An inexhaustible source of adventure, Australia is the quintessential superyacht destination.
By George Bains
With an eclectic mix of unique experiences, there are memories to be made in Australia that simply cannot be found anywhere else. Escape to a country that in one moment will leave you in awe at its untouched natural beauty, and the next throw you into the very heart of the some of the world’s most exhilarating events. With an all-year-round cruising calendar, outstanding tourism experiences and world-renowned facilities, Australia is perfectly poised to welcome the global superyacht fleet. For those willing to indulge their inner hedonist, Australia is the ultimate superyacht playground.
Unique experiences, all-year-round
Summer and Winter cruising seasons afford Australia an irresistible outdoor spirit that lasts 365 days a year – rather fortunate given the abundance of experiences that await…
A continent surrounded by water, Australia is something of a superyacht haven. From the stunning coral reefs of Queensland, to the spectacular waterways of New South Wales and the crocodile-filled waterholes of the Northern Territory, Australia is a truly unique yachting experience. The kaleidoscopic colours of the Great Barrier Reef are the pinnacle of any diver’s fantasy. From Port Douglas down to Bundaberg stretches 300,000 square kilometres of coral cays, brimming with marine treasures and exquisite sea life.
Premium superyacht marinas scattered across the islands lead into luxurious five-star resorts, leaving your yacht in good care while you delve into an authentic barefoot island retreat. Ideal for groups carrying a wide demographic, the Whitsunday Islands offer everything from chic beach glamour to high-octane water sports.
Not all of the adventure is concentrated at sea. Step inland and discover Australia’s diverse flora and fauna, along with a rich Aboriginal culture. Stop off to play with kangaroos, koalas and wombats or sample fine wines at one of Australia’s exemplary vineyards. The rugged beauty of The Kimberley and Tropical North Queensland presents the opportunity to learn something new. Immerse yourself in 50,000-year-old Aboriginal rock art, brush up on your bush tucker skills or get an awe-inspiring perspective of it all from the sky.
For those who can’t stay too long away from the hustle and bustle of a city, world-class marina facilities in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne can take you right back into the action. Sydney is perfect for a long weekend of luxury comforts, fine dining, and high-end shopping. New Year’s Eve onboard a superyacht with the backdrop of Sydney’s Opera House and Harbour Bridge is certainly one for every owner’s bucket list.
Head down to Melbourne, the events capital, for some of the world’s best events. From the Harbour, you are a short tender cruise from the major sporting events held throughout the year, including the Grand Prix, Melbourne Cup and Australian Open. Alternatively, a short walk down the newly renovated dockside will bring you to the Marvel Stadium, where leading artists flock to perform.
Indulge in infinite luxury
No matter where in the country your itinerary may take you, Australia’s highlife is never far away.
Should you wish to venture into Australia’s richly diverse regions, the Luxury Lodges of Australia will welcome you in sumptuous style. A collection of the finest lodges and camps around Australia, Luxury Lodges offers over 250 individual experiences and activities that connect guests to Australia’s most breath-taking locations, unlocking their curiosity and adventure-seeking spirit.
The standards of comfort and service in Australia’s high-end heritage sites are parallel to that of a stay onboard one of the finest superyachts. Whether overlooking the Ningaloo Reef on Australia’s West Coast, staying in the world-renowned Barossa Valley wine region in Southern Australia or dining underneath the iconic Uluru/Ayers Rock in the World Heritage listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the Lodges deliver a truly special experience.
Available to a very select number of guests each year, the Luxury Lodges are the perfect way to experience the exclusivity of a superyacht escape. Placing you in remote areas of untouched natural beauty, the Lodges will often leave you feeling like the only people in the world.
If you prefer not to stray too far from the natural playground of the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns and the Whitsunday Islands offer a selection of high-end luxury resorts. Surrounded by a bewitching blend of sublime landscapes, intriguing marine life and infinitely perfect anchorages, the tropical coast marinas offer something for every superyacht party. Superyacht owners have enthused that being able to explore the coastal towns without the need for a security detail has added a special touch to their Australian exploits.
