Port Douglas has always been famous for its clear dark skies brightened by the infinite glow of the stars.

But visitors have never been treated to a guided astronomy tour using military grade lasers while floating on the waters of the Coral Sea.

That is until now.

Pioneering Port Douglas businessman John Morris has teamed up with Blue Dive owner Mark Fraenkel to offer an unprecedented nighttime experience on board one of the most popular vessels in town.

Enter the Sunset and Stargazing Adventure Cruise by Blue Dive on the Choo Choo Explorer.

Using the finest in licensed green star spotting lasers, the second half of the cruise is dominated by the cosmic enchantment in the sky.

“We had a vision and wanted to offer something that’s never been seen before in Port Douglas,” Fraenkel said.

“The southern sky shines brightest in Australia, so for people to experience its magic on a guided stargazing expedition on water is very unique.

“It’s certainly an exciting collaboration between John Morris and Blue Dive Port Douglas.”

The tour, rubber-stamped by the Astronomical Society of Australia, also offers a rare opportunity to see the region’s exciting wildlife under the cover of darkness.

How? Using specifically designed, red-beamed, wildlife spotting torches, of course.

“We wanted to offer a tropical wildlife experience and give visitors a chance to spot a crocodile, or some of the vast array of nocturnal animals, at night,” Fraenkel said.

“A lot of thought has gone into making this one of the best experiences in the region using state-of-the-art equipment.”

After taking in the rainforest-clad Great Diving Range at sunset, the adventure makes its way up the mangrove-lined Dicksons Inlet where keen eyes begin to scan the waterways.

The tour then turns toward the sky where the history of the constellations are passed on by a trained guide, along with tales from Kuku Yalanji folklore.

“Our beautiful star-studded sky is like a time machine, there are just so many incredible stories to be told and that’s what this tour is all about,” Fraenkel adds.

“The moon’s light takes 1.3 seconds to get to us, and the sun, our nearest star, over eight minutes.

“So we point out some very distant stars that potentially have died hundreds and hundreds of years ago.”

The cruise, which runs for almost two hours, includes free nibbles and a paid bar. Trips run on Monday and Thursday at 5.30pm from the Port Douglas marina.


by Blue Dive on the Choo Choo Explorer

For more information and to book visit www.bluedive.com.au/stargazing, email info@bluedive.com.au or call 0427 983 907.

Source: https://www.newsport.com.au/2018/july/port-douglas-stargazing-tour-captures-imaginations/

A STAPLE of the Port Douglas Carnivale will return to the marina this year.

The Seafood Extravaganza will be held at the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina on Sunday, May 27 and the old favourite is set to team up with Hemingway’s Brewery, who will have a specially crafted beer for the occasion.

The craft beer will match the seafood including oysters, prawns, mussels and fresh fish the Port Douglas craft brewery and restaurant is serving.

Hemingway’s Group Events Director Cathy Alexander said the cold seafood menu will include an oyster station with freshly shucked oysters, fresh prawns from North Queensland, sashimi and smoked mussels.

The Hemingway’s kitchen will also be serving hot seafood dishes such as fish and chips during the event. The new beer will be served alongside Hemingway’s other craft beers plus there will be wine tasting on the marina boardwalk.

The seafood event will also include plenty of entertainment with face painting and presentations by Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures for children.

“We’ve also got a doughnut shack on the marina for the kids,” Alexander said.

“There will be non-stop live entertainment till 5pm, the official end of the Extravaganza. Then we will continue with a Sunday session at Hemingway’s late into the evening.”

Hemingway’s will be opening its upstairs bar during the Extravaganza.

“There are great views of the marina from there, and we know people will love being up there.”

Alexander said the restaurant will also cater for anyone who comes along on the day.

“There’s plenty for non-seafood eaters and vegetarians. You’ll still be able to get a burger and all our other regular menu items.”

The Seafood Extravaganza is on May 27 from 12pm to 5pm at the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, Port Douglas. Port Douglas Carnivale runs from May 25-27.

Source: https://www.newsport.com.au/2018/april/everyones-favourite-seafood-event-returns-to-marina/ 

Delivering a unified Great Barrier Reef destination message is the key focus of four collaborating superyacht marinas at this year’s Australian Superyacht Rendezvous.

Taking a collective marketing approach to target international superyachts, Abell Point Marina, Cairns Marlin Marina, Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina and Hamilton Island Marina are working together to promote one simple message – the Great Barrier Reef is the best cruising grounds in the world.

The world-heritage listed Great Barrier Reef is home to icons such as Whitehaven Beach, Lizard Island and the Low Isles. These four marinas are located on the doorstep of these natural wonders providing first-class superyacht facilities, as well as access to unlimited itinerary potential.

Diving the coral reefs, exploring ancient rainforests, enjoying a luxury island resorts or cruising the 74 Whitsunday islands, these hero experiences are the focus of the Great Barrier Reef marina collaboration.

The Australian Superyacht industry eagerly awaits the 2018 Australian Superyacht Rendezvous hosted by Gold Coast City Marina (GCCM) on 20/ 21 April. After the resounding success of last year’s event, the 2018 Australian Superyacht Rendezvous provides the ultimate platform for industry to further enhance the potential of the superyacht industry in Australia.

GCCM chief executive officer, Trenton Gay explains “we are thrilled to have all four of the major Great Barrier Reef marinas onboard as sponsors. Their support adds enormous strength to our event and the very strong message we are sending to the global Superyacht fleet.”

“The Australian Superyacht Rendezvous is about the superyacht industry banding together to put an international spotlight on our amazing country as the ultimate cruising destination and collaborating to attract a larger superyacht fleet to our pristine waters”.

