SEAFOOD at the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina will be nothing short of extravagant.

Fresh oysters, prawns and fish will be on offer as Port Douglas Carnivale celebrations continue with a Seafood Extravaganza “marina takeover” on Sunday.

Hemingway’s Brewery will join forces with Santiego Seafoods, Barbados, Lure and Preston Fresh Seafoods to reignite “the original” Carnivale Sunday seafood event.

Hemingway’s venue manager Chris Barber said the event will have a fun festival atmosphere, with lots to do.

“We have been able to bring back the original Seafood Extravaganza that is so loved by the locals to its former glory,” Mr Barber said. “Even if you don’t like seafood, there will be something for you here. It should be a good turn out, it’s a great event supporting local businesses. There will be plenty to keep the kids busy with Melville’s Petting Zoo and Hartley’s Reptile show, along with face painting, an ice-cream van and a fire engine. Non-stop live music, starting with Cairns acts Cam Kettle and Simon Harris, followed by The Lost Backpackers (Ireland) and The Lyrical (Brisbane).”

The extravaganza kicks off at the marina on Sunday at 12pm. Entry is free.


Hemingway’s Brewery has attracted more awards for their brews, this time at the 2019 Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA).

Hemingway’s Breweries’ walked away from the competition with Best Pilsner and a swag of gold, silver and bronze medals.

Hosted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, the AIBA presentation evening saw industry leaders and experts worldwide come together to celebrate the best local and international beer.

Eight champion trophies were awarded in addition to Champion Australian Beer and Champion International Beer.

Hemingway’s Brewery Results at the 2019 AIBA were:

  • The Prospector Pilsner – Gold medal and Best Pilsner
  • Tunnel 10 Lager – Gold medal
  • Pitchfork Betty’s Pale Ale – Silver medal
  • The Endeavour West Coast IPA – Silver medal
  • 7th Heaven Tropical Ale – Bronze medal
  • Doug’s Courage XPA – Bronze medal

Hemingway’s Brewery CEO and co-founder Tony Fyfe said they were ‘over the moon’ at winning Best Pilsner for signature beer, The Prospector which also secured gold in its category.

“We basically took home a medal for every core beer in our range and we couldn’t be happier,” he said.

“This is a big deal for us and especially when you consider the competition that includes large multi-national companies.

“We are extremely proud of our team and the industry’s endorsement for our talented brewers.”



MAJOR players in the superyacht and tourism industry rubbed shoulders at an informative famil at the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina on Tuesday.

The week-long event showcased everything Port Douglas and Cairns had to offer, as a premier superyacht destination.

Dr Dean Miller from Great Barrier Reef Legacy spoke of why Port Douglas was the perfect launching point to experience what the Great Barrier Reef had to offer.

“The outer Reef is in exceptionally good condition,” he said.

“With the correct guides you can have the most amazing experience.

“There are a lot of opportunities for the superyacht industry, including specialised charters with marine experts and have an adventure with a purpose.”

Points of international vesselsmaking their way to the Far North was a bid talking point.

Super Yacht Group GBR chairwoman Carrie Carter said promotion of the local superyacht charter industry was important.

“Since the… decision in August 2017 to overturn legislative barriers that prevented superyachts from cruising here, many new anchorages have opened up,” Ms Carter said.

Source: Cairns Post

A new brand of boat has docked at the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina with the Sahana taking up residence in Port Douglas for the next eight months.

The luxurious vessel has made the journey from Sydney and the Gold Coast to offer clients a new and opulent way to enjoy the reef.

Sahana Skipper, Paul Busk, said he is excited to showcase the region from the decks of the superyacht. “I absolutely love it being in Port Douglas,” he said. “We mostly target short term charters and take people out to the reef.

Captain Busk has a long history of boating with his great grandfather, grandfather and father all making a living from fishing. He is also an ex-commercial fisherman, learning the ropes when he was just five years old and says the Sahana is a long way from where he began. “It’s definitely different but I love it and love being out on the ocean; it’s part of what I do,” he said.

The 36.5 metre Sahana boasts room for 70 guests on a day trip with room for eight to sleep on board. It had a major refurbishment in 2014 and the sleek minimalist design is more reminiscent of a penthouse apartment than a seafaring vessel.

The Sahana also caters for those who are not as comfortable on the water with state-of-the-art stabilisation technology. “She is a long-range boat and very comfortable,” Captain Busk said. “She is dual stabilised; so, we have big track fins underneath and gyros so she will stay stabilised and be comfortable even for guests who might not be used to the ocean.”

