Traditional Boat Squadron

Of Australia

Canberra Classic Boatfest


13-14th April 2024


Meet at the lawns of Canberra Yacht Club 1 Marina Place, Yarralumla, ACT, 2600

All traditional boats are welcome: rowers, putt-putts, sailing craft, steam boats, wooden boats or maybe not.

This event is part of the annual Canberra and Region Heritage Festival



0900 Cruise including morning tea on Lake Burley Griffin

1100-1400 Public display of boats and boating equipment

1400 Explore the lake at your leisure

1830 Dinner at Statesman Hotel with guest speaker, and social chat


1000-1200 Grand Parade to Kingston Harbour and return.

But Wait!
There's More!

The classic yacht Aorere, built in 1898 and recently restored will be attending BoatFest. With her tall mast she will not be able to join the parade, but we expect 6 wooden rowing sculls from Capital Lakes Rowing club ...

See all the National Institutions and the Governor General’s residence from your boat.


Robyn Thorne,
Mobile: 0409 031 243



The BoatFest will be held on the lawns of the Canberra Yacht Club, Mariner Place, Yarralumla.

Download Registration Form Here!

There are two boat ramps and a jetty in Lotus Bay, about 100 m from the club. There is sufficient parking for cars and trailers at the ramps. Small boats could be launched directly from the lawns of the yacht, but parking there has limits. For those not familiar with Lake Burley Griffin, you can download a chart of the lake .

When operating a power boat on the lake you should have all the usual safety equipment: lifejackets, bailing bucket, paddle /oars, torch, whistle/ horn, fire extinguisher and anchor with rope. As Lake Burley Griffin is classed as ‘Alpine waters’ lifejackets should be worn in any boat less than 4.8 m length.

To operate a power boat on the lake you should have a power boat permit, which is issued free by the National Capital Authority. The permit can be a temporary permit, or if you think you might visit again, apply for an annual permit, which will be automatically renewed each year. Apply for a permit Category C3  for ‘traditional boats’.  The permit application can be found HERE.

You do not need a power boat driver’s licence for LBG. Any traditional power boat on LBG needs to remain below 10 knot speed.

What to do in Canberra?

Come a few days before, or after the Boatfest. Tourism Australia has many suggestions of things to do in Canberra and surrounds 

COVID-19 is still circulating in Canberra. Please do not attend the Boatfest if you have Covid19 symptoms, unless you have been tested and found to be negative.


The Statesman Hotel has been recently renovated, so has quality rooms at reasonable prices. Mention that you are attending the BoatFest and you may get a discount. Phone: 02 6281 1777

Things to bring

Bring a folding chair so we can sit on the lawns or under shade near the boats to have lunch. Fish and chips can be bought at Snapper on the lake which operates onsite with outdoor tables adjacent to Canberra Yacht club Bring a warm jacket. April is the best weather of the year for a Boatfest, but Canberra weather is notoriously fickle