One of the most beautiful atolls in the Pacific.

Hi everyone,

Well as they say time sure does fly and it is hard to believe we are back in New Caledonia having just returned from Fiji where we spent just over 3 months.

The passage from Fiji to New caledonia was very pleasant passage and we covered the 600nm in 3 days 12hrs.

Normally you cannot stop anywhere in New Caledonia without first having cleared into the country and the only official clearance port is Noumea on the western side of the country. This often means that many westbound yachts do not get to visit one of the most pristine cruising destinations that the pacific has to offer, the Loyalty Islands which are on the eastern side of New Caledonia.

This year the Down Under "Go West" Rally made arrangements for several yachts to permitted to clear into the country in the Loyalty Islands in Lifou.

Loyalty Islands .png

This involved flying in the officials from the mainland so that they could carry out the biosecurity inspection of each yacht and carry out the necessary immigration and customs procedures.

The officers and our agent Herve of Noumea Yacht Services arrived as planned in the anchorage at 08:00 on Wednesday 27th and I went ashore in our tender to collect them take them to our catamaran Songlines which was to be their office. I then shuttled Herve and the Biosecurity officer to each boat, collected the passports for all crew and returned them to the immigration officers who remained aboard Songlines. Over the next few hours passports were stamped, boats were inspected and all were successfully cleared into the country and free to begin to explore.

Herve and the officials aboard Songlines which is anchored in Lifou.

Herve and the officials aboard Songlines which is anchored in Lifou.

Taking the Biosecurity officer in our dinghy to do a quarantine inspection of each of the yachts in the anchorage at Lifou.

Taking the Biosecurity officer in our dinghy to do a quarantine inspection of each of the yachts in the anchorage at Lifou.

Shuttle buses were arranged and everyone went ashore for the ride into town where they were able to visit the bank and get some local currency before hitting the supermarket and stocking up.

The Supermarket in Lifou

The Supermarket in Lifou

Yacht crews returning to the dingy dock with their provisions 

Yacht crews returning to the dingy dock with their provisions 

By 4.00pm everyone had returned to their boats and at 5.30 a few of the crew of the yachts came to Songlines to see a presentation about cruising New Caledonia we provided using the Cruising New Caledonia Rocket Guide.

Yesterday we departed Lifou and today my office aka Songlines is located in Ouvea in the Loyalty Islands about 40nm to the east of New Caledonia. With its white-sand beach that stretches over 25 klms, Ouvéa is without doubt one of the most beautiful atolls in the Pacific.

Loyalty Islands.png

Our focus at the moment is on the "Go West Rally" which sails from New Caledonia to Bundaberg.

33 yachts from 11 countries have registered for the Go West Rally with another 32 expressions of interest having been received.

On the 21st October we are holding a "Go West" info day in Noumea and soon after most of the rally participants will depart for Bundaberg

Go West Rendevous_Portrait.jpg

The goal for most Go West Rally participants will be to arrive in Bundaberg in time for "Welcome Week" which kicks off in Bundaberg on the 6th November and runs through until the 12th November.

2017_Welcome Week_Flyer RFS.jpg

Once the Go West rally is over our focus will shift back to the Go East rally

As at today we have received 61 expressions of interest in the 2018 Down Under "Go East" Rally from the Gold Coast to Noumea New Caledonia.

During November we expect to finalise all the arrangements with our Go East rally partners and then we will be in a position to determine the rally entry fee and the benifits participants will receive.

As soon as all the rally benifits have been finalised we will send out an email to all who have registered and expression of interest informing them that the rally is open for registration and what the rally fee and the benifits will be. At this stage I expect this will be around the last week in November.

We will also then begin to update the crew available page of our website with details of those who have contacted us looking for crew positions. The URL for that page is

Did you know we are holding two info days? For more information about these info days and to reserve your seat please go to:

Go East Info day flyer ss rfs.png

We are also running our Offshore Cruising Preparation courses again. For more information about the course dates , locations and course content please go to 

2018 Cruising Prep Seminar Flyer_b.jpg

So thats it from us but before we go just a quick thanks to all of you who have like our Facebook page which has just reached 1500 likes !

May your the water stay on the outside of your boat.
May the winds be fair, the seas be slight and the sky be blue.
May your days be filled with new adventures, fabulous destinations and excellent friendships.


2018 Offshore Cruising Preparation Courses

Learn skills, gain confidence !

Along with rewards, adventures and discoveries that come with offshore cruising there are also some unique challenges. By gaining some insight into these challenges we believe that you will be better prepared to manage them when they arise.

This course is an investment in both your cruising safety and enjoyment

2 day course for 2 people $550.00.
Course locations : 
Southport Yacht Club - Main Beach, Hollywell & Dux Gold Coast Queensland
Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay Newport NSW
For more info go to:…/

Down Under Rally wins Australian Marine Industry Award

The Australian Marine Industry Awards are presented annually to reward the outstanding achievements of Australian businesses in the marine export, superyacht and commercial sectors. The Awards are organised by the Australian International Marine Export Group (AIMEX), Superyacht Australia and the Australian Commercial Marine Group (ACMG).

And the winner for the most innovative marine industry product or service is…. Down Under Rally

We were disappointed not to be able to attend the awards ceremony as we were on passage with the Go East Rally on the night however we would like to thank AIMEX and the panel of judges for choosing The Down Under Rally us as the award recipient. We are humbled and very grateful to receive this recognition of our efforts to date .  

For those who are interested below is what was read out on the night the award was announced.

"The Down Under Rally is a service provider within the Nautical Tourism sector holding two yacht rallies on an annual basis for cruising yachts. The rallies are the Down Under “Go West” Rally & The Down Under “Go East” Rally assisting cruising yachts make their way to Australian waters. The rally provides participants with incentives and benefit’s and is a great way for visiting yachts to meet other cruising yachtsmen & women with whom they can share the experience and the journey. The activities of the Down Under Rally are focused on increasing the number of yachts that visit Australia and in turn assist in securing more revenue for the Australian tourism and marine sector. Down Under Rally director, John Hembrow and his wife Leanne have been Nautical Tourists for the past 8 years. Their approach to attracting more vessels to Australia has certainly seen an increase in yacht visitation. Congratulations Down Under Rally!"  


Rally News & Upcoming Events

Go East & Go West Rally News
& Event Invitations

The countdown begins! 

With just over 5 weeks to go before participants in the  2017 Down Under Go East Rally set sail out of the Gold Coast seaway for New Caledonia, the excitement is really starting to build!

Many of the participants vessels are currently at the Boatworks "Boat Spa" and being spoiled with everything from new rigging to new antifoul being applied and installed.

It seems there is alot of interest about the types of vessels that have entered with the most asked question to date being; "How many catamarans and how may monohulls have registered?"

Of the 25 vessels that are currently registered we have: 12 Catamarans, 12 Mono Hulls and 1 Trimaran. 

Everyone Welcome!
East Meets West.

Join us for an informal get together, share some food and a couple of drinks, catch up with a few mates and make a few new ones and just enjoy the company of like minded people. If you can play an instrument then bring it along and maybe join your fellow cruisers for a bit of a jam session.

Free Info Session
Yacht Systems
Repairs & Maintenance

 27th April 2017 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Australian Marine Wholesale
The Boatworks
Unit 2, Building L, 1 Boatworks Drive, Coomera, QLD 

2017 Go West Rally - Registrations Open

The Down Under Rally will pay the fees associated with the initial biosecurity pratique & timber inspection of all vessels that are registered participants of the 2017 Down "Go West" Rally. To find out about all the rally benefits, date and events go to;/ or click the link below