Port Douglas marina expands to accommodate superyachts
by Sophia Heath
Construction is underway at Reef Marina in Port Douglas, Australia in a bid to attract superyachts to the area.
The $3 million project will see 30 new 22m and 30m length berths created, all of which will have 32 or 63 amp three-phase power. The marina currently has 115 berths that can accommodate yachts up to 24m and one 36m superyacht berth.
General manager Rob Cruz said: “This first phase of the expansion represents a substantial investment in Port Douglas’ tourism infrastructure and will boost employment and economic activity in the region by attracting more tourism vessels and visiting boats, including superyachts,
“We have been regularly turning away boats that want to visit Port Douglas because we haven’t been able to accommodate them.
“Superyachts currently gravitate towards competing destinations such as Airlie Beach as we don’t have the infrastructure to accommodate them here.”
The news comes after New Zealand celebrated a record number of visiting superyachts in the last season.
The project is being completed by family-owned business - The Jetty Specialist and the work is scheduled to be completed by August.
Including the current project $5 million has been invested in the Reef Marina's upgrade program over the past 18 months.
“All going to plan, we hope to treble this investment over the next few years and restore Reef Marina as one of Australia’s best marine tourism facilities,” Mr Cruz said.
“By providing additional capacity for private vessels and superyachts to visit Port Douglas and more commercial operators to base themselves here, the region will attract thousands of additional marine tourists and private yacht visitors each year.
“The marina has been operating at near full capacity for some time.”
Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree executive officer Tara Bennett has welcomed the development.
“This is a high yield market with demand that is not currently being met,” she said.
“The Reef Marina is an integral part of the tourism offering in Port Douglas and the investment will support the vital need for continued improvement in our tourism infrastructure.”