Captain Busk said every detail, from the yacht and the crew, is perfectly curated to give guests a memorable and flawless experience on board. “We’ve been in charter since 2015 and we’ve quickly worked our way to the top of the Australian market,” he said. “We have worked hard to be as professional we can be which is particularly good for international guests because they know they can get the same product here they can get overseas.”

The Sahana will be in Port Douglas for this season with a view to make winters up here a regular occurrence.



Wavedancer, Quicksilver’s luxury 30-metre sailing catamaran is now boasting a $1 million facelift after being out of the water since the beginning of the year. Over the past 4 months, she has received a total refit including completely new ceilings, floors and walls. The entire inside of the vessel has been redesigned to enable our crew to provide a superior day experience for our guests.

The new design will allow our lunch service to be served from a new large internal bar and servery area. Also included in her refurbishment are new seats, tables and change rooms and 2 brand new engines.

Tony Baker, Managing Director of the Quicksilver Group complimented the Quicksilver Engineering team and BSE Cairns Slipways who have worked tirelessly to keep Wavedancer’s refurbishment schedule on track despite adverse weather over recent months.

“Wavedancer is looking fantastic and with just over 1 million dollars spent we are very pleased to re-launch her back into the water to resume sailing to Low Isles. I would also like to thank all the local contractors who helped with the project. We will always look firstly to use local companies where possible. They understand how important it is to work alongside our crew so we can ensure our vessels and products are to the standard of a five-star premium reef product.”

Wavedancer’s refit reflects the Company’s commitment to our local tourism industry and will ensure our passengers have the newest and best facilities available to enjoy their reef cruise. Guests aboard will also be offered a glass of bubbles to enjoy on the return journey as Wavedancer sails back into Port Douglas to finish the day in style


See for yourself – the Great Barrier Reef is alive and well

Coral, curiosity, culture and chartering form the underlying themes for the 2019 Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef familiarisation tour, an event which brings international delegates together each year to experience the best of Far North Queensland tourism and hospitality.

Scheduled for seven days in May, the famil will showcase Cairns and the region as a premier super yacht destination with such inclusions as staying on board luxurious vessels (Motor Yacht Spirit at the Cairns Marlin Marina and at sea on board Motor Yacht Sahana); visiting the indigenous cultural centre, Tjapukai; getting up close and personal with the Great Barrier Reef through guided snorkelling and diving tours with local marine biologists and scientists; touring the Port Douglas regions, Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, and in between, attending cocktail parties and being wined and dined at the pick of local eating establishments. A new partnership with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef will present new opportunities to this niche market to become a part of the important research and preservation of the reef for future generations. The trip will also offer us a unique occasion to work with Citizens piloting a major new Reef research project, utilising the vessels whilst they are on the Reef.

The famil then takes guests to Hamilton Island and Abell Point Marina for their final two days, to experience the magic of the Whitsundays. From luxury island resorts, to heli-flights over the iconic Heart Reef and island hopping onboard a superyacht, the delegates will immerse themselves in the charter potential of Whitsunday region of the Great Barrier Reef. Kate Purdie, general manager Abell Point Marina explains “We are delighted to once again partner with our colleagues in the north to showcase the diversity and range of experiences available to superyachts cruising the vast Great Barrier Reef region. Through this form of industry collaboration, we are able to provide our international delegates with a truly unique Australian experience.”

“We want to build on the growing reputation this event is gaining and ensure the right messages are getting out there – that our Reef is in good health and that there are many ways to get involved in the conservation and preservation of this incredible natural wonder,” SYGGBR Manager Joanne Drake said.

“We will be taking delegates to some of the beautiful outer reef coral displays, and importantly they will have access to leading marine specialists who will satisfy their curiosity about the future of the Reef.

“Another important aspect of the tour will be to increase the cultural awareness of our visitors and provide a taste of the unique indigenous experience we have to offer here.”

Promotion of the local super yacht charter industry and the ability for international (foreign flagged) vessels to home port in Cairns – which is a customs clearance port, will also feature heavily during the Famil.

“Since the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s decision in August 2017 to overturn legislative barriers that prevented superyachts from cruising here, many new anchorages have opened up,” SYGGBR Chairperson, Carrie Carter said.

“And Cairns is very close to nearby hotspot, PNG, where charter is allowed and becoming extremely popular. We are already experiencing a number of super yachts homeporting here right now.”

Delegates will be able to inspect some of the best yachts available for charter, see first-hand the excellent yachting infrastructure in both refit and new build facilities, and meet with local super yacht owners to gain further understanding of the benefits of chartering in the region.

