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Port of Entry
27°28.105'S, 153°01.956'E Chart icon.png
lat=-27.46841 | lon=153.0326 | zoom=13 | y
Moreton bay.png
Brisbane and Moreton Bay
View of downtown Brisbane

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland, the state of prepetual sunshine. Residents of this fair city have an outdoor, beachgoing lifestyle with boating and fishing being very popular. The multitude of islands and channels off the coast make for waters protected from the ravages of the open sea and afford good recreational boating even for those with little experience.

Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland, and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of 2.24 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred on Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3 million. The Brisbane central business district is situated inside a bend of the Brisbane River, approximately 15 kilometres (9 NM) from its mouth at Moreton Bay.

Moreton Bay itself has wide sandbanks, many muddy/tidal islands, and difficult shallows. Navigate with care, paying attention to any buoys and chart details. It's a common saying that there are two types of boat in Brisbane -- those that have hit bottom in Moreton Bay and those that have not yet hit bottom in Moreton Bay.

As a yachting destination, despite being the capital, Brisbane is frequently overshadowed by the nearby Southport region on the Gold Coast.


Australian Hydrographic Service
Aus235 - Australia East Coast - Queensland - Approaches to Moreton Bay
Aus236 - Australia East Coast - Queensland - Moreton Bay
Aus237 - Australia East Coast - Queensland - Brisbane River The Bar to Lytton Reach
Aus814 - Australia East Coast - Queensland - Point Danger to Cape Moreton


Sub-tropical with sunshine most of the year but a tendency for sudden heavy downpours during the summer months, often depositing inches of rain in a few hours. In winter the sun drops out early and fast, as if someone had turned out the lights. Queensland is the only Australian state that didn't go with Daylight Savings, the Premier of the time—Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen—giving the reason that getting up earlier would confuse the cows and fade the curtains. It could only happen in Queensland!

Sources for Weather forecasts:



Key to symbols: |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |Needs data icon – needs data ||



The city of Brisbane provides a unique opportunity for visiting yachts to anchor or moor in the heart of a major urban centre. The Brisbane River is navigable by deep-draft vessels the 12 miles up river to the city. Low bridge clearances there restrict further upstream excursions by masted yachts. Note that the river can run at 3 knots at times.

Getting into and out of Brisbane is not always trivial. Study the charts in detail.

Your two main routes are:

  • From the north, via the North East or North West passages, around the north end of Moreton Island.
  • From the south, via the Gold Coast Seaway near Southport, and then via the inland waterways. Attempt this only with detailed local knowledge, a full set of tide charts, and extreme patience.

The northern route is most strongly recommended. There are two sub-routes here, one via the North East passage which takes you wide around the top of Moreton Island. The other is via one of the Freeman Passages (I prefer the Inner Freeman Passage) nearer to Moreton Island itself. Study your charts in detail -- many parts of Moreton Bay are quite shallow, and it is very easy to end up on a shoal here.

There are two other routes, which are:

  • South Passage, between Moreton Island, and North Stradbroke Island.
  • Jumpinpin, between North and South Stradbroke Islands.

The simplest advice is: do not attempt either of these passages in a keelboat. They are shallow, and the sandbars shift constantly. You will end up aground. Locals who do these passages all of the time may be keen to try them with you for a bit of a laugh, but even so they are exceedingly dangerous.


Brisbane is a port of entry for Australia. For details see Entrance: Australia.

Rivergate Marina is the mandated entry facility for cruising yachts. It is located about 10nm up the Brisbane River on the port side, just before the Gateway Bridge.


For berthing near Brisbane see Manly, Scarborough, and Gold Coast - Southport.

Marinas and Yacht Clubs

View of the marina

Rivergate Marina and Shipyard

Rivergate Marina and Shipyard/wiki/Brisbane#Rivergate_Marina_and_Shipyard
Berth icon Rivergate Marina and Shipyard [[Brisbane#Rivergate Marina and Shipyard|Rivergate Marina and Shipyard]] 27°26.695'S, 153°06.362'E
Port of Entry

This is the port of entry for Brisbane for cruising yachts. The marina is located 13 km from Brisbane and about 10nm up the Brisbane River just before the Gateway Bridge. It has first class berthing and hardstand facilities, however development of the retail complex is currently stalled. There is no public transport in walking distance of this facility at present (Jan 2009), although Brisbane's excellent Rivercat service may soon service the complex.

