Boating & sailing

Take to the water in Victoria. Melbourne makes the most of its location on Australia's largest bay, offering opportunities to learn to sail, take a leisurely cruise down the Yarra River, or head out into the open waters of Port Phillip Bay.

The good life in Gippsland

Gippsland is home to Australia's largest groups of inland waterways, and a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts. Explore the vast lakes, national parks, port-side villages and the Ninety Mile Beach. Further north, the seaside village of Mallacoota is surrounded by the deserted beaches, rocky promontories, wildlife and whales-spotting of Croajingolong National Park.

Laid back on the Murray

For a more relaxing water experience, hire a houseboat and wander along the Murray River, past red gums and paddle steamers, and stopping off in historic ports to fill up on fuel and regional food and wines.

Boating licences

Boating licences are required for most boat operators. Persons hiring or chartering a boat may be exempt.

Any person who operates a powered recreational vessel in Victoria must be licensed. This means any boat equipped with an engine that is used or is capable of being used for propulsion.

To obtain your licence, get a copy of the Victorian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook and take a computerised test at any VicRoads registration and licencing office.

Hire boats
If you are hiring a boat, you will not require a boat licence provided you meet the following requirements: 

  • You are over the age of 16
  • You are hiring a boat that is not capable of a speed greater than 10 knots (18kph)

All operators of hire and drive personal watercraft (jet skis) are required to hold a boat operator licence with a personal watercraft endorsement.

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