Day 117: Water Gate

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Rivergate Brisbane River
Safe harbour under the bridge

WE were on our way to Fort Lytton when we got sidetracked on the southern banks of the Brisbane River just past the Gateway Bridge.

It turned out to be an unexpectedly pleasant diversion for we stumbled across Rivergate and memories of where Brismania began.

Rivergate Brisbane River
Walkway down the river

I say “we” as I was with the same friend I had been travelling with in Spain when we walked the Malaga marina, gobsmacked by the extravagance of some of the boats in the harbor.

It was also the same friend who had wryly observed when we were walking through James St that it was up there with a lot of other places we had visited in the world.

Rivergate falls into the same category, making the Brisbane River down near Murrarie a destination for the tourist at home.

Strolling past yachts and cruisers worth far more than the average house and car, we could have been at any of many Mediterranean ports.

Malaga harbour
Malaga Harbour

Certainly not on the scale of Monte Carlo, it is nevertheless a tidy little marina perfect for a wander on a warm day.

The biggest eye-catcher was the superyacht Ethereal, alas at the end of a locked pontoon where we couldn’t have a really good stickybeak but nevertheless formidable.

A little research reveals it was the world’s first hybrid superyacht. At 58m long, it’s a world-cruising ketch steeped in luxury.

And yes, moored quietly and unassuming in the Brisbane River, it is worth far more than the average mansion and garage full of Ferraris.

Rivergate Brisbane River
The $60 million Ethereal at the end of the pontoon

It cost more than $60 million to build and a mere $274,000 a week to charter at last reckoning. Hmmm, a new apartment or a week at sea, let me think …

Ethereal is owned by American Bill Joy who made his money as, unsurprisingly, co-founder of Sun Microsystems.

Rivergate Brisbane River
CityCat high and dry waiting for an overhaul

I say unsurprisingly because the superyacht that had caught our eye in Malaga was the Tatoosh, purchased for $100 million in 2001 by Paul Allen who made his money as the co-founder of Microsoft.

So, we all know where the big bucks are.

The Tatoosh had a helicopter parked on top and staff crawling all over it even though the owner had not been on it for months.

Now, back to the real world.

Rivergate Brisbane River
Gateway Bridge backdrop

While the million-dollar boats bob in the water, there’s a hive of activity on land where workers are busy in the drydocks.

A CityCat is sitting up beside a motor cruiser waiting its turn for an overhaul.

Parking is easy and it’s worth a wander in the sun to admire the views and catch a glimpse of how the other 1 per cent live.

Rivergate Brisbane River
Where the work is done