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General Observations On Current Cruising In Australia

By doina — last modified Jul 22, 2004 08:57 PM

Published: 2004-07-22 20:57:45
Countries: Australia

Australian prices have risen considerably in the last few years. In Queensland diesel fuel runs around AU$1/LITER. Boat parts and groceries are typically more than double US prices, over the counter medications can be as much as 10x US prices.

Small mail order parts shipments (under AU$1000) are typically allowed duty and GST free entry if ordered by a foreign yacht and sent by mail ONLY (UPS, FEDEX, etc attract duty/GST!). Foreign yachts can get a GST exemption on most local parts and work over $300 per order.

The exact rules for obtaining the exemption are as yet unclear, but as a minimum you need copies of: your foreign passport, the vessel registration papers, and your customs clearance/cruising permit to obtain an exemption.

In this post 9/11 world "government issued ID" is required for more and more things that you would not even suspect. If you stay in Australia for very long it is worth obtaining a local driver's license just for identification. The process is painless with a local Marina address and valid foreign driver's license and saves a LOT of hassle!

Internet facilities are available free in the local library in most towns although and is generally very good although the quality of the connection and access requirements do vary.

Australia has a very large and active volunteer Coast Guard and "Volunteer Marine Rescue" organization. They will keep a float plan for you on request, deliver current weather bulletins three times a day on VHF and on request. They will advise customs of your approach if asked.

A chain of VHF repeater stations has been set up by volunteers along the Australian coastline using international (duplex) VHF channels 21, 22, 81, and 82. Visitors should be aware that the US channels 21A, 22A, 81A and 82A are SIMPLEX and will not work with these repeaters!

The repeater coverage is very extensive along almost every coast and has been carefully coordinated so that most areas have at least one repeater channel available. Marinas, marine rescue organization, Coast Guard and other pleasure craft related organizations will monitor the local repeater channel.

Mike, Yacht ICHI