A chunky spiral bound publication, this guide book is no lightweight in terms of the scope of its content either. Definitely a waterways atlas rather than an actual cruising guide, it contains extensive, well produced maps, providing a detailed overview of the inland and coastal waterways of South Australia.
But stating that it’s not a cruising guide is actually selling it short, as there are comprehensive notes at the beginning of each section, describing the features and highlights of the region particularly of interest to beach and jetty fishermen as well as trailer boat owners. Scuba divers aren’t forgotten either, with dive sites pinpointed on relevant maps. Over 200 A4 sized maps are included, covering single bay, cove and river on South Australias’ 4000 km long coastline. But, as with any self respecting atlas, it’s the maps that are the feature.
The Atlas is split into two distinct sections with the Coorong, River Murray and Lakes at one end. Flip the book over and it becomes a Coastal Waters Atlas, covering the entire South Australian coast from Fowlers Bay west of Ceduna to Port MacDonnell near the Victorian border. It’s a clever method of separating the two distinct waterway alternatives.
It’s no surprise, given that the Atlas is produced by the BIASA, that there are comprehensive notes and advice on safe boating, both
Volunteer Marine Rescue Groups are detailed, as are marine forecasts and warning notes, particularly of use to mariners unused to boating in South Australian waters and the Great Australian Bight.on and off the water, in the Before you Go Boating pages.
Significantly for a recreational waterway that is also a water consumption catchment, there’s information about sewage pumpout and waste disposal regulations for boaties using the inland waterways. Also included is detailed information about the Native Fish Strategy as well as notes on fishing, all intended to help conserve and protect the marine life for the future.
The Coastal Waters section is broken up into manageable regions with photos and contact details for tourism operators of interest to boating tourists. Maps are well indexed, making it easy to find your way around the coast, even if you’re totally unfamiliar with the South Australian coast. But don’t expect to find large scale maps of specific anchorages.
While overall maps are superb, showing marked channels, marinas and harbours, and include good details of town roads and facilities, they are not nautical charts and should therefore be used in conjunction with current nautical charts.
Squarely aimed at boat users, regardless of whether you get around in a tinny or a luxury cruiser, the South Australian Water Atlas and Guide is a quality publication, solidly bound, and well designed.
Verdict: Highly Recommended