MORETON BAY, QUEENSLAND – Kooringal is a little village at the southern tip of Moreton Island, a large sand island in southern Queensland.
For 39 Riviera owners and their families, it offered a magical weekend of exploration, wild life and festivities at the recent R Marine Jones Kooringal Experience.
Simply arriving is half of the fun as you have to navigate through narrow channels and constantly shifting sand bars. Yet it was made simple by Randall Jones and his team as they led the flotilla – ranging from a 3600 Sport Yacht to a 57 Enclosed Flybridge and a 6000 Sport Yacht – through narrow channels carefully marked by the R Marine Jones team.
For most, a highlight of the Experience was taking their tenders to observe the sea life in the nearby shallows.
“The turtles were stunning,” said Trisha Frizelle. “They are enormous. And we saw shovel-nose sharks and plenty of rays. A captivating experience.”
Trisha and husband James took their new Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht, Off The Cuff, on their first Kooringal Experience.
“Overall, the weekend was almost too much of a good time,” she said.
The Experience began early on a Friday morning as 20 motor yachts gathered at the mouth of the Coomera River on the Gold Coast to begin the 38 nautical mile voyage north through the channels of the Broadwater and into Moreton Bay.
More motor yachts joined the flotilla as it made its way north.
Bill Loughnan commented on the safety focus of the team at R Marine Jones.
“My wife, Steph, and I are relatively new to boating. Our M430 Sports Cruiser is our first big motor yacht and it was incredibly reassuring to have the R Marine Jones team available at all times. We decided to move our anchorage twice and the boys were very helpful.”
With the flotilla safely anchored, the adventurers went ashore to Kooringal’s Gutter Bar and early evening drinks followed by a sumptuous seafood dinner. As the sun set, a full moon rose to bathe the scene in its reflected light.
“The food was spectacular,” said Greg Kohl. “And there was more to come. The following day the Jones team presented a wonderful spread of oysters and prawns on the beach.”
Greg, his partner Robyn and her sister, shared the weekend aboard their Riviera 43 Open Flybridge Crescendo.
“This is our second Riviera,” explained Greg. “We’ve never brought them to Kooringal. I’ve not been game to navigate into the anchorage. The last time I visited was aboard my father’s shallow draft boat when I was 15 – and that was a long time ago! It was surprising at how little has changed – except the sand bars, of course.”
Raley Griffiths shared the view of many that the Experience gave them a unique opportunity to meet other owners, exchange ideas and enjoy the camaraderie.
“We had the chance to visit one another on board, find out from owners about the many Riviera models and what they most like about their motor yachts,” she said. “We have a 3600 Sport Yacht, La Mia Barca, and we were invited on board a new 57 Enclosed Flybridge. The owners were clearly very proud of their motor yacht.
“It gives us a lot to dream about!”
Raley concluded: “This was our second Kooringal Experience and we are already looking forward to many more.”