Rivergate Marina in Brisbane secures approval for $200m superyacht extension


Brisbane could welcome dozens more luxury superyachts annually and become a major industrial center in the Asia-Pacific region after Brisbane City Council recently approved Rivergate Marina’s $200 million superyacht expansion plan.

The multi-million dollar project will see Rivergate’s existing marina expanded into the largest superyacht hub in the region, capable of accommodating up to 60 superyachts per year for maintenance and retrofits.

Rivergate Marina director Tom Hill said the impact of attracting more superyachts to Queensland would have a major impact on the local tourism economy.

The marina has been in operation since 2006 but reckons its expansion plans – largely funded by the company but with hopes of government contributions – will greatly improve its ability to service luxury yachts.

A US$31 million boat lift, capable of moving 90-meter yachts weighing up to 3,000 tons, is a key feature of the 27,878 sq m development, which will be spread over two sections.

“While the boat will be on a hardstand or in a purpose-built retrofitted shed, the crew, captain and owner can stay at our commercial center, a five-story building on site with amenities…a pool, a bar.”

Mr Hill said the massive ship lift would also provide some defense capability, allowing the company to work on all of Australia’s frigates.

The project will be constructed in two phases, with the second phase comprising a five-storey commercial building containing offices, training rooms and 14 short-term crew quarters.

Economical advantages

At Tuesday’s town planning committee meeting, council members were given details of Rivergate Marina’s development proposal and its potential economic impact on the town.

The planned five-storey commercial building will house training rooms, offices and a café.(delivered)

Three 35 meter high sheds will be built to accommodate superyachts being retrofitted whilst a 10 vessel hardstand capacity and two water supply berths will also be built.

The project is expected to host 433 jobs during construction, bringing $154.6 million to local businesses, and will host 1,458 jobs after construction, with $525 million going to the local tourism economy.

City planning committee chairman Adam Allan said the “diverse” development would put Brisbane “on the map” in the superyacht industry.

In April last year, industry body Superyacht Australia reported that the Australian superyacht industry had doubled in size during the pandemic, with border closures prompting a surge in charter and leisure travel aboard the luxury vessels.

A super yacht moored at a marina with mountains in the background.
Superyachts are a booming industry in Australia and Queensland is looking to increase its market share.(ABC News: Jemima Burt)

Superyacht focus

Superyachts have been a target market for Queensland for several years, with the state government releasing a five-year superyacht strategy in 2018, aiming to become the premier superyacht hub in Asia Pacific.

The superyacht industry has been forecast to contribute more than $1.1 billion to gross national product by 2021, employing almost 8,000 full-time jobs in South East Queensland.

On the Gold Coast, a $9 million superyacht berth opened at the Southport Yacht Club in February, backed by the state government and described by Mayor Tom Tate as a “red carpet moment” for the city.

A superyacht docking route announced by the state government for the Brisbane River, which could have clashed with the Kangaroo Point Green Bridge, has been suspended during the pandemic.


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