Located on the southern side of Peel Island, Horseshoe Bay is a popular day destination for boaties. Being less than two hours sail from Manly, it offers an excellent beach with clear water. The anchorage is arguably the best anchorage when northerly winds are forecast. Lazaret on the northern side of Peel Island is a good alternative in southerly winds.
How to get there
Heading out from the leads at Manly Habour, the most direct route to Horseshoe Bay is passing between Green and King Islands and then heading south east to Peel Island. Yachts can navigate via the western or eastern side of the island with the western side the most popular option.
Best winds: Northerly
Depth: 2-5 mtrs
Getting into the anchorage
The anchorage can be accessed from the southerly side of Peel Island. A sandy beach extends the full length of bay and as with any anchorage, birds of a feather stick together so anchoring near similar yachts is recommended. The tide retreats a long way from the beach to be careful not to anchor up too close on a falling tide. It is also important to be alert for southerly wind changes that can create a dangerous lee shore.
What to do there
The clear water in shore is ideal for swimmers and the rocks on the eastern side of the bay offer excellent snorkelling opportunities. The white sandy beach is popular with day trippers and visitors. The anchorage can be very crowded during the weekends but during the week is a relatively quiet anchorage. Dugongs, turtles, and dolphins are frequent visitors of Horseshoe Bay and in recent times even whales have been spotted as they migrate the east coast during winter.
Peel Island is a National Park but was a leper colony from 1907 to 1959 . Historical buildings and remnants of the colony still remain and tours are available by contacting the local ranger in advance.
Horseshoe Bay is an ideal location for lunch on a day trip as well as being a safe and calm overnight stop in northerly winds. It’s a favourite with Yachtshare owners and local boat owners.
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