The new state of the art Shute Harbour Marine Terminal, owned by Whitsunday Regional Council, is perfectly placed in a beautiful natural harbour only 15 minutes from Airlie Beach. The new terminal will see Shute Harbour return to it’s former glory as the main gateway to the islands due to it’s proximity to the major islands.
The natural harbour offers ample space, width and deep draft suitable for a wide range of larger vessels with the new seawall providing greater resilience to storm surge in the future. The two-level terminal hosts a variety of island ferry and tourism operators in addition to short-term berth leasing and a large fuel arm.
History of Shute Harbour
Shute Harbour opened in 1961 and was devoted exclusively to tourism after sugar was transferred to bulk handling facilities at Mackay.
Since the establishment of Shute Harbour in the 1960's the tourism traffic through the facility to the Whitsunday Islands flourished. The Shute Harbour facilities have undergone several changes to the building and facilities with major changes occurring in the early 1970's (car parking and South Molle Jetty), in the middle of the eighties (additional Terminal facility Lloyd Roberts) and early 1990/2000's (SHIFT demolition and reconstruction of terminal facility at Lloyd Roberts Jetty and the addition of the floating pontoons).
The terminal was damaged beyond repair during Tropical Cyclone Debbie in March 2017. Demolition of the damaged terminal buildings and jetties began in April and was completed in July 2018. Construction of the new $63.5 milion restoration project saw a complete rebuild of the seawall, terminal, pontoons and carpark. In addition, a second small tourism building. Eligible works received joint funding from the Commonwealth and State Governments under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). Construction of the new state of the art two-level terminal was completed in late 2021 and reopened for the Whitsunday community and tourism stakeholders.