Down Under Rally – Bundaberg
Business Contact Info
Contact Details:
Contact Person: John Hembrow
Phone: (+61) 0417833337
Alternative Phone: (+61)
Email: [email protected]

The Down Under Rallies holds 5 yacht rallies annually. They are:

  • Go East Rally – Australia to New Caledonia
  • Go North Rally – Australia to Indonesia
  • NC2V Rally – New Caledonia to Vanuatu
  • Loyalty Islands Rally – Fiji to Loyalty Islands New Caledonia
  • Go West Rally – New Caledonia to Australia

The purpose of the various rallies offered by the Down Under Rally is to provide the owners and crew of cruising yachts that join the rallies with up to date & accurate information to assist them when visiting exploring the destination countries.

Rally director John Hembrow and his wife Leanne have been cruising yachties for the past 10 years. Since 2015 they have sailed from Australia to New Caledonia and then onwards to Vanuatu & Fiji each year as part of the Down Under “Go East “ Rally on their Catamaran “Songlines”

Once in Fiji the John & Leanne share information about Australia & New Caledonia with the international cruising community before returning to New Caledonia with the ‘Loyalty Islands Rally’ in late September.

Noumea Rendezvous – Sailing to Australia info & voyage briefing
New Caledonia

On arrival back in Noumea from Fiji the Down Under Rally hold the Noumea Rendezvous. The purpose of this event is to encourage those yachts that are considering their options for cyclone season to choose Australia as their destination. We show a presentation that provides information about Australia as a destination. With the presentation, voyage briefing and Q&A session completed all who attend enjoy complimentary canapés and sundowners made possible thanks to Scarborough Marina who sponsor this event.

About the Go West Rally, New Caledonia to Australia

The primary goal of the Down Under Rally “Go West Rally” is to promote Australia as a destination to the international cruising community and encourage vessels to choose Australia as their destination for the SW Pacific Cyclone season.

The Down Under “Go West” Rally does this by providing the owners and crews of international cruising yachts with a professional informative & up to date introduction to Australia.

The inaugural Down Under “Go West” Rally took place in October 2015 with 25 vessels registering as participants.

Since then participant numbers have increased annually as shown below:

  • 42 vessels joined the Go West Rally in 2016
  • 44 vessels joined the Go West Rally and in 2017
  • 72 vessels joined the Go West Rally in 2018 rally.

The Go West rally participants spend the cyclone season exploring & cruising in Australia.

The rally provides participants with incentives and benefits and is a great way for visiting yachts to meet other cruising yachtsmen & women with whom
they can share the experience and the journey.

Prior to participants arriving in Australia, the Down Under “Go West” Rally communicates regularly with all entrants, officers of the Australian Customs and Quarantine departments and The Port of Bundaberg to ensure the best possible outcome for all rally participants in regard to the clearance of their vessel & crew members into Australia.

Go West Rally Welcome Week

Rally participants are encouraged to arrive in the Port of Bundaberg QLD and
to attend our Welcome Week, in Bundaberg which takes place annually in

Welcome Week is designed to introduce these visitors to Australia and ensure
that they not only are made to feel welcome but to also provide them with
valuable information about getting the most out of their time in Australia.

The following presentations are held over 4 days as part of the Welcome Week event calendar:

  • Down Under Orientation (Includes sessions on the dangers and delights of Australia)
  • East Coast Yacht Cruising (sessions on Queensland /New South Wales & Tasmania)
  • Land Cruising Down Under

As a result of the information shared during Welcome Week many have realized that to experience all that Australia has to offer they will need to spend a lot more time here and as such many will now call Australia home for up to 3 years.

In addition to the Welcome Week presentations participants also have the opportunity to join in several social events and take tours to attractions that are local to the rally entry port.

Typical “Go West Rally” participant itinerary:

For the majority cyclone season dictates that they will sail south from Bundaberg soon after the conclusion of Welcome Week.

The majority of participants choose to sail to Brisbane or the Gold Coast and call SE Queensland home for the next 5 months before heading north at the end of cyclone season with the intention of cruising the Great Barrier Reef and far north Queensland before departing Horn Island in the Torres Islands with the Go North Rally to Indonesia in July

Others venture further south to Sydney for New Years Even on the harbour and then onto Tasmania before returning to Queensland and follow a similar plan to those who remained in Queensland.

The Down Under Rally has received many emails from participants of the Go West rally and we are very pleased to be able to report that those who have written to us have informed us that they have found the rally and their time in Australia to be an enjoyable experience.

To read the feedback we have received from participants in regard to the rally, Bundaberg Port Marina & the customs & quarantine officers please go to:


Sailing To Australia from New Caledonia.


Sailing to & Cruising in Australia


Sailing New Caledonia - Loyalty Islands & Gadji (Isle of Pines)


Sailing to New Caledonia with the 2018 Go East Rally




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