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 (CRC) to determine the configuration of parking and other on-land facilities. TMR and CRC signed a deed of agreement in November 2019 about the contribution of CRC 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.


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

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.

Current Status

After receiving the necessary approvals in June 2021, the project is now in the tender phase. Tenders for the work have been advertised in 2 elements.

  • Element 1: boundary fencing, advertised on 5 July 2021 and closes on 6 August 2021
  • Element 2: construction works, advertised on 9 July 2021 and closes on 13 August 2021

Prospective tenderers are invited to register their interest and download the tender documents from the Queensland Government’s eTender website.

Project stages

Next steps:

  • Late 2021: Award contract and construction starts—timing dependent on several factors. 
  • 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 (subject to funding)
  • 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 designYorkeys Knob boat ramp site overview plan
Yorkeys Knob boat ramp car park detailed design

Yorkeys Knob boat ramp car park detailed design