6 ways to cruise around Australia

Australia has a special connection to the water through the many rivers, reefs and harbours. Cruising is an excellent way to discover the country’s iconic aquatic and coastal destinations and experience the Australian way of life. 6 ways to cruise around Australia
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6 ways to cruise around Australia

Australia has a special connection to the water through the many rivers, reefs and harbours. Cruising is an excellent way to discover the country’s iconic aquatic and coastal destinations and experience the Australian way of life. 


Spot wildlife as your cruise along the West coast, or discover small port towns along the South coast. From big ship cruises exploring the coast line to small inland river cruises, exploring Australia through its iconic water ways is the ideal way to get a unique view of Australia.

Cruise ship arriving at Sydney Harbour, New South Wales

Big ship cruising
Australian shore tour options are plentiful with long and short term cruise departures from the main hubs of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle. Circumnavigate Australia’s vast coastline on board a cruise ship, which will take around a month to complete.

For shorter routes, explore the coast from Sydney to Brisbane. Travel to Devonport from Melbourne on the passenger ferry Spirit of Tasmania and take your car with you so you can drive yourself around the compact island.


Explore the coastline
Smaller ports provide more in depth experiences, such as the historic fishing town of Eden in New South Wales; Australia’s tuna capital at Port Lincoln in South Australia; and Newcastle, which has the world-famous wine Hunter Valley wine region nearby, as well as historic walks and beautiful beaches. The port of Exmouth in Western Australia is close to Ningaloo Marine Park, home of the world’s largest fish, the gentle whale shark.

The working port of Burnie, Tasmania offers beautiful waterfalls, spectacular lookouts and great wildlife viewing opportunities. Burnie is also a gateway to the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, where you can explore pristine forest and glacial lakes.

True North Cruise, The Kimberley, Western Australia

Expedition cruising
The Kimberley region of Western Australia is one of the last untouched wilderness areas on earth and much of it is only accessible by sea. Several luxury adventure cruise operators provide a different perspective on the Kimberley using purpose built expedition-style ships and inflatable craft to explore regions inaccessible to larger ships.

Luxury expedition cruises are also available from Darwin or Broome, cruising Australia’s Top End and on the Great Barrier Reef. Hear from onboard experts on the landscapes and wildlife, or take your adventure to the next level with activities such as kayaking or helicopters to explore these remote areas further.

Small ship cruising
See the best of Sydney from the water on a crewed private yacht charter on Sydney Harbour. Sail past the Opera House, under the bridge, by Taronga Zoo, and anchor overnight in a secluded bay. Take in the glorious sunset on an evening or overnight cruise on Darwin Harbour and its surrounding waters or a fully guided cruise from Hobart to Peppermint Bay.

Cruises to Wineglass Bay in Tasmania include champagne and oysters and some of the world’s cleanest and whitest beaches. Take a thrilling ride to the sculpted rock formations of Bruny Island or the Tasman Peninsula; and you’ll see dolphins, sea eagles, seals, penguins and perhaps migrating whales in the right season.

Paddle steamer on the Murray River, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia

River cruising
On inland rivers such as the Murray River in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, you can hire a paddle steamer or captain your own luxury houseboat; or take a luxury cruise to the vineyards in Western Australia’s Margaret River region.

Hop on board a calm-water cruise along the Barron River on a riverboat at Kuranda in Queensland’s Tropical North. In Tasmania, you can glide into the heart of the world's largest temperate rainforest on the mirror-still Gordon River; explore the ancient Tarkine wilderness; or the vast Derwent River. Cruise past the vineyard-lined banks of the Tamar River from Launceston.

Island cruising
In Queensland’s Whitsundays you can bareboat charter your own luxury yacht and take off to explore the 74 islands and inlets in warm tropical waters, or hire a skipper and crew to look after you.

You can also experience Tasmania's world-renowned Bay of Fires on a crewed luxury yacht. Feel the romance of the golden age of sail on a Tall Ship cruise on Sydney Harbour, Melbourne, the Gold Coast or longer voyages around the Whitsunday Islands. Unspoilt Norfolk Island and Moreton Island are also stops for some larger cruise ships.

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