The Australian Voyage Award made its debut at the 2018 Australian Marine Industry Awards. This prestigious award is presented to the superyacht, in the opinion of the judges completed the most inspirational cruise in Australian waters.

Australia has some of the most spectacular cruising experiences found anywhere in the world.  Superyachts are spoilt for choice with locations to please even the fussiest of guests.  Take a pick from our world-renowned locations, from Sydney Harbour, the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania, the Kimberley Region, to the islands of the Coral Sea, and everything in between.  The spectacular Superyacht destinations Australia has to offer are only limited by the imagination. The Australian climate allows a full 12 months of cruising pleasure, so there is no doubt that the entrant’s itineraries will be rich and diverse, covering all seasons and regions. 

2020 entries now closed

Congratulations to S/Y HEMISPHERE, the winner of the 2020 australian voyage award

The inspirational Australian Voyage Award, sponsored by Tourism Australia, was presented to Captain Gavin Bladen of Hemisphere, the worlds largest sailing catamaran. 

In November 2019, Hemisphere started to entertain an enquiry to support a National Geographic film shoot on Raine Island for the series ‘One Strange Rock’. With the passing of the Special Recreational Vessels Act in December 2019, Hemisphere was able to enter Cairns on 9th December to commence the project.

While Hemisphere was joining the team’s efforts extremely late, all the groundwork for this multi-million-dollar effort had been successfully put into place. The expedition would take six vessels and crew; a team of 66 people consisting of scientists, advisors from GBRMPA, film, light and sound crews, supporting personnel, the director, producer and the show’s host, Will Smith, to the remote far north of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.

Although this was no traditional voyage, it was the first ever foreign flagged vessel to enter and charter in Australia under the Special Recreational Vessels Act 2019.

The One Strange Rock team had come to Raine to tell the story of the green turtles and tiger sharks that descend on this tiny island between November and March each year. Raine is the world’s largest green turtle nesting ground and in the 2019-20 season the island was hosting an estimated 64,000 breeding turtles.

In 2022 the second season of One Strange Rock will broadcast to millions of people from all walks of life across the world, and in doing so showcase the uniqueness of our planet and in particular how special Australia’s Great Barrier Reef truly is.


“Hemisphere and her crew are honoured by this evening’s accolade, however if the truth be known we are really only the ‘poster child’ behind years and years of effort and determination by many people to open up Australia to foreign flagged super yachts. If anybody should be receiving recognition, it’s these people who have made it possible.

In December 2019, I was delighted when Hemisphere became the first yacht to be able to jump through all the new legislation (the ink of which was still drying at the time!) and meet all the requirements to prove that Australia is actually open for business! I hope we have forged away for more yachts to follow in our wake, so their guests can enjoy the delights of Australia, and the companies and businesses ashore can benefit from their presence.

Next year, One Strange Rock-series 2 will air on the Discovery Channel to millions of people around the world. One episode of this natural history documentary will feature Raine Island and her green turtles and tiger sharks, which will showcase how amazing and unique the GBR is, and still is today. So, in addition to the yachts, hopefully more tourists will opt to visit Australia to explore the diverse country and have their own mini adventures on the GBR.”

Gavin Bladen, Captain of S/Y Hemisphere