Windy Perth’s best boating locations
Perth is known as one of the windiest capital cities in the world but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy boating on calm waters!
We’ve compiled our favourite locations and anchorages to shelter from the Howling Easterly and Fremantle Doctor winds, as well some handy boating tips for avoiding uncomfortable choppy waters.
Firstly, it’s important to download some handy weather APPS on your phone that make weather reading very simple. Check and cross reference them before heading out on the water so you’ll have no surprises! Our top picks include SeaBreeze, Willy Weather and the Bureau of Meteorology.
The Howling Easterly
Easterly winds can create some of the choppiest waters, however, you can use the wind to your advantage and enjoy some local hangouts. They key for the Easterly is to get out early and stay close to the shore. Know the weather forecast and watch for when the wind will turn.
- South of the river – South Beach, Coogee Power Station, Woodman’s Point, Naval Base Beach and Bells Park Rockingham. Head to Mandurah and explore there for the weekend.
- North of the river – Depending on the swell you can venture north and anchor off sand tracks or even head to Hillarys for a coffee. Be warned it’s a long way home from Hillary’s in a sea breeze through.
- Up the river – Left Bank mooring, the Dome – East Fremantle, Leeuwin Boat Ramp, Zephyr café, Blackwall Reach (great for paddle board hire), Elizabeth Quay (although can be a bit bumpy getting there if the Easterly is strong) and the upper reaches of the Swan and Canning rivers are definitely worth exploring.
- Rottnest or Garden Islands – Getting to the islands is always best in the morning before the sea breeze comes in. There are endless sheltered bays to explore. Always choose one on the leeward side of the island out of the wind. Generally stick to the Northern side of the island during South Easterly conditions to enjoy flat water and protected beaches. Geordie Bay at Rottnest is a beauty for the kids with a cafe and playground close by. In calm conditions or a North Easterly wind places to check out include Parker Point, Salmon Bay and Fish Hook Bay at Rottnest, Herring Bay at Garden Island and the Western side of Carnac.
The South Westerly
Don’t let the Fremantle Doctor interrupt your boating. Simply adjust your plan to suit the conditions and take advantage of the river if need be. Over summer, we’ve had some magnificent Friday night river cruises. A big tip is to consider a river pick up for guests that are less confident on the water. Now days there are many riverside bars and restaurants to explore on you boat. Make a night of it.
- River Pick up points – East Street Jetty, Water Police Jetty – North Fremantle, Left Bank Jetty and Leeuwin Boat Ramp.
- River anchorages – Left Bank, North Bank, Rocky Bay, Black Wall Reach, Matilda Bay and South Perth Waters.
- Riverside restaurants and bars – The Left Bank, Dome – East Fremantle, Swan Yacht Club (our pick – must be a social member), Eat Greek – East Fremantle, Mosmans, The Raffles, The Lucky Shag, Ku De Ta and the Elizabeth Quay and East Perth waterfront precincts.
- Island Bays and Anchorage- Always look for calm waters on the leeward side of the island. The closer you can get to the beach, the flatter the water. Our pick for Rottnest during the Sea Breeze is Eagle Bay on the North West of the Island, Catherine Bay or Parakeet. For Garden Island anchor up in the bay on the North East of the island in the Small craft anchorage area close to the beach. While there try for a feed of Blue Manner crabs and sand whiting. There is a beautiful sandy anchorage and beach on the East side of Carnac Island where you’ll find Seals on the beach and in the water, they are always the highlight for any out of town visitors.