The best superyacht marinas in Australia are to be found near the UNESCO World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, one of the most pristine, healthy marine ecosystems on the planet. With 34,000 kilometres of beaches, rocks and cliffs surrounding the land down under, there are some amazing places to dock your yacht.
Fishing off the coast of Australia is some of the best in the world cruising the coastline is second to none. Some marinas are in sheltered rivers and can only accomodate smaller craft while others are as grand and luxurious as their international counterparts.
This variation is testament to the sheer size of the country and the different climes and environs of the docking and mooring facilities in Australia.
So, when planning an Australian sea adventure or just cruising the Australian coastline, which marina should you pick to refuel, refresh and explore?
Coral Sea Marina Resort
Airlie Beach, Queensland
Coral Sea Marina Resort is one of the best equipped in Australia due to its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and can accomodate up to 520 vessels in berths as large as 80 metres. The marina received a multi million dollar facelift over the last 8 years and is ready to welcome back the international tourists that were so scarce during the pandemic.
Its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef means it is the perfect launching pad for a relaxing cruise to this UNESCO World Heritage listed natural wonder. Coral Sea Marina Resort won the Superyacht Industry Service Provider of the Year Award in 2017 and entered into the Hall of Fame 2021 for Marina of the Year after winning from 2017 to 2020.
80 percent of all tourism in the area uses the Coral Sea Marina Resort as a base, so it is the perfect place to stay when on dry land. The Coral Sea Marina Resort offers immaculate rooms, an indulgent spa with ocean views and an enviable location with a beachside pool.
Coral Sea Marina | Source: Coral Sea Marina
Hamilton Island Marina
Hamilton Island, Queensland
Able to berth up to 301 vessels, Hamilton Island Marina has all the high quality amenities and facilities that you would need to rest, refresh and resupply on an expedition. It is located in the fabulous Whitsunday Islands, one of Australia’s most desirable destinations and can berth superyachts up to 45 metres in length.
In August, the marina hosts the Hamilton Island Race Week, a firm fixture on the international sailing calendar. The regatta is separated into racing and not-so-fast yachts including a multihull event and a non spinnaker class.
It has a post office, restaurants, bars, a supermarket, liquor and other retail offerings as well as refuelling, laundry, recycling and other facilities useful when enjoying a charter or stopping in on holiday. A boatyard, chandlery and many private shipwrights and other marina services means it is well-equipped to provide you with the right services to keep you afloat and enjoying the water.
Marina guests get access to a range of resort facilities such as access to the beach and resort side swimming pools as well as exciting Hamilton Island tours and activities, including Spa Wumurdaylin and the Dent Island Golf Course.
Hamilton Island Marina | Source: Trip Advisor
Sanctuary Cove Marina
Hope Island, Queensland
The range of services and amenities offered at Sanctuary Cove Marina is world-class. It was awarded a coveted Platinum Gold Anchor accreditation by the Marina Industries Association and provides superyacht owners with the best berthing and support facilities in Australia.
24/7 refuelling, yacht servicing and over 300 pens up to 50 metres long, some of them covered, take the pressure off owners. A host of recreational amenities offer visitors a hefty slice of the very best in luxury dining and shopping available in Australia.
Whether you need groceries, hampers or drinks for provisioning between cruises, Sanctuary Cove has you covered. A helipad, concierge service and country club make it a must-visit destination if you enjoy maritime activities and it is very conveniently located less than half an hour from Surfer’s Paradise.
Sanctuary Cove Marina has won accolades for its luxe amenities and top-tier services | Source: Sanctuary Cove
Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina
Port Douglas, Queensland
This marina is located in the north of Queensland, 31 nautical miles north-west of Cairns Harbour and relatively close to the Great Barrier Reef. It is the perfect place to moor a superyacht if you are looking to explore this magnificent part of Australia. There are berths for up to 135 vessels, with monohull and mutihull pens, and 50 berths for superyachts up to 50 metres in length.
It features multiple waterfront restaurants offering everything from tapas to seafood and there is a brewery on the wharf where you can try some of the locally brewed lager, pilsner, hef and tropical ale. A supermarket is similarly close as well as all the facilities and amenities you would expect from a superyacht marina such as showers and a laundry.
The marina sits in a sheltered spot, safe from the swell and damaging waves. Local businesses offer many experiences for visitors including a sunset sail on the Shaolin, a traditional Asian junk and a browse through some beautiful local art at the Australian and Oceanic Gallery.
Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina | Source: Tourism Port Douglas
Birks Harbour Marina
Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia
A private, romantic destination, Birks Harbour Marina is home to the Boathouse Retreat, a must stay if you are looking for somewhere to spend a few nights with that special someone.
Awake to the glass-like waters of the Murray River, the stillness and calm of the morning chill defines this gorgeous part of Australia. While it may not have large berths and facilities for larger yachts, it is definitely a very desirable marina to stay in.
