Please select your home edition

Amazing Bundaberg Rally: Sailing to & arriving in Australia

by Colin Streeter 19 Nov 2019 07:13 UTC

We just had the most amazing three weeks in Bundaberg Port Marina Australia.

Our reason for sailing there, instead of directly to Brisbane, was because we chose to join the Loyalty Islands Rally, and the Go West Rally, which are run by John Hembrow and the Down Under Rally. We are now so pleased we did!

The Loyalty Islands Rally provides yachts that are heading to New Caledonia from either Fiji or Vanuatu with the opportunity obtain full inward clearance into the stunningly beautiful Loyalty Islands, as opposed to sailing past them to the only official port of entry, which is Noumea, some 150nm to the west.

The Go West Rally facilitates a seamless easy clearance into Australia at Bundaberg, with the usual Australian yacht entry Biosecurity fee ($450 AUD for Island Pearl II in 2019) included in the rally entry fee, and therefore paid by the Down Under Rally.

There were around 40 international yachts with us at the Bundaberg Port Marina who also joined the Go West Rally, and without exception, every international boat captain had nothing but respect and praise for John Hembrow's rally organisational skills, the Australian Customs/Immigration and Bio-Security, and the brilliant team at Bundaberg Port Marina.

The Australian Border Force (Customs) guys in Bundaberg specialise in small yacht entries, so the entire process becomes far easier there, and the wholke town appears to welcome international yachts each year.

Arriving into Bundaberg Australia is a pleasure, with free bus rides daily into the city, as well as to the local IGA Supermarket, plus the Lighthouse Hotel/Pub, along with the excellent Bundaberg Port Marina facilities, including 75ton lift crane, and always-spotless bathrooms and laundry.

Within hours of arriving we saw kangaroos jumping around the grounds opposite the marina, and a couple of days later witnessed turtle nesting at a beach down the road, where we saw a mummy turtle dig a nest then drop her eggs and cover them.

The Down Under Rally hold Welcome Week at the Bundaberg Port Marina, which is free to attend for all Go West Rally participants. Welcome Week is combination of fun social events, many of which are catered and include food and drinks, the opportunity to attend a series of excellent and informative on Sailing and Cruising the East Coast of Australia, plus the chance to win literally 100's of rally partner 'free giveaway prizes'.

During Welcome Week Island Pearl II won the following items: -

  • A free haul-out and wash down for Island Pearl II from Bundaberg Port Marina ($700 value)
  • A One-Year Subscription to PredictWind Professional Weather Subscription ($495 value)
  • A case of Iron Jack beer, and a $100 voucher for top quality sunglasses by Barz Optics ($150 value);
  • Three cleaning product prizes from CleanaWorx, valued at over of $100.
In addition, because we completed our World Sailing Circumnavigation here, we also received a lovely surprise on arrival that had been organised by the Down Under Rally, a huge hamper basket (value at least $100).

This was surely a lucky run for us compared to other yachts, but it seemed that almost every boat came away with valuable prizes. However, as we are now selling Island Pearl II, and as such we will stop sailing soon, we donated back the Predict Wind $495 Package, and some cleaning products for re-draw to share the love around a little more.

We have come away bamboozled at how the Down Under Rally can offer all of this, when the Go West Rally entry fee is just $495.00 AUD and this includes the biosecurity inspection fee, which as we mentioned earlier in our case was $450.00.

A huge thank you to John Hembrow, the Down Under Rally, and the Bundaberg Port Marina for a wonderful stay!

Colin & Lauren Streeter - Island Pearl II

Colin & Lauren have just completed a three year world circumnavigation aboard their Amel Super Maramu, Island Pearl II. To see their route and blog posts along the way visit their PredictWind tracking page:

It seems that Colin and Lauren are not the only ones to be expounding the virtues of the Down Under Rally. Richard and Jan of Morpheus of London also joined the Down Under Rally in 2019, and participated in both the Loyalty Islands Rally, and the Go West Rally. You can read what they have shared about the experience on their blog at:

Related Articles

World ARC 2019-20 in Walvis Bay, Namibia
The optional stopover in Walvis Bay has been greatly appreciated With the last yacht departed today the World ARC 2019-20 has officially left Namibia. The optional stopover in Walvis Bay has been greatly appreciated, participants enjoyed the area, went on tours in the desert with quad bikes and 4x4 Posted today at 6:05 am
Sea Eagle II launched
The world's largest alumimium sailing yacht Sea Eagle II, the world's largest alumimium sailing yacht was launched on Thursday 16 January 2020 and moved to Royal Huisman's shipyard location in Amsterdam. Stepping her three carbon Panamax masts by Rondal is planned next week. Posted on 18 Jan
World ARC boats arrive in Santa Marta
Enjoying a lively arrival at their first stopover After a breezy 4-6 days sailing from the Caribbean isles towards the vast South American continent, most of the fleet has now arrived into Santa Marta Marina, Colombia. Posted on 18 Jan
80 Seconds with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston episode 11
Who inspires the inspirational? Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is an inspiration amongst sailors and beyond. His strength of character, bravery and can do attitude have enabled him to achieve feats which others only dream of. Posted on 17 Jan
Sail the Balearics with Sunsail
Explore Mallorca's hidden coves, bustling markets and Cabrera National Park Explore Mallorca's hidden coves, bustling markets and Cabrera National Park, or venture that little further to neighbouring islands. Posted on 17 Jan
eSail Man Overboard Simulator
Add-on developed with the help of marine safety expert Keith Colwell eSail has recently launched a new 'Man Overboard' (MOB) add-on for eSail Sailing Simulator. The add-on has been developed with the help of marine safety expert Keith Colwell, author of the RYA Sea Survival Handbook. Posted on 17 Jan
Philippe Briand unveils SY200 superyacht concept
Delivering a true zero emissions sailing experience With a traditional sailing rig, the 490-gross-tonne sloop has been created to outperform the other sailing yachts under 499 gross tonnes that are on the water today, as well as to provide a head-turning aesthetic and ultimate comfort on board. Posted on 16 Jan
Little relief in the deep for heat-stressed corals
New research shows coral reefs in deeper water aren't immune to warming seas and coral bleaching A team of NOAA scientists recently examined more than a thousand hot water events on coral reefs across the Pacific Ocean. Posted on 16 Jan
How to help free entangled whales in Hawaii
Course helps to better assist trained responders disentangle large whales Entanglement in ropes, nets, and other marine debris is a major threat to the humpbacks and other large whales of Hawaii. But attempting to free an entangled, multi-ton whale is inherently dangerous. Posted on 16 Jan
Mbtiles for OpenCPN
A huge step forward for satellite charting Around 2005, mariners who were also computer geeks, began to realize the potential to use satellite imagery alongside nautical charts in poorly charted areas of the world, using (free) services like Google Earth™. Posted on 16 Jan
GJW Direct - Yacht 2019 - FooteriSails 2020 - Spinnaker Spring Discount - FOOTERGrapefruit Graphics 2019 - Footer