The cosmopolitan city of Melbourne, on the south east coast of Australia, is the country’s leading sailing destination, with the stunning Port Phillip Bay at its heart. The bay is a wonderful venue for some of the best sailing in southern Australia, including Williamstown, Avalon and Beaumaris Bay. Melbourne also has on its doorstep the fascinating Phillip Island and its neighbor French Island, which are both wonderful cruising territories.
Melbourne is now one of the busiest trading ports in the Southern hemisphere and cruising out to the Bolte bridge and Swanson dock will give you some idea of the port’s rich maritime history. Picturesque river gardens, parklands and some of the world’s most famous sporting arenas line the bay and will provide non-stop entertainment.
Between the Port Phillip Bay, the Yarra River and the Maribyrnong River Melbourne, Melbourne offers a wealth of excellent fishing locations, with the local waters particularly rich in snapper, flathead and whiting fish.
The surrounding area is generally a fantastic coastline for seeing all kinds of rare wildlife from dolphins to koalas, kangaroos to the penguins that reside in the nature park of nearby Philip Island. On your way out to Philip Island, you cross the Mornington peninsula whose myriad of galleries, cafes, gourmet diners and general relaxed beach atmosphere generate a perfect blend of fine European coastal living with traditional Australian charm.
Make room in your schedule to visit Victoria’s first natural hot mineral spring located here to ensure maximum pampering. Travel further out from the bay and cruise beside the plethora of historic seaside villages such as Queenscliff with its elegant Victorian-era buildings, art galleries, shops and boutique wineries.
Then, beautiful Apollo Bay awaits. Nestled at the foot of the awesome Otway ranges, seafarers can enjoy watersports ranging from surfing to kayaking to get close up to seal colonies frolicking in the sun. Back on land, sunset treks on horseback, heritage walks and the spectacular views at Beacon Point in the Otways are fantastic holiday options.
The entire coastline west of Melbourne enjoys a varied landscape dotted with small fishing villages. From your yacht, you can see forests, waterfalls and dramatic cliffs interspersed by lively towns where fishermen unload their daily haul of exotic seafood, plump and wholesome from the endless harvest of the surrounding ocean.
East of Melbourne on the Grippsland’s waterways are quaint ports with plenty of sheltered moorings for boats such as Paynesville. Surrounded by lakes on three sides, Paynesville is the region’s boating capital. Explore the unique Mitchell River silt jetties and look back on your South East Australian voyage from the glorious Eagle Point Bluff.
Looking for something even more adventurous? Why not head on a yacht charter of Tasmania?