A country blessed equally with diverse cruising grounds and world-class marine infrastructure, Australia is very much a new superyacht frontier. The trailer (seen in the slider above), marks the launch of the Australia InDepth documentary series.

The 9-part feature series will be launched over the coming months on Superyachts.com, and takes a look at the staggering possibilities for superyacht cruising in Australia. The series will also delve into the advanced shipyard and marina infrastructure that ensure yachts can stay for long stints and have all their service requirements met.

The passing of the Special Recreational Vessels Act in December 2019 was a watershed moment for the Australian superyacht industry. The Act now permits foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia without being imported, and offers fresh inspiration for thrilling on-water adventures for those eager to try something unique.

Hollywood star Will Smith was the first to charter a foreign flagged yacht in Australian watersin the immediate aftermath of the new legislation. Though the global pandemic disrupted the first year of this opportunity, the demand for exploration and new adventures is growing. Australia’s abundance of natural splendour and unique experiences cater to those looking to try something new and bring the spirit of exploration back into yachting.

Hearing from leading industry representatives and superyacht captains, the first part of the series uncovers Australia’s diverse all-year-round cruising grounds.

The charter-focused episodes will explore the immense scope of experiences around this enchanting island nation. We begin our adventure with a look at reef-inspired experiences. These not only encompass the Great Barrier Reef – the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem and a source of inspiration for all – but also unique underwater adventures in areas such as Western Australia’smajestic Ningaloo Reef, where swimming with whale sharks feels part of the quotidian life.

Australia’s rugged and remote wilderness then becomes our focus, with a look at regions such as the awe-inspiring Kimberley – a truly unique destination for cruising where much of the natural beauty and wildlife can only be seen by yacht. Australia’s isolated destinations are ideal for explorer yachts looking to fulfil the purpose they were designed for, as well as guests wanting to immerse themselves in nothing but stunning landscapes and prolific wildlife.

From these isolated areas, the series then casts a spotlight on cities and luxury experiences throughout Australia. Soaking up Sydney’s New Year fireworks from the comfort of a superyacht is already firmly one for the bucket list, and we visit the iconic Sydney Harbour as well as other vibrant cities across the country.

From the events capital of Melbourne to the festival atmosphere of the Gold Coast and tropics of Cairns, each of Australia’s cities has a unique offering and central marina facilities to accommodate superyachts.

Marinas such as Sydney’s Jones Bay Wharf and Melbourne’s Superyacht Marina ensure that superyachts can berth right at the very heart of these cities, a stone’s throw from luxury indulgences and thrilling events. Adventure is never far from the city, with regions like Pittwater offering sublime natural beauty just a short cruise from the hustle and bustle of Sydney.

The second part of the Australia InDepth feature series is dedicated to the remarkable infrastructure and industry that covers all facets of service for superyachts in the country.

Australia’s thriving refit and maintenance shipyards are vital to ensuring that large superyachts visiting the Asia-Pacific region have access to all the service facilities needed to enjoy their stay trouble-free. Facilities such as Brisbane’s Rivergate Marina and Shipyard are trusted by owners and captains for such projects, and Australia benefits from having advanced, superyacht-capable shipyards in close proximity to all major cruising destinations.

No matter where their itinerary may take them, superyachts can also find a home in the country’s array of world-class marinas. Whether in the Whitsundays at the multi-award-winning Coral Sea Marina, at the Gold Coast’s 5 Gold Anchor Platinum Sanctuary Cove Marina, or up in the tropics of Cairns at Cairns Marlin Marina, Australia’s experienced marina operators know what is required to ensure each yacht maximises their experience.

Australia also has a long and illustrious history with yacht building, one which dates back to design legend Jon Bannenberg and is today graced with names such as Sam Sorgiovanni. In Western Australia, we visit the Australian Marine Complex – the home of Australia’s custom superyacht builders Echo Yachtsand Silver Yachts.

These shipyards have delivered iconic superyachts Bold and White Rabbit in recent years, and we learn about their different approaches to building unique, custom superyachts. Australia’s wealth of aluminium expertise and specialised trades are among the many advantages of undertaking a new-build project in Australia, with both yards also offering comprehensive refit and maintenance services. Not far from Echo and Silver, Vikal International is another of Australia’s yacht-building gems, with a longstanding reputation as a world-leader in bespoke superyacht tenders.

With this just the beginning of a new era for superyacht charter in Australia, the series will also cover the many large-scale developments in place across the country. There are major shipyard investments in place, from the Northern Territory’s Darwin Ship Lift Project, to Rivergate’s $200M expansion and developments at both shipyards in the Gold Coast. To welcome an influx in larger vessels, there are also key expansions of berthing facilities, not least at the Gold Coast’s Southport Yacht Club where a 160m berth is near-completion.

The Australia InDepth series will provide a complete visual guide to one of the world’s most enticing yachting destinations, form both a charter and industry standpoint. With owners and charterers looking to discover new experiences in serene natural environments, Australia is the natural choice for adventure.

Stay tuned to follow the release of the SY Original Australia InDepth documentary on Superyachts.com.

By George Bains

23 SEP 2021