“This year we have been approached by more and more local super yachts and sponsors wanting to come on board and be involved in this huge event which is gaining more and more international momentum every year with its global reach,” mentions Joanne Drake, Manager of the SYGGBR.

“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.”

We appreciate the significant contributions from our sponsors:

Coral Sea Resort and Marina

  • BSE Cairns Slipways
  • C’est Bon Restaurant
  • Cairns Aquarium
  • Cairns Marlin Marina
  • Citizens of the Reef
  • Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina
  • Dive Addiction
  • Fraser Yachts
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine College
  • Hamilton Island – qualia Resort
  • ISP
  • Kuranda Rainforest Tours
  • Motor Yacht Bahama
  • Motor Yacht Dreamtime
  • Motor Yacht Sahana
  • Motor Yacht Spirit
  • Nautlius Aviation
  • Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
  • Sportsfisher Zulu

Joanne Drake
Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef
Ph: +61 458 794 001
Carrie Carter
Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef
Ph: +61 429 391 046

The Super Yacht Group Great Barrier is a non-profit, membership based consortium proactive internationally in promoting the GBR region as the perfect home port for superyachts. It attends major boat shows around the world, such as The Monaco Yacht Show, Ft Lauderdale Boat Show, The Singapore Yacht Show and Rendezvous in Tahiti and Fiji.  With the assistance of the Cairns Regional Council and Ports North the group also hosts numerous inbound familiarisation tours. 

Judging has been completed for the 2019/2020 Club Marine Marina of the Year Awards conducted every two years by the Marina Industries Association (MIA). MIA CEO Colin Bransgrove said there were entries from four countries reflecting particularly strong competition in the International Marina of the Year Award category; one of 10 categories in total. “All entrants are to be congratulated in taking the time to reflect on their business direction; their plans, actions and outcomes and to document this in a succinct manner for the judges consideration” he said.    

MIA first conducted these awards in 2002 and the participation and interest in the awards has grown steadily over this time. The following is the list of finalists who will each receive a finalist award certificate at the Awards Dinner.  

  • Commercial Marina under 140 Boats – Rivergate Marina & Shipyard, QLD; Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, QLD
  • Commercial Marina 140 Boats & Over – Abell Point Marina, QLD
  • Club of the Year – Southport Yacht Club, QLD; South of Perth Yacht Club, WA; Royal Motor Yacht Club, NSW
  • International Marina – Bay of Islands Marina, NZ; Sanya Serenity Marina, China; Westhaven Marina, NZ
  • Marina Restaurant – Southport Yacht Club, QLD
  • Environmental Initiative by a Marina – South of Perth Yacht Club, WA
  • Community Engagement by a Marina – Abell Point Marina, QLD
  • Innovation by a Marina – Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard, QLD
  • Boat Yard under 20 Boats – Fenwicks Marina, NSW; White Bay 6 Marine Park, NSW
  • Boat Yard 20 Boats & Over – Rivergate Marina & Shipyard, QLD; The Yard, QLD

The winners of each category will be announced at the Dinner and they will receive a trophy to be presented by MIA Chairman Andrew Chapman and a senior Club Marine representative.

As one of the judges for the Awards Club Marine CEO Simon McLean commented on the excellent level of participation “Club Marine are actively involved in the marine industry and as an insurer these Awards give us a good opportunity to understand issues that play an important part in encouraging and promoting good business practices and procedures as well as supporting the goals of the MIA.”

The black tie Club Marine Marina of the Year Awards Dinner will be held on the last night of the Marinas19 International Conference and Trade Exhibition on Tuesday 28 May. A limited number of dinner tickets are still available.

Pic: MIA Awards dinner 2017

Further information: Michelle Macready

A familiar set of sails has returned to the waters of the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina with Chinese Junk ‘Shaolin’ returning home to Port Douglas. 

The vintage timber ship has been docked in Cairns for the last 12 months but has today returned home under new stewardship. Kate Agrums, sister to Flynn Bickford and now joint owner of the ship, said she is thrilled to have the Shaolin operating from Port Douglas again.

“Today is the start of our new partnership,” Ms Agrums said. “The Shaolin is one of the original Low Isles snorkelling boats and funnily enough, she was where I had my first job; when I was 16 worked on her in the school holidays.”

Ms Agrums has owned and run the historic Lady Douglas, sister-ship to Shaolin, for the last five years with her husband Lucas. Shaolin, along with Lady Douglas, has been ferrying locals and visitors over the pristine waters of the Far North for over 30 years.

