So you’re looking to spend some time on the beautiful Gold Coast. Despite all its glitz and glamour, there are numerous places where you find solitude away from all the influencers.
If you’re needing a place to anchor your boat, then this is where I’d be starting.
These are the best boat anchorages on the Gold Coast:
1. The Spit
One of the most popular places on the Gold Coast for sailing and powerboats is The Spit. You can certainly stay here overnight, and I’ve seen old sailboats anchored here for years.
Now, this Gold Coast anchorage gets real busy on weekends and around public holidays. This is due to its premium location (on the inner side of Main Beach) but the evenings/nights are real quiet. The waterways authority does patrol this area and according to QLD maritime laws, you can only stay anchored here for 7 days, as per this guide.
2. Tangalooma Wrecks
If you’re wondering where all the influencers hang out on those balmy summer weekends, it’s here! Get here early if you want a solid holding on the sandy bottom in around 2 to 5 metres of water. Better still, if you need supplies, you can get yourself over to the Tangalooma Island Resort provided you get yourself a day pass prior. If you need a mooring ball here then you’ll need to book this in advance.
Tangalooma is popular for boat parties so if you’re seeking a quiet anchorage, then this wouldn’t be my first choice. Fortunately, the Gold Coast has plenty of space to spread out and truly get away from the crowds. After all, that’s why we own a boat…right?
3. The Broadwater
If you’re a cruising yacht or catamaran and needing some supplies, while getting into more of the touristy things, then The Broadwater is where you’ll want to be. Anchoring can be challenging during weekends and public holidays, and especially when fireworks are scheduled at the Broadwater Parklands.
One of the best things about anchoring your boat in The Broadwater is the location to Australia Fair and China Town. You can get all the shopping you need done by taking your tender over to the Southport Pier, paired with endless trails to cycle, run or go for a casual stroll. There is even a natural swimming lagoon that is netted to guard against stingers and bull sharks which roam the canals.
4. Southern Moreton Bay Islands
While the 3 options listed above a great, there happens to be a multitude of islands on the Gold Coast. The Southern Moreton Bay Islands National Park happens to be one place you gotta visit with the tender.
For an overnight stay, I recommend Eden Island, Coomera Island or even the eastern side of the Never Fail Islands but you’ll want to check your chart plotter closely. If you’re a member of the Southport Yacht Club, you can find excellent camping on The Broadwater over on Dux Anchorage.
A popular place for kiteboarding on the Gold Coast is Jumpinin given its clean wind and calm waters most of the year. It also happens to be a great place to anchor a sail or powerboat for a few days and enjoy those cool coastal breezes on warm sunny days.
Now, I placed this one last on the list as it can get a little noisy with the jet skis zipping past, especially on weekends. That said, for the kiteboarding enthusiasts amongst us, this is one prime spot that should be on your bucket list!
There you have it! Some excellent Instagram-worthy anchorages on the Gold Coast for cruising catamarans, yachts and powerboats. The region is unique being 99% sand and some charts can become outdated within weeks with emerging sandbars, so keep a close eye on that depth gauge!