South East QueenslandAustralia
Ideally situated between the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and the city luxuries of Sydney, South East Queensland is a major yachting capital which boasts thrilling activities, breath-taking cruising grounds and world-class superyacht infrastructure.
The three major areas of South East Queensland are Brisbane, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. All these destinations offer unique experiences and a different perspective of Australian life. There is plenty to do for superyachts in the region, with beautiful islands and cruising grounds to explore and a sumptuous climate to do so in. Brisbane and Gold Coast are both regions which attract international superyachts due to their thriving refit and maintenance industry, and yachts often extend their stay when they become aware of the exciting possibilities in South East Queensland.
Brisbane and Gold Coast are two eclectic cities, both with their own special personality and unique offering.
Brisbane is the state capital of Queensland, a vibrant cosmopolitan city with a laid-back culture that embraces the outdoor spirit. Though much of the big-city rivalry in Australia centres on Melbourne and Sydney, Brisbane’s intriguing culture and packed calendar of major events make it an equally appealing city escape – and the glorious weather of Australia’s sunshine state doesn’t do any harm! In Brisbane, you will find a perfect balance between modern city luxuries, including affluent designer shopping districts, and relaxing open green spaces, which make combine to make this a holistic city experience. Constant through all of this is Brisbane’s artistic culture and youthful energy.
The Gold Coast fuses city glitz with beach glamour, a perfect destination for superyachts to berth in the centre and soak up the sun on its famous beaches. Southport Yacht Club provides superb amenities and berthing for superyachts in a central location to the Gold Coast’s major attractions, while Sanctuary Cove Marina offers equally impressive facilities in a luxurious precinct which hosts an annual Boat Show.
A plethora of fine dining options and exquisite restaurants can be found in Surfer’s Paradise, the Gold Coast’s epicentre, with many of these overlooking the magnificent Main Beach. The southern region of the Gold Coast provides a more low-key environment, with small towns lining the serene beach stretches that radiate an atmosphere of a remote island. Burleigh Heads is famed for its scenic coastal walks and is a hotspot for surfers, while the whitewashed Burleigh Pavilion is a fantastic spot to enjoy food and drink with a panoramic view back across the beaches towards Surfer’s Paradise.
Both guests and crew love to take advantage of the amazing range of activities in the Gold Coast, which add extra excitement to an otherwise relaxing city. The Gold Coast is well-known as the capital for theme parks, while there are also fascinating museums and wildlife experiences. Gold Coast Motor Museum will enthral car lovers, though its stunning location in the hinterland and Michelin star restaurant make it a thoroughly enjoyable day trip for all.
Hinterland and natural adventures
South East Queensland is blessed with a rich hinterland brimming with diverse wildlife and awe-inspiring landscapes. For superyachts in the region, adventures in the nearby natural hinterland splendour provide a pleasant contrast to life at sea.
Noosa, located in the Sunshine Coast, is Australia’s relaxation capital. Behind its scintillating coastline is a rich hinterland where you can visit charming distilleries and boutiques as well as take on adrenaline-pumping hikes through a rugged terrain full of diverse wildlife. Noosa is home to globally awarded spas where guests can indulge in luxury, while the Noosa Heads Coastal Track is a stunning walk where you can try and find your way to the secret Fairy Pools. In between Noosa and Brisbane is the iconic Australia Zoo, run by the Irwin family, which is a thrilling day out for all groups.
A short drive inland from the spectacular Gold Coast beaches brings you deep into a luscious green hinterland, where you will stumble across delightful quaint cafes, craft breweries and even the best fudge shop in the country. There is extraordinary nature and wildlife to discover, with visitors and locals alike flocking to scenic vantage points such as Mount Tamborine, where you take in panoramic views back across the city and beaches. The Purling Brook Falls in Springbrook are among the many enchanting waterfalls to uncover in this sensational hinterland, and all can be enjoyed with time to return to your yacht for al-fresco dining in the evening.
Islands and cruising grounds
South East Queensland is brimming with undiscovered gems and island retreats. Even when in the major cities, you are never far away from a remote escape and exceptional natural beauty. There is a significant yachting community in the region that revel in the proximity and grandeur of the surrounding cruising grounds, and so do visiting superyachts.
Fraser Island is a truly unique island experience just a short cruise north of Noosa and the Sunshine Coast. Fraser boasts vastly different landscape to other islands in Australia, and offers a range of exhilarating activities to immerse yourself in. This is the world’s largest sand island, a World Heritage-listed site with magnificent untouched beauty and abundant flora and fauna. From the Champagne Pools to the Maheno Shipwreck and 75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island has something adventurous for everyone.
Moreton & North Stradbroke Islands are two phenomenal island escapes both within 40km from Brisbane’s vibrant city centre. North Stradbroke Island is rich in cultural and historical experience, though nature enthusiasts will be drawn to the dolphin encounters and bush walks which the island is famed for. Moreton Island offers incredible activities both on land and in its surrounding waters. Here, you will find the Tangalooma Wrecks – a cluster of 15 ships sunk by the Queensland Government which now act as a haven for over 100 species of fish and often even dolphins.
The large port city of Gladstone, northwest of Brisbane, is Queensland’s gateway to the southern Great Barrier Reef. That the reef extends down into South East Queensland speaks for the sheer volume of this natural wonder. There large berthing facilities for superyachts in the Gladstone Marina, and the location is ideal for those wishing to explore the coral cay at Heron Reef.
Brisbane and the Gold Coast are renowned for their superyacht refit and maintenance capabilities, boasting some of the largest facilities in Australia and a wealth of specialised trades. For visiting superyachts, these capabilities have made the region a hub to be based while the crew can enjoy the many attractions. The Yard and Rivergate Marina & Shipyard are the major shipyards in Brisbane, while the Gold Coast Marine Precinct has two world-class superyacht facilities in Gold Coast City Marina and The Boat Works. All of these shipyards attract superyachts from all over the world.