The Australian cruise industry is booming, and the sun-kissed shores of the Gold Coast are a mecca for lines in search of an endless summer. In a bid to capitalise on its eternal popularity, the Gold Coast City Council is now investigating three new options for the construction of an “ocean-side” cruise ship terminal.
The move comes in the wake of mayor Tom Tate forcing the issue back on the agenda during a recent council election. From an economic perspective, a new cruise terminal could channel a huge amount of cash into the Gold Coast economy. Hermann Vorster, the recently appointed committee chair of the economic development department, maintains that with Aussie cruise numbers on the rise, the terminal is a natural step for the Gold Coast’s tourism industry. “One million Australians will take a cruise this year,” he says. “I fully believe that an ocean-side terminal will be an asset.”
Picking the best of the bunch
So what options are on the cards? The first proposal involves extending the rock seawall to create a larger, more accommodating space. The second will see the terminal go up on the sand pumping jetty, while the third tags the construction of an 800 metre offshore jetty as a solution.
As expected, the project has received its fair share of criticism, with some conservation groups fiercely opposing the construction of a terminal on the Southport Spit. They maintain that a cruise terminal and its corresponding traffic would threaten the ecosystems of the region’s northern beaches and South Stradbroke Island, which would in turn jeopardise long-term tourism opportunities. Ultimately, the goal is to find an eco-friendly option that caters to cruise demand, without risking the health of the Gold Coast’s bio-network.
Adding to the Gold Coast’s gleam
When combined with the Gold Coast’s existing attractions, a cruise terminal offers a weighty return on investment. The region is already one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, with sultry weather, stunning beaches, world class surf and theme parks to boot. Dreamworld, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild make for some seriously action-packed shore excursions, while nearby Lamington National Park is brimming with hiking trails, rare birds and untouched rainforest.
Set sail for paradise
While the construction of a new cruise terminal remains up in the air, there are still plenty of opportunities to visit Brisbane’s famous slice of paradise. Check out some of our favourite Brisbane based cruise itineraries, sailing to the Great Barrier Reef, South Pacific islands and beyond.