Yorkeys Knob—boat ramp

We are constructing a new recreational boat launching facility at Yorkeys Knob.

Yorkeys Knob was identified as a strategic location for additional boat launching facility to the north of the Cairns CBD through the Recreational Boating Facilities Demand Forecasting Study undertaken in 2016. The study concluded that there is an urgent need for an additional boat ramp north of Cairns, and that Yorkeys Knob was the most suitable site due to:

  • its central location
  • its access to the open sea
  • its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef
  • the relatively minor additional environmental disturbance required for its construction given the area is already highly disturbed by existing coastal and foreshore development.

The new boat ramp and associated on-land facilities will be constructed on vacant state-owned land and seabed to the west of Yorkeys Knob Boating Club marina and to the north of Half Moon Bay Golf Club, with an access road on state land between the 2 clubs.

We have worked closely with Cairns Regional Council to determine the configuration of parking and other on-land facilities. Transport and Main Roads and the Cairns Regional Council signed a deed of agreement in September 2021 about the contribution of Cairns Regional Council to the project and related matters.

This new facility will:

  • improve safety and reduce congestion at the existing Yorkeys Knob boat ramp
  • reduce wait times for boaties on the north side of the Cairns CBD, for both launching and retrieving
  • complement the recent upgrade to the Trinity Park/Bluewater boat ramp.

Benefits

  • Improves safety
  • Increases capacity
  • Better road access
  • Increases car parks

Key features

  • 6 lane boat ramp with 3 floating walkways
  • 2 new breakwaters for wave protection
  • dredged basin and access channel 
  • reclamation 
  • queuing beaches 
  • 135 car-trailer park spaces
  • 63 single car park spaces 
  • new access road and footpath
  • new amenities block
  • golf course protective fencing.

Funding

This project has an overall budget of $22.4 million and is jointly funded by Transport and Main Roads and Cairns Regional Council.

Total investment
$22.4 million
Queensland Government
$18.9 million
Local Government
$3.5 million

Current Status

Element 1: Readvertised tenders are currently being evaluated for the boundary fencing element of the project. This element will be delivered once road access is available to the site from Buckley Street via the Element 2 works. This timing has changed to provide cost savings and avoid disruption to Half Moon Bay Golf Club associated with construction access through the Club.

Element 2: Construction contract awarded to Halls Contracting Pty Ltd on 3 November 2021. Onsite works commenced in early February 2022.  

Project stages

Next steps:
  • Early 2022: Evaluation process of fence screen tender
  • Late 2022: Works completion, weather permitting.

Detailed Design

We have listened to feedback from the local community and, where possible, have amended the design to include community suggestions. These improvements include:

  • improvements to vehicle exit options at the top of the ramp following launch and retrieve
  • inclusion of a third floating walkway with landing extension
  • refinement of the breakwater configuration to ensure calm water conditions are achieved without impacts to adjacent infrastructure or coastal processes.

One of the main concerns raised by stakeholders throughout consultation has been about car parking. The final design maximises the number of available car parks to help resolve the existing parking issues at Yorkeys Knob. The final design features 135 car-trailer parks, 63 standard car parks and which includes 6 accessible (disabled) parking spaces.

Yorkeys Knob boat ramp detailed design (update plan)

Yorkey's Knob boat harbour map

Yorkeys Knob boat ramp car park detailed design (updated plan)

overview of boat ramp