Shelter from All Directions
Indicative Anchoring Positions Many and Varied !
Coffin Bay is actually the outer bay of a large and complex inlet which includes Port Douglas, Mount Dutton Bay and Kellidie Bay. The small holiday and fishing township called Coffin Bay is not on this bay, but is located between Port Douglas and Kellidie Bay. This causes much confusion, so this Guide uses the name Coffin Bay to refer to the entire inlet.
The whole inlet is very shallow with frequent sand shoals, so many areas are not accessible to keel boats. A channel marked by beacons leads all the way from the entrance near Farm Beach to the township, a distance of about 12 miles. However the sand shoal near the entrance has shifted since the beacons were placed, and some years ago the green entrance beacon had to be kept to port not starboard when entering. Local advice should be sought before attempting entry of this channel.
Tidal flows in the channel are very strong, so great attention should be paid to tide times and depths when sailing in this area. Oyster farming is a very big industry here, and much of the channel passes alongside these farms.
The township of Coffin Bay has useful services for cruising yachts – a small supermarket, a pub, fuel and water at the main town wharf, and water at the small yacht club jetty. The local caravan park allows the use of showers and laundry for a fee. The distance by road to Port Lincoln is not far, and a local bus service runs regularly.
Anchoring is possible in many places depending on the draft of the vessel, and this guide does not attempt to list them. Good shelter is available everywhere so it is best to treat a visit here as an exploration, with occasional grounding as a likely part of the experience!