24   #7
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Re: Liveaboard on Eastern Australian coast

Hi Bert

We have lived aboard 20 years now and have cruised the east coast of Australia extensively. We rarely use marinas as we prefer to be on our hook. We do not remain in any one place for extended periods as we prefer to keep on the move - following the seasons - that is the outer Barrier Reef in winter and Tasmania in Summer if we are not cruising off shore.

We did stay in Oyster Cove Marina (Tasmania) for 3 months when we fitted the duck-ted heating in preparation for cruising to Alaska. We also stayed a month in the Morton Bay Trailer Boat Club marina in Manly Queensland when I was having eye surgery.

Of course we are an Australian registered boat but other cruising friends of various nationalities have not had a problem to my knowledge. Just be sure to check out the local rules ie Mooloolaba anchorage has limitations on length of stay whether Australian or foreign registered.

Cheers Sue
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Old 29-04-2017, 19:52   #8
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Re: Liveaboard on Eastern Australian coast

Good post. We are currently living aboard and travelled from Airlie Beach QLD to Sydney NSW and migrating back north just now (Gold Coast atm). Living aboard is very achievable and hassle free. Yes Sydney has a 28 day limit on hook but I learnt that time on public moorings (which there are plenty available in some plum locations) don't count to the 28 days. And as was said, Pittwater can be another 28 days of adventures and so it goes up the coast.

Also there are good public moorings (pink beehives) in NSW with 24h limited stays but enough of them to get around. Also the Whitsundays QLD can keep you occupied for months and have numerous public moorings as well.
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Old 29-04-2017, 20:01   #9
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Re: Liveaboard on Eastern Australian coast

living aboard for 20 years qld / Aus circumnavigation 2004 - 2010 no problems with marinas or anchorages / currently in mackay marina / home port pioneer river mackay / make sure you pay promptly and check out the different state bylaws and marine regulations especially GBR zoning / no anchorage zones / you should be right with most harbours and sheltered coastal anchorages / the bitching in the big cities is usually out of jealousy (officials with large expensive water craft paying crippling marina fees and maintenance costs in half empty marinas ) notice lots of cruising vessels living the life they want to and the greedy official have trapped themselves financially and out of spite attempt to spoil other peoples lifestyle / it is easier to stay out of their way/ most small businesses want our provisioning dollar and boat maintenance dollar / east coast cruising industry brings in many millions of dollars per year to Australia / I doubt whether the person behind no liveaboard would be voted in to that position most likely a grumpy salary earner / but then again we don't want to make it look too inviting we may not be able to find an anchorage
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Old 29-04-2017, 20:35   #10
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Re: Liveaboard on Eastern Australian coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seawindow View Post
Sydney has a 28 day limit on hook but I learnt that time on public moorings (which there are plenty available in some plum locations) don't count to the 28 days. And as was said, Pittwater can be another 28 days of adventures and so it goes up the coast.
Other than cruiser rumour and the local maritime officer I have no "official" information on anchoring or live-aboard restrictions in Sydney Harbour or NSW. I have looked for and not found any published rules on the Maritime website nor anywhere else. I have read the relevant Maritime law which does say there is a 28 day limit for overnights on a privately licensed mooring. That's it. Nothing about not living on a boat.

I am not sure how valid these "new" regulations are if they are not published anywhere? If you know of a link online, please let us know.


Meanwhile, we will keep having fun and not staying too long in any one place.

Cheers
Jeff
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Old 30-04-2017, 02:23   #11
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Re: Liveaboard on Eastern Australian coast

Hi Bert Some marina in south east Queensland have septic tanks and limit the number of live aboard
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Old 30-04-2017, 05:55   #12
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Re: Liveaboard on Eastern Australian coast

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Bert, & Allshappy.
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Old 30-04-2017, 06:15   #13
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Re: Liveaboard on Eastern Australian coast

My experience is a bit restricted but Darwin does not pose any problems as the three lock gated marinas encourage visiting yachts to use their facilities. Best to contact them directly. Two of the marinas most certainly do encourage live a-boards.
During the dry season when overseas yachts are passing through there are plenty of readily available moorings available or you can go on the pick.

Darwin is a great place to spend a few months, particularly from late April to late September. The joint jumps.

Cairns is a mixed bag. Anchoring near the city requires some care and local knowledge. Try contacting the Cruising Yacht Club adjacent to Norship's yard. The main marina in the city, Marlin Marina is just ridiculously overpriced for yachties as it serves the charter business fleets.

Yorkies Knob yacht club is about 10 km north of Cairns and also usually has vacant pens for rent, but check.
Nearby is Bluewater Marina which allows live a-boards, but is only about half full. The reasons for this degree of vacancy should be checked out carefully with the manager and some of the residents. It has unresolved problems.

Further north is Port Douglas which has a good marina and other facilities including river mooring or anchoring. Live a-boards -- no problem generally. A tourist/retirees town.

Cooktown is essentially the last stop north unless you are off to Lizard etc. and there are extremely limited tie up facilities but anchoring is available. No live a board issues ...except for the shallow depths and the crocodiles.

Comments regarding the Australian circumstances should be considered carefully. There is a general feeling that many authorities either see yachties as a source of unlimited money or are there to be abused. There appears to be little support for the cruising industry and this is reflected in the extreme drop off in numbers of international yachts passing through Darwin or visiting the Queensland coast. However, circumstances vary considerably.

Have you sailed out of Simons Town or Cape Town? Houts Bay? Mossel Bay? Or Knysna etc. The welcome there is invariably better. Make sure you visit Mauritius on the way here.

As South Africans, you may get a shock when here because labour costs are very much higher in Australia. As is food or anything that has high labour input. Plus we call traffic control lights "traffic lights" not "robots". We do drive on the same side as well.
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Old 30-04-2017, 11:39   #14
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Re: Liveaboard on Eastern Australian coast

Thanks to all 12 who have so kindly responded with useful and practical information and advise. It has been a great experience, talking to those "on the ground"or rather shall I say hopefully on the water.
I have sailed out of all the Cape ports you mention, Saldanha, CT,Houtbay, Gordons bay.
Cheers
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