The Darwin Harbour, in its natural state is perfectly formed – beautiful, fascinating and flawlessly integrated with the surrounding environment and its people. Its true beauty is best observed from amongst one of the vessels owned by Darwin Harbour Cruises. The company originated as a small family owned company in 1996. At the Time the harbour cruise industry was quiet immature and there was a real opportunity for tourist offerings and also to showcase the harbour’s natural habitat and beauty. The development of harbour and marine facilities in the early 2000’s made an impressive impact on the industry. “As the business grew, we later moved to Cullen Bay Marina, which was more suitable for operating two smaller style vessels” states Rachel Beaumont Smith, Managing Director at Darwin Harbour Cruises.
The Darwin Harbour extends from Charles Point to Gunn Point including the estuarine areas, tributaries and catchment areas of Cox Peninsula, Woods Inlet, West Arm, Middle Arm, East Arm, and the Howard River. The total area of land is 2417 square kilometres. Darwin Harbour Cruises is determined to display the true natural beauty of the harbour to all its clients and to offer a one of a kind, long lasting and memorable experience.
Darwin Harbour Cruises currently owns three vessels of which two are operational. “These vessels have unique story to tell” emphasizes Rachel. The first of the two vessels is The Tumlaren which was built in Lavender Bay, Sydney in 1981 by a well-known boat builder, Bob Gordon. The boat was built as a scaled down version of Dick Smith’s vessel that was sailed to Antarctica. The vessel hosts up to 45 passengers and is available for exclusive use, the vessel offers a spacious, shaded open plan deck, two toilets on deck level and Wi-Fi sound system aboard as well. The Tumlaren is now a beautifully restored 20 metre motorised schooner vessel, which boasts modern amenities to cater for every age of clientele.
Next in line is The Charles Darwin, which is a steel-hulled tri-level catamaran, built in Adelaide in 1990 for the Stannard family, a well-known name in the boating industry. Charles Darwin’ is available for exclusive charter for up to 270 guests. The vessel has 2 air-conditioned levels, the Captain’s Deck and the Bridge Deck, both of which are equipped with separate bar, catering facilities and are available for exclusive hire. “We create lasting impressions and unforgettable moments” sates Rachel “the stunning picturesque views and marine life, will take your breath away”. Last but not least is the non-operational Alfred Nobel, “she’s a 65 year old wooden schooner who stands at a 100 ft. in length” States Rachel.
Darwin Harbour is in a fortunate position with the announcement of the federal white paper which fits really well with what Darwin Harbour Cruises is trying to achieve from a tourism point of view. The Commonwealth has committed to produce a White Paper on the Reform of the Federation, and the responsibilities of different governments, to ensure that, as far as possible, the States and Territories are sovereign in their own sphere. “We have to take note of Darwin’s close proximity to Asia, we must learn to take advantage of this opportunity” emphasises Rachel “It’s not as simple as it sounds, it will take dedication and time but Darwin Harbour Cruises is committed to attracting its neighbours in Asia, which are in closer proximity than any other major city within Australia”.
“The harbour cruise industry is very tough, but it’s our ability to take the risks and the confidence in our service that drives us” states Rachel “ we will continue to be in the business of creating memorable moments, we pride ourselves on the timeless natural beauty of the harbour, that we share with our clients, one sunset at a time”.