Lizard Island, QLD: Perfect weather and pristine beaches greeted a fleet of six Rivieras ranging in size from 47 to 53 feet as they entered the crystal clear waters surrounding the isolated Lizard Island, which is tucked amid the Great Barrier Reef.
The 800 nautical mile round trip took the fleet consisting of 19 Riviera owners and their guests from Hamilton Island Marina in tropical North Queensland to Lizard Island via Magnetic Island, Townsville, Hinchinbrook Island, Cairns, Port Douglas, Hope Islands National Park and Cooktown for the annual R Marine Crawley Lizard Island Experience held from October 25 to November 7.
For Riviera owners Noel and Sue McFarlane, this was the first time they had visited Lizard Island since driving their Riviera 4700 Sport Yacht, Orsum, from their home in Newcastle, NSW north to Hamilton Island in July. The couple berth their boat at Hamilton Island where they spend a week or two on board exploring the Whitsundays before flying home to Newcastle, so when the opportunity arose to join R Marine Crawley for the Lizard Island Experience, Noel and Sue jumped at the chance.
“Travelling in a group convoy gives you that security and we were grateful to Rod Crawley from R Marine Crawley who drove our boat to Cairns for us where we joined the fleet for the trip from Cairns to Lizard Island,” Noel said.
“It was an amazing experience to view the coastline and islands from the ocean because when you are at sea everything has a different perspective and it truly made me appreciate the beauty of nature.”
Julie Crawley from R Marine Crawley said the Lizard Island Experience was the brainchild of the Riviera owners who attended the Circle Whitsundays Experience held earlier in the year.
“We talked about going to Lizard Island during the Circle Whitsundays trip so when we came back we planned it. Our Riviera Family of boat owners really trust and appreciate Rod’s extensive knowledge of the area. We have owned eight Rivieras over 25 years and Rod has done this trip about 22 times over those years so his experience is second to none,” she said.
“We try to take people to places they would never go on their own and it was really lovely to see Noel and Sue join us for the first time. We celebrated Noel’s 65th birthday in Port Douglas and Sue celebrated her birthday at Lizard Island so it was great to see them enjoy themselves with the Riviera Family.”
It was also the first time Riviera owners Mike and Jan Bolton had visited Lizard Island on board their 47 Enclosed Flybridge, Living the Dream.
“We were very fortunate to strike perfect weather conditions,” he said.
“One of the highlights for Jan and I was walking to Cook’s Lookout, which was where Captain Cook climbed to find a passage out through the reef about 16 miles east of Lizard Island. It’s about 2.8 kilometres and it is a steep and challenging climb but the view was breathtaking. We also visited the research centre at Lizard Island, which is a globally recognised research centre.
“We really enjoyed snorkelling at Lizard Island because the island is so isolated, the reef is still fairly well preserved and the coral is very much alive so it was a great experience.
“Of course, we also enjoy meeting up with the Riviera Family and catching up with our boating friends, some of whom we have formed longstanding friendships with and we look forward to the next Experience.”
R Marine Crawley are currently planning their next Experience from the Gold Coast to the Hawkesbury River in Sydney, which is expected to be held in February or March 2015. To register your interest email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +61 07 5529 5007.To contact R Marine Crawley please click here
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