For many people Australia has a sense of magic, due to its distance, its unusual landscapes and animals. It is therefore not surprising that our first experience of sailing on a charter catamaran in the Whitsundays blew our mind. Little did we know that ten years later we would arrive on our own catamaran for the third time in this amazing country.
Why come back so many times you might well ask. Well it is an immense country with much to explore, see and do. In our first year, 2016, we arrived in Bundaberg with the Down Under Rally and explored the Southern Queensland coastline made up of quaint little towns, full of friendly people. Things we will never forget are hand feeding the river dolphins in Tin Can Bay, crossing our first bar at Wide Bay Bar, sailing Moreton Bay, anchoring near the Story Bridge in Brisbane and finding our way through the meandering canals full of the most interesting birds to Southport.
That first year we headed down south to Sydney for the unique New Years Eve celebrations. Seen from a boat the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge become the backdrop to an unforgettable spectacle. Discovering the Hawkesbury River and the active sailing community in Pittwater were also highlights.
We finished our first year with a spa treatment for our catamaran Impi at the Boatworks in Coomera, possibly the most impressive and professional boat yard in the world before returning to New Caledonia.
The highlight of our second nine-month visit to Australia was sailing from the Gold Coast down to Tasmania. From the amazing cultural experiences in Hobart, to the dramatic beauty of Port Arthur, from the lively seas of the Bass Strait to exploring the rich valleys of the Tamar River, it is simply impossible to get bored here. The food, the wine, the people, the history and the rich marine life all contribute to making this one of the most unforgettable places on earth.
Our third and current visit sees us arriving back in Australia in late 2018. We have been enjoying a more relaxed schedule this visit using the time to prepare our vessel for the next phase of our adventures. At the end of cyclone season we are looking forward to revisiting the place where our love with the water began, the Whitsundays. We will be exploring the coastline from Bundaberg to our check out point Thursday Island and are currently preparing our catamaran for a journey into SE Asia.
We would like to return to Australia in a few years as much remains undiscovered and we have made so many friends here. There is no doubt in our mind that the kindness, openness and generosity of Australia’s people make it an unsurpassable destination.
Brent and Ana on Catamaran Impi