Passage Strategy to Australian Ports

A question came up from Bravo who wants to go from Vanuatu to Newcastle. Is it better to go direct (which is difficult if a southerly blows up) or go to somewhere like Bundaberg and do day trips from there.
Chameleon/Gulf Harbour radio has no experience here so we put it out to the Aussie experts.

Freycinet 11 reported that a good way to go was via Huon Reef (2 days) to Chesterfield (2 days) then Bundaberg (3 days). Note that Doug mentioned the current can be up to 4Kt going south. Not so good for the return!

Ashymaikkan , Ashley and Brenda from Townsville, give the following to continue from Bundaberg.

B/berg to Kingfisher bay resort. On Frazer Island.

Several anchorages to Sandy straits & then S of sandy straits " Gary's anchorage", Inskip point or Tin Can Bay.

Wait for weather to cross "Wide Bay Bar". Easier going out than come in from seaward.

If suitable weather, anchor Rainbow beach or do a long run to Mooloolaba ( about 67 miles) Should have current.

Mooloolaba to Bongaree Bribie Is, near bridge,33 miles, or, M' to Bulwer on Morton Is. 27 miles.

Then to Green Island or Wynnam/Manly marina just S of Brisbane river. (Dont go to Brisbane as lots of traffic up the creek!).

Then lots of anchorages to Southport/Gold coast through Morton bay &

Wait for weather at "Bums Bay" for N'lies for o/night from Goldcoast seaway to Yamba/Iluka on the Clarence River. Approx 92 miles. Will have current.

Iluka to Coffs Harbour.

Could do short hopes to Pt Stevens if bar conditions are moderate on the coast of NSW. But we o/n to Pt Stephens.

Then to Newcastle or the entrance to Lake Macquarie.

Then to Pitwater. Then Sydney.

Late news from Akimbo. Southport is now a clearance port for entry and exit so useful if you get stuck between Bundaberg and don't want to go way up to Brisbane. be aware that it is a bar entrance but a "good bar". Also there can be a lot of current and the advice from the Yacht Club is not always accurate so be ready to deal with that. The Customs officers come from Brisbane.

Arrival fees for Australia, 2017, are as follows as reported by Akimbo arriving at Newcastle. Total was A$490 which included $80 overtime fee as they arrived on a Sunday and went on the buoy. The coordinates of the Newcastle buoy are 32 55.34S and 151 46.07E. Call Harbour Control who will put you in touch with Border Control.
So, the fees are $100 for Quarantine, $200 for inspection, $60 for office handling, $50 for garbage, and $80 for overtime if that is required. Thanks Peter who reported all was efficient and pleasant.