The merger of Abell Point Marina, and the iconic Coral Sea Resort earlier this year marks an exciting (and very sophisticated) new era for the marina precinct.
July in 2019 saw the union between the award-winning Abell Point Marina and Coral Sea Resort create the newly minted Coral Sea Marina Resort (CSMR). The marina resort boasts 520 marina wet berths, 22 shoreside tenancies, more than 60 commercial tourism operators, 77 resort hotel rooms, a waterfront pool area, a fitness centre and spa facilities, and more restaurants, cafes, bars and multipurpose event spaces than we can count.
The diversity of the precinct’s new offerings, along with a multimillion-dollar development plan, and a waterfront position on the Whitsundays mainland at the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, combine to see it become the premier holiday destination in Airlie Beach.
What’s more, a calendar of events – from outdoor pilates, yoga and boxing classes, to art classes on the jetty and live music at the village bars – will make a stay at the Coral Sea Marina Resort even better.
A winning combination
Since the merger, the marina resort has been on a winning streak. It was awarded Platinum accreditation under the Global Gold Anchor Scheme – the highest possible level of Gold Anchor accreditation. The first marina in Queensland to be accredited at this level, it set a new industry benchmark and put the east coast of Australia on the global map for destination marinas.
In May, it was awarded Australian Marina of the Year 2019/2020 for the second consecutive term and, in October, attained Major Tourism Attraction – Silver at the Whitsunday Tourism Awards, having previously taken out Gold in this category at the 2017 Queensland Tourism Awards.
A world-class development plan
The merger of Abell Point Marina and Coral Sea Resort was the next step in the marina’s evolution as a Queensland holiday destination – having already undergone a $30-million facelift in recent years. But the development doesn’t stop there: the marina hotel is next on the agenda for an upgrade.
Over two stages, the hotel will be developed to bring it up to a premium standard in line with the rest of the marina. The first stage, completed over November to 21 December 2019, has included upgrades to the arrival plaza and reception, the pool, lawn and the hotel restaurant. Redesigned and rebranded as The Rocks, the hotel restaurant is set to contain a restaurant, bar and pool club with modern Australian cuisine on the menu.
Stage Two of the development will kick off in 2020, focusing on refreshing the hotel’s rooms. The only thing that won’t change during this stage is the stunning views!
A green shift
The resort’s redevelopment incorporates a number of environmental initiatives intended to reduce its footprint, and protect and preserve the incredible marine environment of its ocean and reef backyard. This includes a signed pledge with the Marina Industries Association to fully eliminate single-use plastics by 2025. Hydration stations around the marina, stainless-steel reusable water bottles in mini bars, guest recycling facilities, and eliminating single-use plastic straws are just a few of the initiatives currently underway to achieve this goal.
Committed to promoting and delivering the best environmental management practices, Coral Sea Marina Resort also supports the Containers for Change program, enforces a No Fishing Zone in the marina precinct, and is working towards EcoTourism accreditation in 2020.
Coral Sea Academy
The resort launched Coral Sea Academy to help realise another of its environmental goals; educating guests about the conservation of marine ecosystems and marine life. A new initiative, the academy will bring a series of informative and innovative events to the resort, all designed to educate guests, locals and visitors to the Whitsundays about the environment and sustainability, the Great Barrier Reef and better boating practices.
“Our Coral Sea Academy has been designed to provide educational opportunities for our local community and visiting guests alike,” explains Coral Sea Marina Resort general manager, Kate Purdie. “Today’s travellers are looking for a more immersive travel experience, and the Whitsunday and Great Barrier Reef regions are perfectly placed to provide an educational travel experience focusing on marine conservation, sustainability and better boating.
“By providing these free community events at our resort, we hope to encourage more people into the boating community and to actively engage our community in the preservation of our marine environment. All are welcome to attend, and we urge the community to support the Coral Sea Academy.”