Rivergate offers mooring in 105 berths with deep water access for all visiting vessels. The fuel wharf is open 24 hours, 7 days a week serving high and low flow diesel, unleaded and premium unleaded as well as providing sewerage pump out and fresh water facilities. Water, electricity, WiFi, laundry, washrooms and showers. Most major repairs in the yard.

[email protected]; Tel: +61 7 3907 1600; Fax: +61 7 3907 1666; VHF channel XX
Address: Rivergate Place, Murarrie Brisbane, Queensland 4172, Australia

Dockside Marina

Dockside Marina/wiki/Brisbane#Dockside_Marina
Berth icon Dockside Marina [[Brisbane#Dockside Marina|Dockside Marina]] 27°28.366'S, 153°02.294'E

Located just south of the Story bridge and the city. Quite a long sail up the river. Staff are reported to be friendly. Easy access to public transport. Ferry wash all day but ceases at night. Docks are reported to be in a poor state of disrepair (March 2010). Showers & toilets, laundry, car park. WiFi, laundry. Allows livaboards.

[email protected]; Tel: +61 7 3891 667; Fax: +61 7 3891 1404​; Mob: +61 413 616 268; VHF channel XX
Address: 44 Ferry Street, Kangaroo Point Qld 4169, Australia

Horizon Shores Marina

Horizon Shores Marina/wiki/Brisbane#Horizon_Shores_Marina
Berth icon Horizon Shores Marina [[Brisbane#Horizon Shores Marina|Horizon Shores Marina]] 27°45.198'S, 153°21.028'E

Horizon Shores Marina has a huge variety of service offerings with 500 Marina Berths, 350 Dry Stack storage bays, 200 Trailer Boat storage locations, a 70t Travelift, On water fuel facility, Chandlery, Marine refit and repair, Hardstand and refit sheds plus onsite cafe.

[email protected]; Tel: +61 7 5546 2300; Fax: +61 7 5546 1353; VHF channel XX
Address: 1 Cabbage Tree Point Road, Woongoolba QLD 4207, Australia
Hours: 07:30 - 17:00 (7 days)

Pacific Harbour Marina

Pacific Harbour Marina/wiki/Brisbane#Pacific_Harbour_Marina
Berth icon Pacific Harbour Marina [[Brisbane#Pacific Harbour Marina|Pacific Harbour Marina]] 27°02.996'S, 153°08.571'E

The marina is in Bribie Island, 1 hour north of Brisbane and only 45 minutes from the domestic and international airports. There are 82 berths: mono and multi hull sizes up to 18 m. All usual facilities.

[email protected]; Tel: +61 7 3408 7827; Fax: +61 7 3408 9224X; VHF channel XX
Address: PO Box 202 Marina Boulevard, Bribie Island, QLD 4507, Australia

Queensland Cruising Yacht Club

Queensland Cruising Yacht Club/wiki/Brisbane#Queensland_Cruising_Yacht_Club
Berth icon Queensland Cruising Yacht Club [[Brisbane#Queensland Cruising Yacht Club|Queensland Cruising Yacht Club]] 27°19.982'S, 153°04.939'E

Located at the mouth of Cabbage Tree Creek, the yacht club marina is close to the Brisbane River and the yacht clearing station, but outside the bustle of the city and with easy access to Moreton Bay. Visiting yachts are welcome at ‘yacht club’ prices. The site has toilets, showers, and laundry facilities and is five minutes’ walk to the train station offering regular trains into Brisbane. No fuel is available here, so top up at the yacht clearing station.

[email protected]; Tel: +61 7 3269 4588; Fax: +61 7 3269 0818; VHF channel 72
Address: Queensland Cruising Yacht Club, PO Box 399, Sandgate, QLD 4017, Australia
Hours: Office Monday to Friday 10.00 am to 2.00 pm


Colmslie Reserve

Colmslie Reserve/wiki/Brisbane#Colmslie_Reserve
Anchorage icon Colmslie Reserve [[Brisbane#Colmslie Reserve|Colmslie Reserve]] 27°26.793'S, 153°04.804'E

Anchoring is permitted in the Brisbane River, and the area around Colmslie Reserve in Morningside (just after the Gateway Bridge) is popular with cruisers and liveaboards. Stay within 100 metres of the southern shore as large vessels use the channels here on a daily basis, including several cruise ships.

Colmslie Reserve has toilets, electric barbeques (free), drinking water and cold showers available and the local swimming pool is a short walk for hot showers at $2.00 per person. Council has taken to replacing water taps with a special tamper-proof fitting but a brass key for these is available in hardware stores for about $5.00 and will be needed in other places within Australia anyhow.