Ms Agrums said it’s great to bring the Shaolin home and hinted at exciting new projects for the ship in the future. “I’m really excited, she is going to work really well alongside Lady Douglas, and I think people will put them in the same historical category because both have a lot of history and charm and have both been around a long time.”

Mr Bickford said he is looking forward to working with his sister in their home town. “It’s great to welcome Kate to the crew and we can’t wait to see all our old favourite guests back again; it’s great to be back.”


With investment plans to the tune of $1 billion, premium hospitality brand, Crystalbrook Collection, is rapidly expanding its portfolio of assets under management, with an initial focus on Australia.

Crystalbrook Collection is owned by Dubai-headquartered conglomerate, the Ghassan Aboud Group, which is also engaged in automotive, real estate, retail, media, logistics and pastoral businesses. Established in early 2016, Crystalbrook Collection expands the Ghassan Aboud Group’s interest in the hotel industry, property and tourism sectors. Now, Australia’s buoyant economy and strong tourism sector make it an excellent destination to begin operations for the hospitality arm of the business.

Commenting on the rationale behind starting with Australia, Ghassan Aboud – promoter and Chairman of the group – said “Australia has a very strong economy and other strong markets around it, such as Japan, China, Malaysia and Indonesia. It’s also a stable market for the hospitality sector. Initially we studied Europe but, in the end, we opted for Australia.”

Crystalbrook Collection’s hospitality portfolio includes an impressive collection of assets: Crystalbrook Hotel Riley in Cairns (opened November 2018); Little Albion in Sydney (operational); Crystalbrook Lodge; Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina; and MV Bahama, a luxury 90-foot motor vessel berthed in Port Douglas, Queensland. Two more properties in Cairns – Bailey and Flynn – are scheduled to open in 2019.

Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina is Queensland’s northernmost marina and one of Australia’s premier nautical destinations. Located in Port Douglas, Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Visitors come from all over the world to experience the renowned and pristine northern reef, the wonders of the Coral Sea, the Daintree Rainforest, local Indigenous history and culture, and lush tropical Far North Queensland. Crystalbrook has revealed the designs of its trophy asset at Port Douglas, which include a multi-use hotel, marina, F&B and entertainment complex. The marina is already operational, alongside associated retail components.

As part of the expansion plans, the company recently acquired the City Administration Centre in Newcastle.  Crystalbrook plans to convert the building into a 5-star hotel named “Kingsley”. Crystalbrook Collection CEO Mark Davie said “The structure as you look at it now is not going to vastly. It’s a beautiful structure, and we love it. As far as we’re concerned, we can only improve upon it.”

Having made a significant impact in the landscape of Australia’s hospitality industry, Crystalbrook is in growth mode, with ambitions to expand even further globally in the coming years.

Source: Forbes Middle East

Port Douglas’ premier eco reef day tour, Sailaway, has unveiled a brand new experience and luxury sailing catamaran to delight and enthrall the seafaring nature lovers.

Sailaway VII is the latest addition to the fleet and will be the only reef tour visiting spectacular Mackay & Undine Coral Cays, on their exclusive moorings from Port Douglas.

Far North Queensland’s Outer Reef Day tour just got refreshingly different, being the most relaxing and sustainable way to experience the reef on this fast and sleek new Eco Adventure vessel.

Tours on Sailaway VII will include snorkelling and sailing experiences, 2 spectacular reef sites with very small groups from Port Douglas and 1st class service.

With a dedicated team of sailing crew and marine biologists, Sailaway VII will follow the spectacular coastline, passing between Snapper Island and the Daintree Rainforest with stunning views of the mountains, before veering off to the Outer Great Barrier Reef.

Sailaway VII adventurers will be treated to a memorable day of sailing and snorkeling the beautiful coral gardens of these stunning cays and surrounding reefs. Glass bottom boat, marine biologist guided snorkel tours and presentations, including time on a pristine Cay.

Known for abundant turtles, giant clams and fish life; visitors can experience a day on the Outer Reef like never before.

Local family Owner/Operator Steve Edmondson, who recently returned from an international marketing trip to Europe, said Sailaway VII marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the business and completes a wonderful choice of reef experiences to suit all interests.

“Sailaway is delighted to be able to offer day trips to Mackay & Undine Cays all year round with the recent investment of this beautiful Australian designed and custom built 25meter sailing catamaran,” he said.

“We’re fully committed to long term promotion and marketing of our Great Barrier Reef destination.”

To book an unforgettable reef adventure, contact your booking agent or Sailaway on or 07 4099 4200