Fancy a night in a luxury resort? Or simply dinner at a top a la carte
restaurant? Caroline Strainig checks out a marina with a strong resort
flavour where cruisers are welcome.
At the marina
Many sailors believe the best thing about a passage is reaching land at the end, and I have to agree. There's nothing like putting yourself to the test for a day or days offshore and then reaching terra firma.
The experience is all the better if you can spoil yourself with a treat like a night at a luxury resort or a beautifully prepared meal.
Anchorage Marina Port Stephens is a destination within a 24-hour sail of Sydney where you can do just that. Located in Corlette (just hang a left a couple of bays after entering the Port Stephens heads), the marina is part of a 4.5 star Peppers Anchorage luxury boutique hotel complex, albeit operated independently.
The marina and resort welcome cruisers, and are actively promoting the attractions of Port Stephens via a “Sail Port Stephens Week” from April 19-27. This means that even if you opt to stay on your boat you are still free to use the resort facilities, which include a resort shop, swimming pool, spa, sauna, mini-gym and fine dining.
On-water and adjacent facilities include a 90-berth floating marina protected by a massive breakwall, six moorings and a basic amenities shower/toilet block with coin-operated laundry. The resort shop stocks bread, milk, ice and other such essentials, plus resort-style wear. They also have bicycles and tinnies for hire and are a booking agent for Hunter Valley wine tours, sea-plane flights, whale-watching tours and other local attractions.
If you have a laptop and wireless network adapter ð or hire or buy an adapter from the marina office ð you can access the internet on your yacht via AnyPort portable broadband.
The fuel wharf is open seven days 8am to 5pm and at other times by prior arrangement. In addition to diesel and unleaded petrol there is a sewage pumpout, and you can buy LPG gas and marine oils and additives.
Being part of a resort, there are no haulout or hardstand facilities, but repairs and maintenance can be organised.
During peak periods so book well ahead if you want to be sure of a berth. Moorings cost about half.
Berth rates include power, water and car-parking for one car. All yachts have to show proof of insurance. A small deposit is required to ensure the return of the key to the mobile trolley and spa and gym.
Corlette is a four-minute drive from Nelson Bay. Transfers can be arranged to Newcastle Airport, Newcastle CBD, Sydney CBD and Sydney Airport. Delivery yacht skippers can also be organised for those short of time, or who would like an experienced hand aboard for the passage.
For more information about the marina contact the Anchorage Marina Port Stephens, Corlette Point Road, Corlette NSW 2315, ph (02) 4981 1388, email firstname.lastname@example.org, www.anchoragemarina.com.au
The marina can also be contacted on VHF16 and 27 meg.