BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND – “The tuk tuk ride made it feel more like an Asian city than Brisbane,” said Inneke Duncan, reminiscing about the recent Brisbane River Ramble hosted by the Gold Coast’s R Marine Crawley.
Inneke and husband Keith were among a contingent of adventurers who experienced the giant Brisbane Wheel at sunset before taking the unique transport across the Brisbane River to a banquet dinner at Madame Wu Asian restaurant in the city.
They were part of a flotilla of nine Riviera motor yachts and 24 happy owners and crew who cruised from the Gold Coast for a weekend of fun and exploration.
“We lived in Brisbane some years ago – before the Wheel was built – and it was amazing to come back along the river,” said Inneke. “It was like visiting a new city; a totally different perspective.”
Melissa Watson agreed.
“I lived in an apartment at Dockside some years ago,” she said. “We had never been along the Brisbane River before. It was an eye-opening experience of a beautiful city.”
The flotilla settled at Dockside Marina, a short trip across the Story Bridge or by ferry to the heart of the city after a six-hour voyage that included a stop for breakfast – and a quick swim for some – at Horseshoe Bay on Peel Island at the southern end of Moreton Bay.
Vicki Battistella said that Ben Crawley filled the time of the voyage with fascinating advice about Moreton Bay and pointed out the many anchorages that are safe from various wind directions.
“We have owned our Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht, Lady B, for a year and already have achieved 220 engine hours,” she said. “We love exploring the coastal waterways and Ben’s information was very helpful to our plans.”
After the cruise through the bay and along the Brisbane River, the flotilla moored in Dockside Marina at Kangaroo Point, a short stroll across the Story Bridge or a ferry ride to the heart of Brisbane.
Felon’s Brewery on the city side of the Story Bridge beckoned.
Vicki and Ray Battistella were impressed by the brewery tour.
“Our guide was very informative,” said Vicki. “She explained the brewing process and said they also make apple cider.”
The first day was completed with drinks and lively conversation at the Riverbar in the city, a short stroll along the riverside boardwalk from the brewery and offering superb views along the river.
A leisurely Saturday began for most with a fully catered picnic at the Botanic Gardens.
“The walk through the gardens was beautiful,” said Vicka Battistella. “It was our first visit and was stunning. The catered lunch under a huge tree below the Garden Cafe was a great way to laze away the afternoon.”
Melissa Watson and partner Brad decided to spend the day catching up with family and friends aboard their Riviera 45 Flybridge, Amalfi.
“One of the great benefits of the weekend was the planning options,” said Melissa. “There was so much we could do, but the team left us with plenty of time to explore on our own or, as we did, host a lunch with our own family. We had experienced the Wheel on a previous visit to Brisbane.”
The final event of the weekend was a banquet dinner at the renowned Madame Wu Asian restaurant overlooking the river.
Inneke said the tuk tuk ride from the Wheel took nearly an hour to reach Madame Wu.
“They had to go the long way around,” she said. “It was another wonderful way to see the city!”
“We don’t often eat Asian cuisine,” said Vicki. “But the banquet was fantastic. We had an area set aside and it was a wonderful opportunity to talk about our experiences during the two days, to discuss our motor yachts and the joys of being a part of the Riviera family.”
For all of the excitement of the weekend, Inneke and Keith Duncan said the Riviera events are most important because they bring together like-minded people.
“It is all about meeting people, a sense of belonging and being part of this great Riviera family,” said Inneke.