Great place to linger
Reviewed Sep 2016
We highly recommend Scarborough Marina in Scarborough, Queensland for international and other cruisers. We were traveling up the East Coast of Australia and planned to stop at Scarborough Marina for one night to see friends and their new baby. Then an East Coast Low starting forming so we decided to stay longer. We comfortably sat out the bad weather which savaged much of the east coast of Australia and severely damaged at least two marinas. Scarborough Marina is protected by land from all directions except for the narrow entrance which opens to the WSW. The docks are sturdy, well-lit and well-maintained. A very big plus is that unlike many marinas in this part of the world, Scarborough Marina is not on a river with the obvious potential problems should flooding occur.
A few days after the East Coast Low we had to fly home for a few months to look after my elderly mother who had fallen and broken multiple bones. The marina staff were very helpful. A big plus for us was a liveaboard right in the marina with decades of international cruising who offers an affordable service to look after boats with absent owners. We showed him what we would like done to take care of our boat while we were away and he did an impeccable job. He is a retired sailmaker and can do custom canvas work. Knowing such a competent person is looking after your home when you are so far away gives great peace of mind!
The marina is cruiser friendly. The staff are very helpful. We especially appreciated them printing copies of documents we needed to prepare for the departure clearance process. The marina has clean toilets and showers ashore, coin-operated washers and driers and a cruisers lounge with free WIFI, TV and book exchange. I even set up my sewing machine in there to do some minor repairs! The cruisers room, parking lot, docks and amenities are secure and accessed with a cards issued to moorage tenants.
There is a travel lift and boat yard on the premises, an excellent adjacent chandlery with very helpful owners and hours and a Volvo/Yanmar dealer adjacent to the marina. Another business with a wide range of boat maintenance services is also right next door. Screens are used in the boatyard between boats to prevent overspray and similar problems. Self serve fuel is available 24/7. Holding tank pump out is available at a nearby dock within the marina basin.
The Scarborough Marina is an easy walk to bus stop and cafes and a nice fresh seafood shop. It is 30 minutes by car from international airport. Affordable rental cars can be delivered to the marina for return to the airport. A range of good grocery stores are located in the general area. A Costco is ten miles from the marina. A Bunnings hardware store is seven miles from the marina. Both can be reached by bus.
There are many very nice walking paths on the shoreline near the marina and in nearby Scarborough and Redcliffe. There is a pretty view across the bay to the Glass House Mountains. It is easy to get from the marina into downtown Brisbane by mass transit for sightseeing or cruising chores. Brisbane has many consulate offices for international travel planning. Other boaters are very friendly and helpful.
The Australian Border Force will conduct their departure clearance processes from the marina. They ask for appointments a week in advance which can be rescheduled if needed. Others have scheduled departure clearances 48 hours ahead.