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Southport to Middleton Reef, Elizabeth Reef and Lord Howe Island / 450nm / 17 - 24 Nov 2019

7 days / OFFSHORE PASSAGE / crew full waitlist only

The ocean passage from Southport to Middleton Reef, Elizabeth Reef and the Lord Howe Island is a true adventurers passage. We depart Southport and head 310nm ESE into the Tasman Sea to the notorious Middleton Reef, one of the southernmost platform reefs in the world. This 6nm long reef rises up off the 3,000 metre deep Tasman Sea floor and is visible at low tide. It’s claimed more than 70 vessels in the past 100 years with some wrecks still visible. Next we'll head 30nm south to Elizabeth Reef before sailing the final 100nm to Lord Howe Island, where we will tie up on a mooring in the lagoon for 2-3 nights on the western side. This passage will have some unique sights including seeing ship wrecks visible on top of the Middleton Reef, amazing sea life and the steep Jurassic like cliff faces of Lord Howe Island.

Add the Lord Howe to Balls Pyramid to Sydney leg to this passage and save 20% on both legs.

Secure your place on the crew with a 20% deposit.


6 days

The 450nm route from to Southport to Lord Howe Island via Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs.

The 450nm route from to Southport to Lord Howe Island via Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs.

Additional media

  • Check out photo gallery highlights from a previous Southport to Middleton Reef and Elizabeth Reef passage.

  • Check out photo gallery highlights from a previous Lord Howe Island to Balls Pyramid to Pittwater passage.

  • Listen to episode 64: Passage to Middleton Reef, Elizabeth Reef, Lord Howe Island & Balls Pyramid (Our 2018 passage).

  • Lord Howe Island information.


  • Hoisting, trimming and reefing both upwind (main, genoas, and jibs) and downwind sails (poled out headsails, spinnakers, gennakers and code 0’s (subject to weather).

  • Acting as watch captain (day and night), helming, navigating, checking weather and monitoring AIS and radar and for both traffic and rain squalls.

  • Downloading and analysing the latest weather forecasts and calculating best route to destination.

  • Navigating, hazard identification, entering waypoints and calculating updated ETA’s.

  • Routine checks of bilges, engine, electrical systems, sails and hardware for preventative maintenance.

  • Watch roster planning, matching responsibility to experience, crew management and communication.

  • Familiarisation of all safety procedures, sail planning, storm preparation planning and abandon ship procedures.

  • Training in the use of PDF’s (Personal Flotation Devices), PLB’s (Personal Locator Beacons), safety tethers, dan buoy’s, storm drogue, liferaft and any other equipment required to ensure you remain safe in all conditions.

  • Advice on how to take responsibility for managing clothing, hydration, sleep and nutrition to maintain your health and well being aboard.

  • Planning our arrival and route to safe harbour including timing with daylight (if required), weather factors, navigational hazards, communications / customs and sail/motor arrival plan.

  • Multi-day, offshore passage making 24/7 on a significant Category 1 offshore passage.


You can fly into either Brisbane or Gold Coast Airport on Sunday 17th November in time to join us for a crew dinner ashore. On the morning of Monday 18th November we will depart Southport early and head ESE to Middleton Reef. Depending on wind direction it will be 2-4 days to Middleton Reef and we will time our arrival for daylight. We'll sail around the eastern side of the reef before heading south to Elizabeth Reef, before continuing on to Lord Howe Island, where we should arrive by 22nd November where will will moor and arrange permission to go ashore for a weekend of touring and exploring. You should plan to fly out of Lord Howe Island on or after the 24th of November, unless of course you want to join us for the next 400nm leg via Balls Pyramid to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney.

Middleton Reef wrecked trawler


Your crew package includes; all meals onboard, meals ashore, accommodation onboard, your Ocean Gem crew shirt, marina fees, the use of a PFD (personal floatation device), PLB (personal locator beacon), and a safety tether. Your bedding, a pillow and towel is also included along with suncream.


Middleton Reef Ocean Passage Sailing Australia


Your crew package excludes; accommodation ashore, flights and transport to and from departure and arrival ports, alcohol, toiletries, clothing and wet weather gear. Its always recommended that you book flights with date flexibility incase of unforeseen changes due to weather or schedules. Accommodation options if you want to stay ashore either side of trip: AirBNBBooking.comWotif & HomeAway.

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