A constellation of wonder, an Australia yacht charter offers guests a bewitching blend of possibilities: from soaking up the ambiance of ever-twinkling cityscapes like Sydney or Melbourne to reconnecting with nature on a humbling, almost visceral level in the Great Barrier Reef. Mesmerizing, spellbinding, spectacular — there is simply no end of superlatives to describe the magic of Australia.
Australia Yacht Booking Guide:
- Australia Yacht Charters: At a Glance
- Popular Destinations for Yacht Rentals in Australia
- Highlights of an Australian Yacht Charter
- Who goes on an Australian Yacht Charter?
- History and Culture
- Types of Charter Yachts in Australia
- How Much Does It Cost to Charter a Yacht in Australia?
- When is the Best Time for Australia Yacht Charters?
- Where Should I Begin My Yacht Charter in Australia?
- Popular Marinas and Anchorages in Australia
- Local Insight
- Most Popular Superyacht Hotspots in Australia
- Neighboring Regions for Australia Yacht Charters
- How to Book Your Yacht Charter in Australia
The sheer size and vast expanse of coastline that Australia has to offer makes it perfect for a luxury yacht charter vacation. Renowned for its abundance of watersports opportunities, from action-packed jet skiing and water skiing to scuba diving in the vast underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef, it is one of the most comprehensive and exciting cruising destinations in the world.
- A diving and snorkeling paradise
From the incomparable Great Barrier Reef which has more than 1,500 types of fish to the aquatic delights of Ningaloo Reef and the countless bays to cherry-pick from.
- A melange of awe-inspiring landscapes
Australia provides yacht charter guests with a diverse range of idyllic landscapes: from shifting sands and tropical shallows to city lights and cosmopolitan thrills: the choice is all yours.
- Endless anchorages
The Great Barrier Reef alone has a staggering 900 islands — whatever you're looking for from an anchorage, Australia can provide it.
- Famous, top-end superyacht marinas
Jaw-dropping panoramas abound at Australia's marinas, from the magnificent Sydney Harbour to the impossibly blue shores of the Whitsundays, the country has some of the most prestigious and sought-after berths in the world.
- Wildlife wonderland
Australia has a staggering array of flora and fauna: koalas, kangaroos, humpback whales, penguins, dolphins, and much more.
From Outback wilderness to sweeping sands lapped by cerulean seas, Australia provides topographical drama at its most exquisite. Below are the destinations that have seen Australia cement its status as a top superyacht hub:
Great Barrier Reef
Best for: being a veritable Mecca for snorkeling and diving, mind-blowingly beautiful island-hopping, rare species, and rainforest trails.
Best for: impossibly perfect waters arranged in a turquoise swirl, legendary lizards, turtle spotting, isolated reefs, magical dive expeditions, and beaches so stunning they appear almost make-believe.
Best for: laid-back luxury, atmospheric haunts, deluxe superyacht marinas, swanky nightspots, classically big, golden beaches, superb surfing opportunities
Best for: its soul-stirring vistas, and the world's largest fringing reef home to deep oceanic shoals.
Best for: upscale eateries, high-end boutiques, exquisite wineries, picturesque bays, and an abundance of trails.
An Australian yacht charter vacation offers a mesmerizing selection of things to see and do. Here is our small selection of some of the most outstanding:
- Heart Reef: hop in a helicopter and witness this adorable heart-shaped coral composition from the skies.
- Airlie Beach: this laidback mainland gateway for the Whitsunday's is a perpetual favorite with families and a fully-fledged destination in its own right.
- Sydney Tower: reach the top of the tallest building in Sydney, some 268m above the city for incredible vistas.
- Hunter Valley: one for the oenophiles, go taste-testing in one of Australia's most revered wine districts.
- Yarra Valley: watch sunrise fall on this wonderful pastoral scene over Melbourne in a hot air balloon.
- Bungle Bungles: located within Purnululu National Park, these sublime sandstone formations in The Kimberley are a must-see.
- Matso's Brewery: sip on locally brewed mango beer at this famed brewery in The Kimberley.
- Horizontal Falls: behold the magnificent site of the flat, whitewater rapids that bulge through two lofty mountain ranges.
Offering some of the most diverse and sublime cruising grounds on the planet, Australia yacht charters are perfect for anyone seeking adrenaline-filled vacations off the beaten track. With endless itinerary options available; from diving with hammerhead sharks, scaling rocky precipices along the Kimberley coast and wine tasting in the yarra valley to dining at some of the world’s most exclusive restaurants in Sydney, this fascinating country bewitches the senses at every turn and promises a spectacular yacht vacation for anyone with a passion for adventure.