World-class superyacht facilities
Nowhere else in the world can a superyacht sit so detached and isolated yet still be within a short cruise from premier, state-of-the-art shipyard facilities. Australia has a thriving refit and maintenance industry that has benefitted recently from significant investment to cater to larger vessels, meaning no project is too complex.
All along the East Coast there is an array of shipyards that constantly makes sure the South Pacific fleet is well serviced and pristine. The capabilities available are not to be understated. In Cairns, the world’s largest Mobile Boat Hoist at BSE Maritime Solutions gives the area significant pulling, and lifting, power. Just a short walk from these facilities is the prestigious Great Barrier Reef International Maritime College, a great feeder of talent for the industry and a useful resource for crew in the region. Cairns itself provides the perfect setting for a superyacht homeport, situated between the Wet Tropics Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, two World Heritage listed natural wonders. The City can accommodate superyachts of up to 140m in length, while highly experienced agents take great care in providing everything needed for a seamless transition from or to life at sea.
Queensland’s vibrant South East boasts a similarly impressive offering. The well-established facilities in Brisbane and the Gold Coast have given the green light to significant investments as they prepare for an influx of visiting superyachts. Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard (GCCM) has been a longstanding leader in the refit sphere, regularly welcoming back vessels such as 73m Dragonfly and 63m SuRi. GCCM will soon complete an expansion to double the size of the shipyard and include a 1000 tonne capacity lift. The Gold Coast has also benefitted from the opening of a new Superyacht Yard at neighbouring shipyard The Boat Works. Inspired by the vision of owner and motorsport legend Tony Longhurst, The Boat Works has an aesthetic more fitting for a luxury marina and her VIP service has already enthralled captains and owners alike. With superyacht visitation to the Gold Coast on the rise, the world’s largest superyachts will be able to position themselves on the picturesque coastline at Southport Yacht Club’s new 163m berth.
Over in Brisbane, Rivergate Marina and Shipyard has its own prominent international reputation, having completed over 250 superyacht projects since opening in 2006. Rivergate’s positioning on the Brisbane River provides easy access to both the bustling city and the immaculate cruising grounds of Australia and the South Pacific. Owners, captains, and crew can enjoy the attractions of Brisbane while their superyacht rests in safe and caring hands. In fact, it is not uncommon for owners to extend their stay to explore the hidden gems of Stradbroke Island and Moreton Bay. Rivergate fuses the care and attention given by a family-run company with the power of parent company ADCO Constructions. As the superyacht clientele grows year on year, Rivergate is well placed to meet these needs and plans are in place for a new $100M development of their site.
Not all the gold is concentrated on the East Coast. The Australia Marine Complex in Henderson, Western Australia is home to Echo Yachts and Silver Yachts, both multi-award-winning superyacht builders with glowing international reputations. The delivery of 84m trimaran White Rabbit by Echo Yachts in 2018 earned worldwide acclaim for reimagining the possibilities of comfort and efficiency onboard a superyacht. A year later, Silver Yachts’ 85m superyacht Bold turned heads at the Monaco Yacht Show, cementing Australia’s seat at the table of world’s best superyacht producers.
Superyacht projects undertaken in Australia not only benefit from the thousands of specialised trades that surround each facility and the historic expertise in aluminium, but also from the significant exchange rate advantage of the Australian Dollar.
The passage of the Special Recreational Vessels Act in December 2019 has allowed foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia for the first time. Hollywood star Will Smith became the first to officially charter a superyacht in Australia just days after the new legislation. Since then, interest in superyacht charters has blossomed from the tropical northern areas down to the isolated splendour of Tasmania. Where better to kickstart a superyacht charter than in a country that boasts summer and winter seasons, a plethora of natural beauty, and elite infrastructure?
With the intimacy of a small island and the might of a first world country, Australia is the South Pacific superyacht hub with a perfect balance to ensure there is never a dull moment. Some of the world’s largest superyachts frequent the sanctuary of Tropical North Queensland’s marinas as a homeport and gateway to the excitement of the South Pacific islands.
Be among the first to take full advantage of the unfathomable opportunity in Australia. Superyachts are made to explore, and no region offers a more diverse land and waterscape than Australia. With world-class infrastructure and indulgent luxury lodges and resorts, it is easy to understand why many superyachts have never left. For a new experience, Superyacht in Australia.