by Dom Wiseman

If you were lucky enough to be in Brisbane over Christmas, you may have caught a glimpse of this, the Aurora, a 74m super yacht and the largest to visit the River City

It is a five-deck, privately owned superyacht is the first of its kind to enter the City reach of the Brisbane River.

“Welcoming AURORA to the City Reach of the Brisbane River is an historic event,” said Rivergate General Manager, Andrew Cannon.

“AURORA is one of many international superyachts forecast to head to our shores in the next few years, taking advantage of all our region has to offer and generating revenue at many levels in the marine and tourism industries.”

The complex operation was made possible thanks to Rivergate with the collaboration of Maritime Safety Queensland, Harbour Master Johnathan Beatty and superyacht logistics consultancy, Foreign Flag Yachting.

AURORA is a fully-custom built superyacht from renowned esteemed German shipyard Lürssen and chose Rivergate for minor works, engine checks, refuelling and provisions.

Captain Stephen Bay helms AURORA, ably assisted by a multinational crew trained to the highest standards. A veteran of two seasons cruising in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, AURORA made the 12,000 nautical mile voyage to Australia virtually non-stop.

The epic voyage began in Barcelona in mid-October, headed to Albania, via the Suez Canal to Sri Lanka where they refuelled, then skirting Indonesia, around the top of the Gulf of Carpentaria and along the Queensland coastline to Brisbane’s Rivergate Marina and Shipyard – a journey of seven weeks.

“Asia, the South Pacific and Australia hold a definite allure for international superyacht owners,” said Captain Stephen Bay. “Australia is a long way from Europe and the US, but guests are looking for alternatives to the Med and Caribbean.”

Once here, the distances between cruising grounds such as the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef, Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania and emerging destination the Kimberley Coast in WA means you have to allow plenty of time to cruise these iconic regions.

AURORA will spend the next few months cruising Australian waters.

“Australia is too big to do everything in one itinerary,” said Captain Stephen. “We will definitely look at coming back again.”

The 18-month old superyacht, which took three years to build, has massive fuel capacity of 240,000 Litres, giving it a remarkable range of 6,500 nautical miles, and a beam of 13m, making AURORA the largest volume superyacht in her class.

A high-tech, modern marvel, AURORA is as environmentally-conscious as she is splendid. Her onboard systems include low emissions engines, sound and vibration dampening, zero-speed stabilisers, glass crushing system, waste water processing and storage, plus watermakers, icemakers, refrigeration, freezers and copious storage for self-sufficiency at sea.

“Guests can look forward to truly remarkable experiences unique only to Australia,” said Cameron Bray, Director at Foreign Flag Yachting who assists in arranging itineraries for visiting superyachts.

“Nature at its finest; hand-feeding kangaroos, holding koala bears, swimming with dolphins, as well as visiting cultural attractions like the Opera House, New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour, hiking in our National Parks, visiting vineyards, shopping in Melbourne, the vibrant restaurant and café scene and quiet seaside villages of Mornington Peninsula.

“This is about family time together. It’s not all about swimming, snorkelling and sun-bathing, but superyacht guests can do that too. That’s the appeal of Australia – they can do literally anything!”