Dinghies and outboards should be chained securely, there have been thefts in the area. It can be a busy place on weekends when trailer-sailers and jetskis are using the launch ramp. Dragon boats also train here in the evening several nights a week. There is a CitiCat ferry terminal opposite, and food shopping is within dinghy distance if you have an engine.
The moorings

Garden Point Moorings

Garden Point Moorings/wiki/Brisbane#Garden_Point_Moorings
Anchorage icon Garden Point Moorings [[Brisbane#Garden Point Moorings|Garden Point Moorings]] 27°28.527'S, 153°01.946'E

54 moorings of various sizes & pylon moorings fore-and-aft are available in Brisbane city at the Botanical Gardens on a daily or weekly basis. Toilet/shower facilities &

laundry (with a security key).

Brisbane Ship Lifts & Boatyard

Brisbane Ship Lifts & Boatyard/wiki/Brisbane#Brisbane_Ship_Lifts_.26_Boatyard
Anchorage icon Brisbane Ship Lifts & Boatyard [[Brisbane#Brisbane Ship Lifts & Boatyard|Brisbane Ship Lifts & Boatyard]] 27°25.700'S, 153°07.809'E

Deep water moorings, WiFi, boatyard with 65 ton travelift and repair facilities. Long term shore storage.

[email protected]; Tel: +61 7 3893 2176; Fax: +61 7 3893 2144; VHF channel XX
Address: 28 Wyuna Ct, Hemmant QLD 4174, Australia


Water In all marinas
Electricity In all marinas
Toilets In all marinas
Showers In all marinas
Laundry In most of the marinas
Garbage In all marinas and on bins along the river
Fuel ?
Bottled gas ?
  • Whitworths is the best known marine chandlery in Australia, and the Wollongabba and Breakfast Creek stores are conveniently located in Brisbane
  • BIAS Boating Warehouse is also a good supplier of all marine equipment. Their showrooms are more widely distributed than those of Whitworths. Brisbane shops are at Tingalpa, Slacks Creek, and Virginia
  • Bargain Boat Bits sell boat bits, sometimes at a bargain price. Caveat: shop around, as the name of the store may not reflect any relation to having consistently the lowest prices
  • At Manly, Muir Marine offer a full chandlery service near the marinas
  • Classic Boat Supplies Accepts online orders. Has a good range of bronze deck hardware and bits for wooden boat repair, epoxy, etc. Australian distributor for Davey & Co.
  • The Boat Warehouse Online-only chandlery that delivers throughout Australia. Has a wide offering from many of the major brands such as Harken, Ronstan and Oceansouth. Will send orders internationally.
Internet WiFi in most of the marinas
Mobile connectivity ?
Vehicle rentals ?


Give the names and locations of supermarkets, grocery stores, bakeries, etc.

Eating out

Give the name of recommended restaurant, tavernas, pastry stores, etc.


The CityCat
  • International airport
  • Trains
  • Catamarans (CityCat) along the river



Give a short history of the port.

Places to Visit

The Cultural Center
  • The Cultural Center
  • The Nautical Museum
  • many other good museums


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



  • The Queensland Government publication Beacon to Beacon can be obtained in any chandlery and contains a comprehensive set of charts for all Queensland waterways and satellite photographs of most harbours, entrances, and anchorages. This is a "must have" publication for cruising in Queensland. Although the charts are not legal navigation charts they're likely to be more up to date than those from the Hydrostatic office or those in your chart plotter. (Comment: Since the Australian Hydrographic Service is the official source of correct maps, this is a ludicrous suggestion. Use the official maps! --Haiqu 04:23, 6 June 2011 (BST))
  • Alan Lucas, Cruising The Coral Coast - A Guide To Australia's Great Barrier Reef For The Boatman or Anyone With The Spirit Of Adventure, lan Lucas Cruising Guides (1998) , ISBN 978-0909319007

See also Australia.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

  • Winds in Brisbane can be fierce in early Spring, with the month of October generally being the worst. Winds of 50 knots are not uncommon on Brisbane River and can cause an anchor to drag easily despite generally good holding in a muddy bottom. Let out lots of scope and keep an eye on the weather report. --Haiqu

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Date of member's last visit to Brisbane and this page's details validated:

This is a usable page of the cruising guide. However, please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to add your personal notes on this page or to discuss its contents. Alternatively, if you feel confident to edit the page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

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Names: Lighthouse, Delatbabel, Yttrill, Haiqu

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