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Hook, line and sinker

Published Jun 15, 2022 on allhomes.com.au

Precious real estate in the Whitsundays at Shute Harbour Marina Resort

Best-selling author and avid boatie Michael Port once said you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a boat. He considers boating his happy place and it seems he’s not alone.

According to results from a Boating Industry Association survey, there were more than 920,000 registered boats across the country in the year to June 2021, and one in 10 Aussies had a boat licence – that’s more than 2.5 million.

Perhaps it will be no surprise to hear Queenslanders have the lion’s share with almost one million licences. After all, the sunshine state has more than 6000 kilometres of coastline to explore.

However, in recent years, boat owners exploring the Whitsundays have faced a challenge: a shortage of marina berths.

Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsundays, has two marinas, Coral Sea and Port of Airlie, and vacancies are rare. So, the recent announcement that a third marina has been given the green light after a prolonged approval process is welcome news.

Shute Harbour Marina Resort will transform Shute Harbour – a port facility a 10-kilometre drive south-east from Airlie Beach via Conway National Park – with the addition of a world-class, 395-berth marina.

The berths, to be sold on a 99-year lease, will range from 10 to 45 metres with prices ranging between $165,000 and $1 million.

“This will potentially be the last marina in the Whitsundays region,” says project sales agent Rob Taylor from Taylors Property Specialists. “To get those approvals took 20 years – it’s not as if they just hand them out. The area is growing, boats are becoming more popular, they’re getting bigger and the lifestyle market is evolving fairly rapidly, so there’s absolutely a need for a third marina.”

With a variety of berth sizes, the marina can handle single and double-hulled yachts and cruisers. If you want your boat in your own backyard, there’s the opportunity to buy one of 58 waterfront allotments.

The developers have just launched stage one, comprising up to 24 freehold waterfront allotments, each with its own marina berth. Ten lots sold in the first month on the market and there are holding deposits on a further five.

“We’ve had in excess of 450 inquiries,” Taylor says. “We understand that some people are just curious, but the quality and number of inquiries have certainly exceeded our expectations. We’re definitely on track with our sales plan.”

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