Located in the historic town of Goolwa, one of the very first European settlements in South Australia, the first place in Australia to be awarded the honour of being named a Cittaslow, Birks harbour marina consists of a small jetty and a quaint, cosy resort.
The designation, cittaslow, is given by an Italian organisation that recognises and encourages towns and villages with high quality local food and drink, general conviviality and the opposition to cultural standardisation. It was borne of the slow food movement and member towns include Lagos, Portugal and Fairfax, California.
Birks Harbour is the perfect place to explore the fascinatingly beautiful Murray River, its shallow waters and shifting sands make for fantastic day trips spotting water birds, fishing or picnicking on the white sandy riverbanks.
Birks Harbour Marina | Source: Birks Harbour Marina
Port Lincoln Marina
Port Lincoln, South Australia
Port Lincoln is legendary for not only being the home of the largest commercial fishing fleet in Australia, but also reputedly has the most millionaires in Australia per capita. There are amazing wineries and rugged coastline close by, but if you are looking for the ultimate seafood experience, Port Lincoln is the best place to go.
The pristine waters around the Eyre Peninsula are perfect for catching a wide variety of delicious fish, such as southern Bluefin Tuna, Yellowtail Kingfish, King George Whiting and Snapper. The Port Lincoln Hotel serves amazing, local, fresh seafood such as Hiramasa Kingfish Ceviche with avocado purée, fennel and passionfruit.
If you would like to see where all this delicious fish comes from the waters of the Spencer Gulf are teeing with sea life and waiting for you to head out onto the water and cast a line. The best spots to find whiting around Port Lincoln are Coffin Bay, Tumby Bay and Arno Bay.
Wanna Beach and Miller’s Hole are good for Salmon, but the best place to find a fish for dinner is the Fresh Fish Place, 5 minutes drive from the marina, their huge range of fresh, factory direct seafood is the best in town and quite possibly the best in Australia.
Port Lincoln Marina | Source: Port Lincoln
Cullen Bay Marina
Darwin, Northern Territory
Accessible 24 hours in any tidal range, Cullen Bay Marina is the best place to keep your vessel when visiting Darwin, the number one attraction for yachts and yacht enthusiasts has to be the marvellous fishing to be had from the various charters available from Cullen Bay.
The marina is accessed through a lock system, which opens on the hour from 6am to 11pm every day, there are 170 berths in the middle of the marina with additional berths around the marina and the maximum length is 25 metres, of which there are limited spots.
All the usual amenities are available such as laundry and recycling/refuse disposal and the dining options in Cullen Bay Marina are top-notch; pizza, seafood, Greek, Indian and contemporary Australian cuisine are all available. You can even enjoy an ice-cold, fresh gelato, perfect for a humid Darwin day.
Cullen Bay | Source: Cullen Bay Marina Management Corporation
Marinas that offer fresh fish and chips served from the boat it was caught from earlier that day are rare, but this fresh deliciousness is exactly what is on offer at the historic, beautiful Constitution Dock in Hobart, Tasmania. Apart from the fish punts selling fresh catch, berths are available for up to 12 months and the marina is close to restaurants, shops and the centre of Hobart.
If you are in town during the festive period, the city of Hobart and the marina itself comes alive with the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. 88 supermaxi yachts up to 30 metres in length cross the finish line in Hobart and are greeted by huge amounts of people.
The nearby Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania has 210 berths ranging from 10-20 metres and is an excellent place to spend the day resupplying or exploring central Hobart, be sure to visit some of the renowned art galleries around Macquarie Wharf including the Plimsoll and Michael Bugelli Galleries.
Constitution Dock | Source: Wikipedia
Hillarys Boat Harbour
Perth, Western Australia
22 kilometres north of Perth, Hillarys Boat Harbour offers 410 marine pens ranging from 10-35 metres, restaurants, bars, retail shops, a walk though aquarium and of course, shipwright and chandlery services. Set on the northern coastline of the city, some of Australia’s cleanest beaches and best surf are very close.
Located on the vast Indian Ocean, many of the yachts and boats moored in the marina are used for deep sea fishing, further out you will find some of the best fishing in Australia. Anglers regularly catch Dhufish, Pink Snapper, Samson fish, and many more sought after and desirable species in the waters off Hillarys.
There is a marina beach with swimming platform, BBQ areas, playgrounds, scenic flights and even Harley Davidson tours. You can stay at the marina accomodation and enjoy the nightlife offered by some of the bars and restaurants on the sprawling boardwalk.
The Hillarys yacht club is an excellent place to get to know other yacht owners and find the right services to make your next charter perfect.
Hillarys Boat Harbour | Source: Hello Perth
Australia is the perfect place to charter a yacht and really feel like you are getting away from it all with some unforgettable destinations and world class superyachts upon which to experience the magic of the sunburnt country.
Original post - The Market Herald