In October 1987 and March 1988, measurements were taken across the Sahul shelf and the southwestern end of the Timor Strait to the edge of Indonesian waters. The shipboard instrumentation comprised a conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) rosette, an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) and a Pegasus dropsonde. Complementary data came from satellite-tracked drifters, continental shelf moorings, and a Nansen bottle survey in 1976. Pegasus and ADCP measurements in the strait suggested a total transport of about 7 Sv toward the Indian Ocean, with about half of this in the upper 350 m. However, transports may at times be higher, because a drifter in July 1983 revealed speeds of l m s−1 in the strait, twice those measured on the surveys. Data from moored current meters implied a transport on the shelf of roughly 1 Sv, except in the autumn transition of the monsoon in 1985 when it exceeded 3 Sv. Water properties measured on the 1987 and 1988 surveys suggested components from the Flores and Banda seas, Indian Ocean Central Water and a high-salinity subsurface plume from evaporation on the inner Sahul shelf.