Whitsunday Superyacht Anchorage Legislation
2017 marks in important year for vessels over 35metres visiting the Whitsunday region, as the marine park has been opened up for cruising superyachts. As of 2 August 2017, the legislation surrounding the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park zoning for vessels over 35metres has been revised to allow better access for superyachts up to 70m throughout the Whitsunday Islands and the unique marine environment that is the Great Barrier Reef. After extensive lobbying of state and federal government, the Australian government have officially opened up an additional 21 pristine anchorages in the Whitsunday region for superyachts to enjoy. These anchorages have been provided to allow superyachts recreational users and commercial charter vessels a range of anchorage locations to enjoy in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
For a comprehensive list of the anchorages permitted under this new legislation and for additional information relating to the booking process and GPS locations for the anchorages head to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website.
In addition, for local expertise on where best to visit in the Whitsundays, visit our recommended itineraries page or alternatively speak to our Superyacht concierge and they can assist with planning an itinerary to ensure a premium experience.
Foreign Flagged Charter Vessels
Under a new Act, the Australian Government will introduce a single permit system for coastal shipping, replacing the existing tiered license system. A Coastal Shipping Permit will provide unrestricted access to coastal movement for all vessels (Australian and foreign-flagged) for up to 12 months.
The permit protects vessels from importation procedures under the Customs Act 1901, and provides the opportunity for foreign-flagged vessels to charter in Australia without the requirement of an import tax. Foreign flagged vessels can also charter in Australia under a temporary license, however there are a few requirements that should be managed through a resident agent in Australia, to ensure a seamless process. Visit our Agent page for the contact details of superyacht agents who can assist with this process.
All vessels must enter through a section 15 port – the closest of which to the Whitsundays is Mackay or Townsville.
A 408 Superyacht Crew Visa is required for all members of the crew with the exception of Australia and New Zealand passport holders. This visa permits the crew to remain and work with their vessel. Superyacht agents in Australia can assist with this and all other legislative requirements for visiting superyachts.
Whilst we are happy to assist with any legislative queries you may have before entering Australia, we would highly recommend securing the services of an experienced superyacht agent to ensure a seamless and enjoyable visit to the region.