New amendments by the Australian government will create 21 anchorages for yachts up to 230 feet (70m) throughout the Whitsunday Planning Area, according to a news release from Superyacht Australia, an organization of businesses providing products and services to the megayacht industry. The group has been lobbying for the past nine years to allow yachts greater than 115 feet (35m) to cruise and anchor in key spots within the Great Barrier Reef.
“Many superyachts over 35m have been deterred from heading south for cruising due to the restrictions on access for vessels in the Whitsundays,” David Good, operations manager for Cairns Marlin Marina, stated. “With superyachts limited to a maximum of 12 persons, it was always very hard for visiting captains to understand the restrictions on access to one of the world’s best cruising grounds.
“These 21 new anchorages will really open up another cruising option and benefit the whole region by encouraging these vessels to stay longer and venture further,” he said. “The maintenance and logistics these vessels require when in the area benefit a massive number of small businesses, something that many businesses in regional Queensland will welcome.”
A cruising itinerary calling in at all the major superyacht marinas from Cairns to Tasmania is being developed by Superyacht Australia and will be promoted at the Monaco Yacht show in September.