Australia is famous for being an adventure destination, and boaters are drawn to the promise of its beautiful waters. While the territory of Australia is expansive, Sydney, the Whitsundays, and Tasmania are all excellent places to begin your boating discovery of this remarkable continent. Rent a boat or book a boat charter in these places to get the most out of your Australian adventure.

Best Boating Spots in Australia 

Equally famous for both its barren and beautiful Outback as well as its Great Barrier Reef, Australia is a country of many faces. For boaters, no place on the planet can offer quite the same unforgettable sights and experiences as “the land down under.”

While this continent’s coastline is both stunning and expansive, there are several select boating locations that are sure to please boaters of every experience and skill level with their varied activities and breathtaking views. No matter where you go in Australia, you can find a boat rental or boating experience to book and enjoy during a vacation.

Boating in Sydney

There is so much more to Sydney, Australia than just the illustrious Sydney Opera House — especially where boating is concerned. This diverse city is teeming with sites to visit and things to do, and many of the highlights are best reached on a boat tour or boat rentals, like Watson's Bay, Manly Beach, and Coogee Beach. You can take a ferry in Sydney or charter a private boat for a stunning tour around this coastal city. Sydney Harbour Tours is one of the top things to do in Sydney, and with all the beautiful landmarks being right on the water, it's easy to understand why.

Renting a boat in The Rocks will give boaters a taste of the urban atmosphere for which Sydney is renowned. It's a luxurious region of the city, with beautiful houses along the coastline.

When on land in Sydney, there are lots of things to do for visiting tourists. You can enjoy a number of cultural and historic centers to explore such as the Sydney Observatory and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, as well as a multitude of shopping and dining opportunities. Boat lovers will appreciate Circular Quay in particular because of the historic ships that berth there.

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Double Bay enjoys a quieter, more suburban atmosphere than The Rocks while still offering spectacular boating grounds and plenty of activities ashore. Independent boutiques and cafes are de rigueur here, and lovely parks offer enchanting views of the water. 

Mosman is a great place to take the family, and after a full morning of boating, you can put into a marina and take them to the Taronga Zoo or one of several beautiful beaches for some fun in the sand. Boaters who can’t get enough of nature will enjoy the outdoor cafes, hiking trails, and snorkeling opportunities that Mosman is known for. There's so much to do with kids in Sydney, families traveling here won't be at any shortage of activities.

Boating “beach bunnies” will definitely want to chart a course for Manly to bask in the sun on many of the exquisite beaches that cover the area. Cycling trails, a quaint promenade, and outdoor markets will lure even the most enthusiastic sailor ashore for an hour or two. 

Boat Tours of the Whitsunday Islands 

Island hopping in the Whitsundays is one of the best ways to get acquainted with the raw, natural beauty of Australia. Its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef (in combination with its own considerable charms) makes it an excellent stop for boaters who wish to see the lush wildness that has helped create the region’s reputation. Book a boat charter from Airlie Beach to get out to the Whitsundays on a multi-day sailing tour.

There's a lot of options to consider when planning your trip to the Whitsundays. Yacht charters, boat rentals, and snorkeling trips are very popular to enjoy in the Whitsundays. If cruising is more your style, then plan an island boating excursion in the autumn.

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Since much of the area is under federal protection, the ecological marvels of the Whitsundays are pristine. You can find excellent fishing off of Whitsunday Island, Hook Passage, Nara Inlet, Haselwood Island, or Shute Harbour, or you can relax in the sun on one of the most incredible beaches in the world — Whitehaven Beach.

Feed your thirst for adventure by undertaking the Ngaro Sea Trail, which traverses both land and sea paths to give you the complete Whitsundays experience. 

Boating around Tasmania

The gorgeous island of Tasmania offers a side of Australia that cannot be found anywhere else. Its sprawling, marvelous coastline features a variety of sailing conditions to appeal to any boater. Rent a boat and explore Tasmania on the water to see beautiful beaches and bays around the island. With its rich history and varied aquatic environments, boaters will delight in investigating this oft-overlooked Australian gem.

The three prominent regions of Tasmania are each unique in the experiences and sights that they can provide. To the north of the island are meandering estuaries that adventurous boaters can traverse, the historic Port Stanley, as well as calmer cruising grounds for those boaters who would rather that their journey be more low-key.

The eastern side of Tasmania is the home of Port Arthur — an open-air museum that once housed convicts — and the cosmopolitan capital of Tasmania, Hobart. Georges Bay and Coles Bay will ensure that you are never without a place to put your boat, and St. Helens is often referred to as the game fishing capital of Tasmania. Book a fishing charter in Tasmania to have your own chance of making a great catch.

