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  • intouch Magazine

Local Yacht-Club Delivers Waterfront Luxury

The recent refurbishment of Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club (NCYC)

has seen the newly opened harbourfront clubhouse rivalling

the best in Australia. With the building doubled in overall size,

bar, dining and lounge space has tripled and the new

upper storey is available for members and guests rather

than being dedicated to corporate offices.


The project now allows the club to host anything from intimate weddings and functions to gala dinners and corporate events catering for 300 people. There is also a newly opened Nautica Dining restaurant, offering high-class a la carte meals and bar classics.

The project, undertaken by Williams River Steel with internal design by EJE Architects, completes the vision of the club’s founders, who allowed for footings and other works in their original scoping.

“The location really justified having luxury finishes and a high-quality drinks and dining experience for our members and guests. It’s one of the biggest and best all-weather club spaces you’ll find, especially right on the waterfront,” said NCYC Commodore Steve Rae.

“We’ve recently passed the 1000-mark in membership, and we think these new spaces will give people even more reason to join. As an added incentive, members get 20 per cent off their bar drinks and 10 per cent off meals.”

Nautica Dining is a fresh culinary experience in every sense, owned and operated by the NCYC, with Luke Carpenter appointed Executive Chef and leading a diverse and dynamic kitchen team, most of whom have worked internationally.

Raised on a sheep farm in New Zealand, Luke has long harboured a paddock-to-plate mentality and a passion for cooking. He honed his skills while working in Scotland for five-star resorts and opulent private members clubs.

Upon returning to New Zealand, Luke joined the Mantra Group, rising to become Regional Executive Chef. He then moved to the Anchorage Port Stephens, which was honoured with an Australian Good Food Guide chef’s hat under his charge.

“When the club called me, it represented a great opportunity to start something from scratch. The clubhouse has a relaxed, resort-like feel, quite unique for Newcastle. I tell people, ‘we don’t have 180 poker machines, we have 180 marina berths’ – that’s the difference,” says Luke.

“You can still get a burger or schnitzel, but they’re done really well,” Luke adds.

“We offer something different too. Everything is traceable, which brings consistency – our lamb, for example, is from Pukara Estate, our pork is from Murray River, our beef is from the Bass Strait. We’re making our own ice cream and sorbets, along with sauces and dressings, right down to smoking our own salmon.”

Included in the development was an all-new kitchen, which is now centrally located in the lower, open-plan bar and dining area, while the space formerly occupied by the kitchen is now the Foredeck room, with high bar tables and glass doors that flood the area with light and air. To cater for functions, it can be enclosed.

The bar has new café-style tables, flowing into a relaxed, sunlit drinking space, then the new Regatta Room dining area. Full-width glass doors lead to an outdoor zone, which has a mix of table settings, bar stools and lounges.

Upstairs has a new space called The Bridge, with a long table flanked by leather chairs. It is ideal for training, board meetings and corporate entertaining during the day, or private dining functions at night with 10-20 people. Glass doors again lead to a balcony with tree-filtered views of the marina and trawler jetty.

Reservations for Nautica Dining and membership applications are taken online at


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