An exploration and showcase of the very best of North Queensland was the successful goal of the 2019 Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef familiarisation tour. This seven day event brought together delegates from around the world to enjoy and experience the wonders of our state and region, starting in the far North in Cairns and Port Douglas, and ending in our own aquatic playground here in the Whitsundays.
This year, along with Joanne Drake (Manager of Superyacht Group Great Barrier Reef), we were lucky enough to welcome the following invited delegates:
Cynthia Rasch – GM Port Denarau Marina, Fiji
Julia Zaltzman – Media – Freelance Writer /Editor, Robb Report, Frasers, Luxury Market Magazine Writer.
Christelle Holler – Managing Director, Yacht / UHNW Consultant – Tahiti Private Expeditions, Director International Superyacht Society
Suzy Mercien-Ferol – Co-Founder / Director Touring Treasures – High End DMC
Michael Schueler – 70M Superyacht Captain – USA
From the moment of arrival, we happily were able to immerse the delegates in the beauty of our region and showcase the benefits of chartering in the Whitsundays.
Landing at Hamilton Island, the delegates were able to enjoy lunch at luxury island resort, Qualia, followed by a private scenic helicopter flight over the swirling sands of Hill Inlet, Whitehaven Beach and the infamous Heart Reef prior to landing at Abell Point Marina. This made for the perfect introduction to our incredible location. Dining at Coral Sea Resort, Sorrentos Restaurant and Bar, and wandering the Saturday Markets provided the delegates with a glimpse into the relaxed and vibrant lifestyle of Airlie Beach. A day exploring the islands in the winter sunshine, plus snorkeling the fringing reef, ensured that our guests left having experienced a truly unique and memorable encounter with the very best of Queensland tourism.
Departing Abell Point Marina onboard 28m luxury superyacht Norseman, the Whitsundays made sure not to disappoint. From a turtle sighting to watching dolphins play in the wake, watching sea eagles overhead, plus getting up close and personal with the most colourful Napoleon Maori Wrasse at Mantaray Bay (Hook Island), the delegates were able to witness the very best that nature had to offer. Their curiosity for the state of the Reef was also satisfied as they are now able to state with confidence that the Great Barrier Reef remains justifiably a natural wonder to be seen.
Following the opening of many new Superyacht anchorages around the islands, along with the eagerly awaited re-opening of further island resorts such as Daydream Island and Hayman Island Intercontinental, the promotion of the superyacht charter industry for both Australian and International vessels in the Whitsundays was a primary focus during the familiarisation tour. The beauty of the region, the proximity of the islands and reef to the mainland, along with the excellent infrastructure and facilities available, ensured delegates were able to understand further the benefits to superyacht chartering within the region.
Joanne Drake, Manager of the SYGGBR, sums up perfectly that “The familiarisation tour is a really cooperative event, with so many people in the local tourism industry joining forces and working together to show off the unique aspects of our region both on land and at sea and making it a bucket-list essential for superyachts around the world.”