Cruising Calendar

Cruising event dates and destinations are subject to favourable weather. All suggested activities are optional!

  • 18/1/2018 Two Week Cruise to NSW Northern Rivers
  • 20/7/2018 Two Week Cruise One way to The Whitsundays
  • 24/8/2018 Two Week Cruise from The Whitsundays to Cairns


Thursday, January 18, 2018 – A Two Week Cruise to NSW Northern Rivers

Depart Mooloolaba on Thursday 18/1/18 and sail South, anchoring overnight at Little Sand Hills. Apply your navigation skills through gullies and creeks to the Broadwater at Southport. Anchor the night in the Broadwater and enjoy the buzz of the Gold Coast. Dinghy ashore to walk on the calm inshore sandy beaches. Visit the Southport Yacht Club the next night and enjoy the Gold Coast nightlife. Leave early to sail out to the ocean via the Gold Coast Seaway and sail south to Ballina (about 60 miles). Enjoy a nice meal and social gathering. Next morning sail about 40 nautical miles South to enter the Clarence River at Yamba. Spend several leisurely days exploring the magnificent Clarence River to Grafton before commencing the return voyage to Mooloolaba.

Of course, the weather is least predictable in mid summer so we will have to be flexible in our voyage planning as we get closer to the departure date.

If the weather does not favour this departure date then we will postpone departure until good weather is forecast for at least 2 days to give us time to reach the sheltered waters of Moreton Bay. Even if we experience strong winds in the southern parts of the Bay there are plenty of places to anchor comfortably.

Some vessels might join us just for the first few days in Moreton Bay. Others will continue with us to Southport and some will continue with us to explore the Clarence River which is navigable all the way to Grafton.

Before heading out to sea from Southport we will wait for favourable weather. If the weather forecast for the following couple of weeks does not look satisfactory then we can decide to stay longer in Moreton Bay until the weather is good or just return to Mooloolaba from Southport.

All the skippers will play a part in deciding on these things.

It would be good for all the participating Skippers and Partners/wives/husbands to meet about a week before departure if possible to finalise our plans and to get to know each other. 

Please email Barry Barnes at if you would like to take part!


Friday, July 20, 2018 – A Two Week Cruise One way to The Whitsundays

Departure time from Mooloolaba should be about 5am in order to commence our crossing of Wide Bay Bar at the start of the last hour of the flood tide around 2pm.

The voyage to The Whitsundays can be really magical. There are a myriad of wonderful anchorages and almost all of them can only be accessed by sea. Invest in the book called “100 Magic Miles” for an excellent guide to sailing around The Whitsundays. “Cruising the Coral Coast” is another excellent publication that is well worth investing in. The Whitsundays offer several very secure anchorages and the Marinas at both Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach are World Class facilities.


Friday, August 24, 2018 – A Two Week Cruise from The Whitsundays to Cairns

On the voyage to Cairns from The Whitsundays we will meet at Woodwark Bay at the northern end of the The Whitsundays. The trade winds at this time of the year are fairly steady at around 15 to 20 knots from the South East so this is a beautifully sheltered anchorage. We will then sail north and anchor overnight at Gloucester Passage, Cape Upstart and Cape Bowling Green (subject to weather conditions). The next leg takes us to Townsville and Magnetic Island. There are excellent marinas at both locations and Refuge Bay at Magnetic Island is a very popular anchorage for cruising sailors. Then on to the Palm Island group of islands. There are several good anchorages here. Next we practice our navigation skills to negotiate the shallow waterway entrance at Lucinda into Hinchinbrook Passage. Crocodiles are frequently sighted here! Hinchinbrook Passage is one of the most beautiful and calm waterways on the coast with many excellent and still places to anchor. Then on to Dunk Island where we can explore the island on foot enjoy the hospitality of the beach bar. The next anchorage is in Maroulyan Harbour. This place has an interesting history and is like a hole in the wall as you enter. As is the case with all mainland waterways this far north, crocodiles and other wildlife abound! A public floating pontoon for dinghies provides good access ashore for a walk around this sugar loading port. From here Cairns is just 2 easy cruising days away, staying at beautiful Fitzroy Island on the way. There are several excellent marinas in the area from Cairns to Port Douglas.
The low Isles are a great place to visit overnight for really good snorkelling. From Cairns you can invest in a dive trip on a cruise boat to the Great Barrier Reef or go there in your own yacht for some of the best snorkelling around!

A return trip in company with other yachts can easily be arranged.