Tracing its history back almost 60,000 years, Australia boasts an impressive and storied past with cave drawings, pottery and artwork narrating its history through the centuries. The indiginous people enjoyed a peaceful coexistence until British settlers claimed possession in the 18th century and established a penal colony, dispossessing these Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander people of their land and marginalising their communities.
Descendants of the original settlers have now been formally recognised as custodians of this vast continent, and we continue to learn through their deep connection with the land and marvel at the astonishing and diverse landscape that acts as a siren call to anyone lucky enough to explore Australia's vast and glittering shores.
Today, Australia is renowed for its cosmopolitan culture and vibrant nightlife, world-class diving and elite watersports activities; an alluring combination for luxury yacht charters.
A superyacht charter in Australia is without a doubt the best way to fully immerse yourself in this marine utopia, offering unparalleled access to a dizzying array of splendid stops far from the tourist trail. Unsure whether to pick a crewed motor yacht charter or a sailing yacht charter? We've laid out the main aspects to consider before making a final decision.
A crewed motor yacht charter in Australia is the pinnacle of luxury. With five-star amenities and hotel-serviced living coupled with a completely unadulterated level of privacy and the freedom to cruise as you please, it's no wonder a motor yacht has enduring appeal. Uncover reefs, bays, and beaches of incomparable grandeur that are only accessible by boat, and experience your own private paradise.
Selecting a sailing yacht charter in Australia is the perfect choice for guests looking for a charter experience at a slower, where you will be wooed by its old-world charm. Spend leisurely days basking in the sun or dining al-fresco on your spacious deck and fully embrace being at one with nature, letting the elements guide you.
With so many options available, there’s something to suit every type of budget. For convenience we have listed the average prices for motor yacht and sailing yacht charters in the Australia below;
- For motor yacht rentals in Australia, prices can range from $81,578 to $784,092 per week, plus expenses
- For luxury sailing yacht rentals in Australia, prices can start from $43,000 weekly, plus expenses
The passage of the Special Recreational Vessels Bill 2019 has been a huge boon to Australia's superyacht sector. The legislation allows foreign-flagged superyachts to charter in Australian waters without fully importing their vessel to the country, increasing the selection of yachts available for crewed charters.
Superyachts can obtain a coastal trading temporary allowance to charter, and guests will need to pay a 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST) according to the charter's value. This will be applied on top of your charter fee, as well as any delivery or redelivery fees that are incurred.
For additional information on VAT and tax concerning your yacht charter in Australia, please consult your chosen yacht charter broker.
Given Australia's unfathomably vast terrain, temperatures can range from temperate to tropical depending on the region, so the optimal times to visit popular yacht charter destinations can vary slightly.
- June to October is considered the best time to experience the natural wonder of the Great Barrier Reef, where yacht charterers can benefit from considerably less rainfall, which means improved diving conditions due to better water visibility.
- June to August are the best months for seeing The Kimberley's celebrated waterfalls at full flow.
- When summer comes to the Whitsundays it buzzes to life with temperatures hovering at 30 degrees, with balmy sea temperatures of between 27-28 degrees. October is the sunniest month with up to 10 hours of sunshine a day. For the glitterati, September is the optimal month to visit the Whitsundays as it's comfortably warm with less humidity, plus fewer tourists are around.
- December to February are the months when Sydney is at its liveliest and it's also widely regarded as the best time to visit: watch the city's harbor turn into a riot of color as fireworks are let off for New Year's Eve.
- November to March are the key months to experience the pleasant climes of Melbourne.
The Whitsundays is an invariably popular place to begin a superyacht charter in Australia, comprising a long indented ribbon of 74 islands cradled from the outer ocean by the Great Barrier Reef. As an underwater menagerie featuring some of the most bewilderingly beautiful lifeforms, and at land level replete with barely-frequented, jungle-clad beaches that boggle the senses with their heavenliness, its allure is evident. Plus, there is a multitude of overnight anchorages at guests' disposal here.
The preferred jumping-off points for the Whitsundays are the Coral Sea Marina and Hamilton Island Marina. If discovering the Great Barrier Reef in all its glory first, Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina is a preferred choice.
Though Australia certainly isn't lacking in impressive spots to start a yacht charter elsewhere: take majestic Sydney with the world's largest natural harbor. But keep in mind there may be a smaller fleet to select from in other destinations.
Discerning charterers know that a fabulous mise en scène is what brings a yacht into glorious technicolor, and Australia's throng of epic marinas certainly transforms this fantasy into a reality. Here are the Australian marinas where your experience on land will be just as rip-roaring as it is on the shimmering azul sea.