On the west coast of Tasmania, you will find more challenging sailing conditions — where experienced sailors can test their mettle. Strahan offers a convenient stop along the coast where you can get some well-deserved rest before continuing your tour. 

Boat Rentals in Melbourne, Victoria

The largest city situated on the largest bay in the state of Victoria, Melbourne is a gem of a destination. Sometimes referred to as an inland sea, this thriving city offers lots of fun on the water. The most popular boating experience to enjoy in Melbourne is a dinner cruise on the Yarra River. You'll enjoy delicious food and drinks while slowly cruising around Melbourne's CBD, touring the city from a relaxed seat on a boat deck. Another popular boat tour in Melbourne is a sailing catamaran charter, where you can cruise from the Yarra River into Port Philip Bay, seeing the beaches of Melbourne and admiring the skyline from the water.

Wildlife adventures in Melbourne are amazing to enjoy on a boat, like snorkeling with dolphins and seals in Port Philip Bay. These boat tours cost about $100/person and are an unforgettable way to spend time in Melbourne. Another fun activity on the water in Melbourne that you can enjoy with kids is a fishing charter or fishing boat rental.

Nearby destinations to enjoy boating from Melbourne include Mount Martha, Portsea, Sorrento, Geelong, Williamstown, and Martha Cove for those with the intent of a longer cruise. Numerous rivers and estuaries that meet Port Phillip provide alternatives to open water and make great day trips from Melbourne.


Boating in Perth, Western Australia

Perth is the largest city on the West Coast of Australia, and it's a great spot to rent a boat or as a starting point to travel to other boating destinations of WA. Boat rentals and yacht charters in Perth can take you to tourist favorites like Rottnest Island, Mandurah, or even to cruise the Margaret River.

A boat tour or ferry ride to Rottnest Island from Perth will give you the rare opportunity to encounter Quokkas, the world's most smiley rodents, in their natural habitat. They are only found in the wild on Rottnest Island, and with a boat rental or boat tour, you can see them for yourself.

Rent a boat in Perth and cruise to highlights like Fremantle, the blue boat house, Elizabeth Quay, with a captain to provide a boat tour around this thriving city of WA. Fishing charters in Perth are a popular choice for tourists, and you can rent fishing boats as a fun activity to enjoy with kids.

Planning an event in Perth, like a stag or hen party? Send them off in style on a party boat charter in Perth. Party boats start at $200/hour and can accommodate large groups for a fun night of cruising and partying on the water.

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Boat Rentals and Reef Tours in Cairns, Australia

The gem of Queensland and a major reason why tourists come all the way to Australia is to take a tour of the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns is the city in Australia you'll want to get yourself to for reef tours, boat cruises, snorkeling, scuba diving, and more. Here you can book a scuba charter and sleep overnight on a boat while enjoying days full of scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkeling tours are a popular choice for day trips on the Great Barrier Reef and are an excellent alternative if you do not have your scuba certification. It's a popular choice for backpackers on a budget traveling through Cairns.

Cairns is also known for its great fishing charters and water sports opportunities. Rent a fishing boat in Cairns or try an activity like rafting or kiteboarding for an exciting adventure in Tropical North Queensland.

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Boat Rentals in Adelaide and South Australia

The largest city in South Australia, Adelaide is a fantastic place to rent a boat, charter a yacht, or book a boat tour. There's a lot to enjoy out on the water in Adelaide, especially for sporty outdoor enthusiasts. Kayak rentals, paddleboard rentals, and scuba diving are all popular things to do in Adelaide. You'll enjoy exercise while experiencing some of the best activities that Adelaide has to offer.

Want to experience sleeping overnight on a boat with your family? Rent a houseboat in Adelaide and spend days cruising on the Murray River or the bays around Adelaide.

Day trips to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide are a popular tour for visitors. You can rent a boat or book a private boat tour to get to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide or try a ferry or water taxi.

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Planning an Australian Boating Adventure 

Australia’s reputation as a land of beauty and adventure is well deserved, but no amount of words can compare with the experience of actually boating her waters and seeing it for yourself. Because the continent and its surrounding islands are so massive, it can seem overwhelming at first when deciding where to go.

While there is travel appeal everywhere in Australia, Sydney, the Whitsundays, and Tasmania make for excellent places to start. Whether you are looking for smooth sailing and big-city excitement or roaring winds and astonishing coastal views, you will find the experiences you seek in Australia. 


Need a boat rental or yacht charter in Australia? Search from hundreds of options in dozens of cities around the country with GetMyBoat, you can download the GetMyBoat app to browse on-the-go in Australia.

More Australia Boating Resources

Australia Fishing Charter Guide - GetMyBoat

Sydney Boating Guide - GetMyBoat Australia

Tasmania Boating Guide - GetMyBoat Australia

Whitsunday Islands Boating Guide - GetMyBoat