Australian Customs – Comments from Cruisers 2009

Published 13 years ago, updated 4 years ago

Received Saturday 17 June, 2009

Subject: Customs Australia-Positively Pleasant


Rumors usually begin and spread much quicker when it’s about something bad. We now laugh at comments we heard about clearing into Australia; such as “you need your boat antifouled before you arrive”, it’s much better to clear in at Bundaberg”, the stories go on and on. We cleared into Coffs Harbour simply because we wanted to go to Sydney and spend some time there, which most cruisers seem not to do, which is such a pity to forsake a visit by boat to this wonderful city. Customs at Coffs were professional courteous and efficient. We complied by giving them the required advance notice of arrival, and when they flew over us 300 miles out, they already were aware of our arrival.

We did hear about the American boat, who checked into Bundaberg and was impounded because (as we heard it) they did not give the proper notice of arrival. It does seem pretty unfair the penalties they suffered because of this if that is the only reason that their boat was impounded but we don’t know the circumstances so will refrain from judgment. But these opinions that float around are completely unfounded; that it’s better to clear into Bundaberg,(which is probably one of the worst towns in our opinion that you could spend any time at) or Brisbane, or any other port, it’s just nonsense.

Australians are such friendly helpful people, we are enjoying our time in this great country and encourage people to think independently, outside of the spectrum, check in at whichever port is most convenient for you based upon your own desires, not others.

Uwe and Anne Dobers

Received Tuesday 16 June, 2009

We cleared into Cairns two days ago and had a most pleasant encounter with both Customs and Quarantine. They were friendly, helpful, and went out of their way to make the formalities as easy as possible.

Since there seem to be such horror stories about Australian Customs we thought that we should publicize the welcoming and gracious attitude that we found in Cairns.

Greg Carroll

s/v Alpheratz

Received Thursday 9 July, 2009

Subject: Finding accommodation in Brisbane


Notice the comment about a poor experience found by a vessel arriving into Brisbane. This was mainly about a lack of accommodation which is fairly normal everywhere in the world that has some appeal, but the comment about poorly trained quarantine officers not knowing about animals on board got me thinking about this. If there was an animal on board it would have to be sent to the mandatory 3 months quarantine, if there wasn’t why mention it in the first place.

As someone, before mentioned in a posting there, is often more than what meets the eye when criticism of a country like Australia is made. I am currently half way around an Oz circumnavigation and like most things in life a bit of friendly courtesy and consideration is usually rewarded in spades I find wherever I go. Also, careful planning and research are essential to lessen bumps.

Peter Sheppard

Received Thursday 29 October, 2009

Subject: Clearance Bundaberg Australia


We cleared into Bundaberg Port Marina Mon 26th Oct with no problems all done very professionally.

Elizabeth Smith

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