- Hamilton Island Marina: well-protected marina situated in the picture-perfect surrounds of the Great Barrier Reef, with berths available for superyachts up to 60m.
- Coral Sea Marina: this premier facility is mere minutes from Airlie Beach, a popular starting point for Whitsundays charters. Accommodates up to 520 berths for yachts up to 80m in length.
- Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina: the only place where two UNESCO World Heritage sites meet (Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest). Queensland's northernmost marina has a 135 berth capacity for yachts up to 50m.
- Cairns Marlin Marina: situated in the heart of the city and only 10 minutes from Cairns International Airport. Has 261 berths with some reserved for superyachts up to 140m.
- Sydney Superyacht Marina: luxurious on-shores facilities with chic bars and restaurants in the world's most famous harbor, can accommodate yachts up to 75m.
- Melbourne Superyacht Marina: prime position to attend one of the city's many sporting fixtures, located in a sheltered environment and provides superyacht berthing up to 75m.
A heady tapestry of anchorages in a patchwork of implausible blues are woven into Australia's deliciously diverse landscape, ideal for an action-packed or a luxuriously sedate yacht charter alike. From ribbons of chalk-white sand etched with the pawprints of passing kangaroos, to aquamarine waters home to an aquatic world that flourishes in all its vivid coral variety, itinerary options are practically limitless. Below, we've hand-picked some of the best anchorages in Australia:
- Osprey Reef (Great Barrier Reef): utterly remote and sitting atop of a submerged atoll, come for exceptional diving visibility, spotting everything from sea turtles to beaked whales.
- Ribbon Reefs (Great Barrier Reef): select from a garland of glistening reefs to anchor overnight at and snorkel to your heart's content.
- Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef): tranquil oasis renowned for its buttery soft sands and translucent waters, and has a top-end resort with fine dining possibilities.
- Nara Inlet (Whitsundays): well-protected anchorage that spans two miles, providing guests with unbridled solitude. Ideal for paddleboarding and kayaking.
- Sawmill Beach (Whitsundays): a heavenly overnight spot situated in Cid Harbour, best for rainforested hiking trails and astounding panoramas.
- Whitehaven Beach(Whitsundays): one of Australia's most famous spots to drop anchor at thanks to its swirling sands.
- Cape Hillsborough (Queensland): cruise further afield and be richly rewarded with kangaroos and wallabies who scour the beach at sunrise.
- Cable Beach (The Kimberley): vast swathes of pristine sand frame fiery orange sunsets that are widely regarded as the best in Australia.
- Montgomery Reef (The Kimberley): be captivated by the spectacular sight of the reef seemingly rising out of the water, with hundreds of cascading waterfalls forming around it.
- Rose Bay (Sydney): peaceful stop to anchor at, conveniently located near to the world-renowned golden arc that is Bondi Beach.
- Sugarloaf Bay (Sydney): known for its blissfully secluded surroundings and gives excellent protection from the wind.
- Keep in mind that stingers (potentially lethal jellyfish like the Box Jellyfish and Irukandji) are found in coastal areas of Queensland. The higher risk season is from October to May in the Whitsundays, so wear protective 'stinger suits' when diving, swimming, or snorkeling.
- Be aware of freshwater and saltwater crocodiles in the Kimberley, which can appear from waterholes. Whilst they are majestic creatures, they are best appreciated from afar!
- Whilst Queensland itself is certainly a fantastic all-year-round destination, it's worth remembering that the Great Barrier Reef only experiences two seasons, wet and dry. The dry season here is from May to October.
- Remember to wear sunscreen: Australia's proximity to the equator means that the country experiences very high UV radiation levels.
- Guests should ensure their passport is valid for up to six months prior to their charter.
- Most guests will need a valid Tourist Visa or an Electronic Travel Authority to enter the country. There is no fee if your stay in Australia is less than three months. Please consult your yacht broker for personalized information pertaining to your trip.
The Great Barrier Reef is a diving haven that lures the global superyacht fleet with almost 3,000 reefs and 900 mostly uninhabited islands. Caressed by warm, gentle waters that sparkle with total clarity, yacht charter guests will be enthralled by the seemingly unending seascape. To elude the crowds, head to the Ribbon Reefs and its garland of phenomenal diving sites such as The Clam Gardens, the Temple of Doom, and Andy's Postcard.
For a spot of underwater magic after dusk, head to Snake's Pit. Marvel the impressive night spectacle of coral that blooms in a smattering of multicolored daubs and friendly sea snakes that float amid shoals of fish. No trip to the Great Barrier Reef would be complete without relishing the barefoot luxury of Lizard Island. 24 silk-like beaches are hugged by topaz shallows — and it's the refuge of a few sun-dappled reptiles too.