Coming together as co-sponsors of this prestigious event are four superyacht marinas based on the Great Barrier Reef. With a shared vision to promote the Great Barrier Reef region to domestic and international superyachts, this will be the first time the group has worked this closely together to communicate the itinerary potential of the world-heritage listed cruising grounds.

Luke McCaul, general manager Abell Point Marina confirms the rationale behind the collaboration, “to work alongside other quality superyacht marinas in the region is essential to secure increased visitation to the region.”

“The diversity of the cruising grounds, marina facilities and superyacht support services available to visiting vessels in the Great Barrier region is world-class. If the Superyacht industry are smart in promoting our national assets in a collaborative and consistent nature, we will realise our message will emerge stronger and more competitive in the global market.”

Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina in Port Douglas, Cairns Marlin Marina, Abell Point Marina and Hamilton island in the Whitsundays, are collaborating under industry association banner Superyacht Group Great Barrier Reef (SYGGBR) in a real example of how superyacht industry partners are working together to secure the future growth of the superyacht industry in Australia.

MaryAnne Edwards of Superyacht Australia agrees that ‘’this type of collaboration is exactly what the industry needs and it is exciting to see Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, Cairns Marlin Marina, Abell Point Marina and Hamilton Island marina join forces at the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous to promote the Great Barrier Reef. With the newly launched Superyacht Guide to the Great Barrier Reef and marketing efforts like this we expect to see an increase in vessels heading their way. This increase in visitation would be a boost for regional Australia”

Chair of Superyacht Group Great Barrier Reef (SYGGBR), Carrie Carter supports the collaborative venture, ‘’as the sole Far North Queensland superyacht cluster, the SYGGBR are extremely pleased to announce the collaboration of our four world-class marinas at the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous. By imparting their collective capability and high-end services to the global superyacht fleet, our marinas will also showcase their complimentary itineraries and destinations, encompassing the magic of the amazing cruising grounds of the GBR from North to South.”

The Australian Superyacht Rendezvous shines an international spotlight on Australia’s first-class superyacht facilities, hero tourism experiences and safe cruising grounds, making Australia the ultimate cruising destination for overseas yachts.

For more information visit – http://australiansuperyachtrendezvous.com.au/

CHECK OUT THE HEAD ON THAT (tasty, tasty craft beer)

Hemingway’s Brewery is now open at The Reef Marina….. and WE’RE EXCITED!

Like a proud parent, I am thrilled to have seen a fairly tired end of the marina’s retail centre (to be polite) transformed into world-class boutique brewery. Even Christopher Skase, whos legendary apartment made way for the upstairs@hemingways bar, would have given the two thumbs up.

Hemingway’s opening is not just a milestone for its founders – Tony Fyfe and Craig Parsell – but for the region at large. Employing about 30 people and hosting up to 650 guests, the brewery will play an important part in promoting FNQ tourism, especially conferences and events.

Our warm congratulations goes out to Tony, Craig, the rest of the Hemingway’s team and all those people who made it happen.


Coinciding with the opening of Hemingway’s, the Ballyhooley railway is now operating a daily commuter service. Trains operate four times a day between the marina and St Crispins Station. See the timetable at www.ballyhooley.com.au.


Environmental compliance works are almost complete. Amongst other things, infrastructure is being installed to collect and store water runoff. We are now taking slipway bookings for a planned opening in the week of 11 July. Email service@thereefmarina.com.au


We welcome the immaculate 35 meter Dream Time to The Reef Marina. Less than a year since the opening of our superyacht expansion, we now have five permanent superyachts and many more are scheduled to visit this year.

A big welcome also to Indigo Charter’s new Fontaine Pajot catamaran ‘Indigo 2’. For sunset cruises and charters visit www.indigoportdouglas.com.au.

That’s all the marina news for now. I’ll see you at Hemingway’s for a Doug’s Courage IPA.

Customers and friends….


The Reef Marina team is delighted to announce that the first phase of our marina expansion is complete! We are honoured to have had the Hon. Warren Entsch MP officially open our new berths yesterday…. and didn’t Port Douglas turn on the weather! Thank you to Cassandra Pulver of Newsport for the photos.

Our expansion, comprising thirty new 30 meter and 22 meter length berths, is the largest investment in the marina precinct since the 1980s. Ably constructed by Queensland family-owned company The Jetty Specialist, the berths provide new space for tour boats and visiting vessels.

A number of visitors are already using our new berths, including the magnificent MY Vegas which arrived last week to escape the Melbourne winter. Welcome Vegas!


The marina office has moved. Our shiny new office is upstairs in the rotunda area. Come and visit us via the entrance next to Sailaway.


A big welcome and congratulations to John & Jenny Edmondson and the Wavelength team on the delivery of their eco-friendly catamaran Wavelength IV.


The Reef Marina’s upgrade program rolls on. Our team is progressing with waler replacement on Rows A, B & C.

We are also re-marking the carpark. Could I please urge all customers (and your staff) to respect the reserved spaces, especially those committed to coaches and minivans.

Renovation of our retail complex also continues at pace. Please be aware that demolition & building works in the rotunda space (adjacent to Lure) and the eastern end of the complex (Hogs Breath end) will be commencing next week.

Have a magic Port Douglas day!

Hi All,

Well it looks like the weather has finally come good and we are expecting large numbers this Sunday for the 2014 Seafood Extravaganza!

Please come down and join the festivities starting at 11am and ending after sunset.

** One more important point to the aware, of the car park (passed the boom gate) at the back of the Marina well be closed from 10:30am to after sunset. **

I hope to see you all down at the Marina tomorrow.

Take care,

Robert Cruz

General Manager