Melbourne International Boat & Lifestyle Festival opens today


The Melbourne International Boat & Lifestyle Festival, the largest outdoor lifestyle event to take place in Victoria this summer according to the organisers, opens today in the Melbourne Docklands district.

The Festival sprawls from Docklands’ NewQuay down to the festive piazza at Waterfront City, and the organisers have promised a lot more than just boats, with visitors able to enjoy gourmet food, wine, fashion, and travel and holiday information.

Selected highlights include Mustang showcasing its new 30ft 2850 Sports Cruiser, which updates the 2800 model with new features and added living space.

TrailerBoat and Trade-A-Boat’s giveaway prize boat, the 6m Coastryder Hardtop Fisherman, will be on display for all to see, and visitors are invited to enter the competition.

And Bar Crusher will also showcase its one-off 560XS Tournament model, designed for competitive barra fishing in the top end.

As with many previous shows, the Volunteer Coast Guard will be on hand to train and test aspiring boaties for their recreational Victorian boat licenses.

Visitors can also participate in the “Come ’n’ Try Boating” sessions from 10am daily, whereby show patrons are invited to jump onboard a boat for a ride around Docklands waterways with the Coast Guard. “Come ’n’ Try Sea Kayaking” sessions, plus “Come ’n’ Try Dragon Boating” sessions, are also available (times may vary so check first).

The Melbourne International Boat & Lifestyle Festival is organised by the Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIA) and runs from Friday, February 5, to Sunday, February 7, 2010. Opening hours are 10am to 6pm daily (8pm close on Friday, February 5).

Many components of the show are free to the public, including open space exhibits.

Access to the boats on the marina is ticketed. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $8 for children and concessions, and $35 for families. Children under five may attend for free.