Queensland Prepares to Welcome World’s Largest Superyachts

By George Bains

Development of a 163-metre berth at the Southport Yacht Club (SYC) is soon to be underway, with plans being finalised on what will become Australia’s largest superyacht berth. The move is seen as an important part of the Queensland government’s Superyacht Strategy, aimed at establishing the Australian state as a world superyacht hub by 2023.

Located on Australia’s Gold Coast, one of the country’s most all-encompassing tourist hotspots, Southport Yacht Club is a famed pillar of the region’s sailing community, offering everything from watersports, regattas to even just a relaxing bite to eat overlooking the marina.

The construction of a 163m berth, located west of the vibrant SYC Clubhouse, will be a landmark step in Queensland’s bid to become the Asia-Pacific region’s key superyacht hub. The berth will allow the SYC to accommodate superyachts of up to 135m in length and with a maximum beam of 19m, though it is thought that it will initially welcome vessels of around the 85m mark.

The development is part of a wider project to enhance the tourism experience at The Spit, a sandy isthmus at the tip of the Gold Coast that also hosts Marina Mirage, Palazzo Versace and Sea World. Alongside the building of this unprecedented berth, a plot of just under 11,000m2, known as Jack Gordon Park, will be professionally landscaped for the benefit of the wider community. The plot of land, which runs adjacent to the new berth, will be fitted with a pedestrian promenade as well as a new service lane to facilitate provisioning for visiting superyachts.

Mark Riddell, Waterfront Manager of SYC, told Superyachts.com of the profound impact that the development will have not only on his marina, but on the entire Gold Coast city. "The new berth will complement the already existing superyacht berths we have at SYC and give Gold Coast contractors and suppliers significant benefits in supplying and provisioning these size vessels with ease.

"This berth will be a game changer not only for the Gold Coast but also the Australian superyacht industry. Within walking distance to our world class Gold Coast beaches, theme parks, motor sport events, Magic Millions horse racing and many other events that the Gold Coast showcases, this will change tourism on the Gold Coast."

The construction period is predicted to last six months and is seen as an easily deliverable part of the Spit Master Plan. The project will provide a massive boost to local industries, with the community expected to see a return of at least $12m in the form of jobs and revenue. Not only will the sight of a 100m+ superyacht against the Gold Coast’s magnificent coastline be postcard-worthy, but the new berth will also host public maritime events and opens to possibility to bringing novelty boats such as HMS Endeavour to the region.

For the Australian superyacht industry, it marks a significant milestone in progress to revamp infrastructure in order to welcome larger vessels. The region of South East Queensland alone has seen heavy investment into superyacht facilities over the last few years. The opening of a new $120m superyacht shipyard at The Boat Works, along with major projects planned for industry stalwarts Rivergate and GCCM, has seen the region become a refit capital for superyachts in the South Pacific.  

Not only is the East Coast of Australia an all-year-round destination with some of the world’s most breath-taking cruising grounds, but it has world class infrastructure and expertise in place to ensure that superyachts can also be serviced during their stay. As the wider world becomes more apparent of Australia’s holistic covering as a superyacht destination, there will no doubt be a rising trend in migration to the relatively unexplored region of the South Pacific.

"This berth will be a game changer not only for the Gold Coast but also the Australian superyacht industry."

Mark Riddell, Waterfront Manager of Southport Yacht Club

"This berth will be a game changer not only for the Gold Coast but also the Australian superyacht industry."

Mark Riddell, Waterfront Manager of Southport Yacht Club
By George Bains