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Freestyle Events for Boaties

Freestyle Events for Boaties

The sky was dotted with a few clouds. Weather forecast was 25 degrees Celsius. High tide at mid-day. Wind speed probably less than 13 knots. All was looking good. We were heading out to a teppanyaki lunch at Horizon Shores Marina in Woongoolba. Free berth for those who come by boat or a free road shuttle pick-up and return for locals within a 20km radius with bookings.

Teppanyaki and Tunes by the Water event organiser of Hayley Taylor of Free Style Function says, “I am doing this to encourage more event-destinations for boaties, and to encourage people to use their boats to dine or to attend social events, independent of social clubs or associations.”

We arrive at the marina, found a vacant berthing, and tied off our boat while another boat was offloading its passengers who had also booked for the seven-course teppanyaki lunch. Many of the guests enjoyed the trip to Horizon Shores by boat, and equally enjoyed the entertainment provided by the live soulful music as well as the teppanyaki chef’s cooking antics. The outdoor setting overlooking the marina, complete with a marquee and portable teppanyaki barbecue plate, made the event very unique and memorable.

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It is not often that an event on the Gold Coast offers activities that are convenient for boaties. After all, when a boatie is invited to an event that may be at a waterfront venue, the first question normally asked is: Is there free public berthing?

Aside from the usual escape into the serenity of nature—sun, sea, sand, wind and wildlife—boaties on the Gold Coast also seek some destination that offer something different. There are a few places around the city where they can shop and dine—at waterfront shopping centres and well established marinas—but occasionally, they probably just want something different.

In 2015, the Glow Festival held at the Evandale Lake offered the Gold Coast’s first “float-in” cinema, where boaties were able to watch Pirates of the Carribean from the comforts of their own boasts. The event also offered free ferry transport from Cavill Avenue in Surfers Paradise to the Evandale pontoon and back.  The ferry proved very popular giving an opportunity for people to appreciate the waterways in a different way by transporting people to a destinations of interest.

The outdoor venue for our teppanyaki lunch on that day became a dining destination for boaties for a few hours, and provided a different kind of boating experience. Sure, we all have our picnic spots and our favourite beach spots on the Gold Coast islands. But there are times, you just want to enjoy arriving boat, tie it off on a pontoon, walk on dry land, have an outdoor dining experience while being entertained with live music, and not be bothered with packing food and picnic equipment or getting your feet wet or sandy.

Hayley organises similar events accessible by boats with the convenience of free berthing on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane. For more information Free Style Function.


By Roselle Tenefrancia