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Hamilton Island Yacht Club destined for icon status
5 June 2009, By Jeni Bone

Due to open in time for the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week (21-29 August 2009), the perfectly positioned Hamilton Island Yacht Club is destined to become an iconic hub of boating and an attraction with international appeal.

The driving forces behind the project, Hamilton Island owners, the Oatley Family, and famed yachtsman and Olympian Iain Murray, promise the Yacht Club and residential precinct will be 'one of Australia’s most unique and premium projects', that will add to Australia’s credentials as an international boating destination.

Inaugural Commodore of the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, Iain Murray AM, whose development company Murlan was in charge of the development with construction company Parkview, explains that the objective was to 'create a club that would rival the best in the world, with facilities to host world-class regattas, as well as developing unique opportunities for Hamilton Island to provide accommodation for many different travellers'.

The dream and the reality, of course, proved to be two different things and Murray says the unique challenges they encountered were associated with building on an island.

'Building on any island presents issues, such as needing to source and accommodate additional staff for the build period, getting materials and equipment onto the island can be more difficult as well as working around seasonal weather constraints. But of course any construction job can be affected by these things. Careful planning and flexibility are required to build such complex buildings.'

With a vision for contemporary style and luxury, renowned Australian architect Walter Barda brought the concept to life in the form of a 'pre-weathered green copper roof with a distinctively organic shape', as the signature design feature of the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, encasing three levels of facilities.

Features within the Yacht Club will include indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar jutting over the marina; members-only level complete with private restaurant, bar and reading room; wellness facility with state-of-the-art gymnasium, indoor lap pool and saunas; cellar dining room; blackout auditorium and extensive conference/function and wedding facilities within an idyllic setting.

Using natural timbers and sweeping lines, Barda's vision for the Villas that accompany the Hamilton Island Yacht Club was to capture an informal ambience and beauty that makes the most of the unique setting. The 35 standalone Villas encompass four bedrooms over three levels and will capture sweeping views of Dent Passage and beyond to the Whitsunday Islands.

The involvement of celebrity landscape architect, Jamie Durie has ensured a lush, conceptual and distinctive landscaping design.

The Hamilton Island Yacht Club & Villas will be positioned as 'the centre of lifestyle and boating' and the gateway to the Islands of The Great Barrier Reef.

Annual memberships will be issued by invitation only to Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villa owners and a select list of VIPs. Temporary memberships will be issued to VIP guests on the island at the discretion of the Yacht Club Manager.

Hamilton Island, already the jewel in crown of Australia’s recreational boating and competitive sailing, will be further enhanced by the new facilities. Murray is ecstatic to have been involved, in a very hands-on way, and says he believes it will add to the appeal of the region.

'To have the opportunity to create a brand new club in such a beautiful region, with such a unique structure and design, means we can continue to offer a premier yachting destination. In broader terms, I think the iconic yacht club and leisure facilities capture the essence of the Whitsundays and will appeal to leisure and business travelers alike.

'We will marvel at the design of the Yacht Club forever!'