The mainland also many treasures: don't miss out on the exclusive restaurants and spas of uber-chic coastal town Port Douglas, which is bordered by the lush vegetation of the Daintree Rainforest. The melodies of kookaburras and kingfishers circling above will absolutely enchant you.
A smorgasbord of mellow, paradisiacal beaches, lavish resorts, and tropical rainforests coupled with gin-clear waters, the Whitsundays makes for a thrilling yacht charter. The eponymous isle Whitsunday Island is where you will find the world-famous Whitehaven Beach: 7km of white satin-like silica (98 percent) sand that furls with the turquoise shallows like a just-whipped ice cream sundae. To get the best views of its almost luminescent appearance, hike up to the lookout on Hill Inlet on the northern end of the beach.
For the gourmands and the golfers, cruise towards the resort at Hamilton Island. Choose from an array of splendid fine-dining options with beachfront views of the heavenly Coral Sea, or go to the 18-hole golf course, replete with steep valleys and jaw-dropping ridges.
Justifiably popular spots to whip out the snorkels and flipper fins to include Hook Island, and its stunning Nara Inlet or Butterfly Bay -where a swarm of Ulysses butterflies make their trajectory over the ocean each morning and night., Neck Bay or Cid Island, where blossoming coral mingles with manta rays and many more.
Sydney shimmers with a cosmopolitan brilliance. With a staggering number of swanky bars and hip eateries, as well as being a trailblazer in arts and culture, the city entertains yacht-goers with great panache. We haven't even mentioned the internationally-renowned golden stretches of sand (Bondi Beach, Palm Beach, Coogee Beach, and Manly Beach to name but a few) that are sprinkled along its coast.
Outstanding New Year's Eve shows is where Sydney truly excels. And what vantage point could be better than from the sundeck of your superyacht, clinking Champagne flutes as the sky transforms into a whirlwind of pyrotechnics at Sydney Harbour Bridge? Recover the next day and cruise towards the serene Sugarloaf Bay, sequestered from the hustle and bustle of city life, and fall into a quiet slumber on the sun pads.
The Kimberley retains a certain mystique that seduces the adventurous yacht charterer year after year, as a region where the Outback invitingly melds with the coast. As an undulating rhythm of lush jade greens, softly glowing auburns and ochres tumble into a whirl of pink sands and mint-colored seas, The Kimberley beguiles the senses. Feel everyday life slowly slip away like the dreamy sunsets that will come to define your charter here following a day spent bronzing on Cable Beach, the coral-hued, mangrove-fringed Roebuck Bay, or cleansing in the lagoons of Mitchell Falls.
Onshore, trace 50,000-year-old Aboriginal art carved into soaring rock faces on a private tour of the semi-arid savannah, before jumping on a tender to delve into Ningaloo Reef: an inexhaustible source of diving adventure and the world's largest fringing reef. Admire gliding sea turtles and float alongside pods of dolphins or tame whale sharks - the latter visit the area from March till July.
Read more: The Kimberleys Yacht Charter Itinerary
Silhouetted by the angular forms of illuminated skyscrapers, Melbourne is a glittering metropolis that's an ideal yacht charter destination for those seeking a trip with a hearty buzz. World-renowned annual events such as the Australian Grand Prix, The Melbourne Cup and the Australian Open all take place here, and it bursts at the seams with trendy eateries, Michelin-starred restaurants, and cool bars. If you are looking for cute critters, make a pitstop at the Phillip Island Nature Parks where you can hug a koala and watch penguins make their nightly waddle across the beach.
If the bright lights start to wane, Melbourne is conveniently located to offshoot locations like the hip coastal city of Mornington Peninsula, all sprawling vineyards and colorful beach-hut lined sands, as well as Tasmania, whose wild beauty far surmounts its diminutive size.
With the Great Barrier Reef alone spanning almost the length of Italy, and tremendously diverse scenery both at sea and land, it isn't hugely common for an Australian yacht charter to continue elsewhere. There is enough to keep people busy for possibly weeks or months!
However, to find out about possible yacht charter combinations further afield (such as New Zealand), please contact your yacht charter broker.
For Australia yacht charters, we strongly advise booking well in advance of your trip to ensure you get the perfect vessel for your chosen dates. We recommend doing so three to six months ahead to give your yacht charter broker the time to organize a personalized itinerary and provide you with an amazing Australia chartering experience.
If you leave left too late, the selection of yachts at your disposal will be reduced. Plus, finding dates when everyone in your charter party is available, can become more difficult the longer it's postponed.
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