It should come at no surprise that Australia, even more so the Whitsundays, has some of the most spectacular cruising destinations and natural attractions in the world yet superyachts (35m+) up until recently, have been deterred from heading to our stunning Whitsundays waters due to the restrictions on access for the vessels.
Paul Darrozet, owner of the award-winning Abell Point Marina (Luxury Yachts Whitsundays base) quoted “the increased access for superyacht anchorages in the Whitsundays is a huge boost for the local economy and the superyacht industry across Australia. Superyacht captains now have the flexibility to develop a comprehensive itinerary in the Whitsundays which has a direct benefit to our marina business and connected local services. The new amendments are very timely for the upcoming cruising season in the Whitsundays.”
The Minister for the Environment and Energy 21; The Hon Josh Fryenberg, has assured the Government that the Superyacht anchorages will be established at carefully selected locations with no corals or other sensitive habitats and this will enable further tourism opportunities and still protect the area’s core values.
In the past, Australian Superyacht owners have been unable to explore their own backyard, travelling to other Pacific countries rather than spend the time and tourism dollars in Australia. With marine tourism taking a big piece of the Australian economy pie Superyachts Australia has been tirelessly lobbying for the last nine years to bring this to fruition.
The changes will be implemented in stages over the next 12 months and will be updated and formalised through updates by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to the Whitsunday Plan of Management an area-specific plan that manages use in our highly visited region.