Family Ties with Catalina Noosa

Image source: IN Noosa Magazine

Making happy memories is the key to creating a great legacy. Carlie Wacker meets the trailblazing local family cruising to success through hard work, determination and a dream to create the ultimate space for good times.

Just imagine cruising down the stunning Noosa River, heading towards Makepeace Island with the wind in your hair, cocktail in hand and grooving along to tunes from some of the Coast’s best DJs! 

Take it as slow or fast as you like aboard Catalina Noosa! 

There’s always something happening on Noosa’s iconic luxury cruiser with it’s classic white and blue decor reminiscent of the French Riviera. 

Stunning sunsets, clear tidal waters and a passing parade of boats, riverfront houses and fellow revellers providing non-stop entertainment. 

This is aqua therapy at its finest! 

And there’s plenty of options for you. Cruise into the weekend in style with a Friday Night Social every Friday hosting DJs with an eclectic mix of disco, hip hop and R’n’B. 

Saturday’s Lunch on the Water slows things down and is a great way to enjoy a laidback four course lunch, cocktails and take in the scenery; or for the more party-centric, witness stunning sunsets and beachclub vibes with Saturday’s Tropicale or Saltwater Sunday. 

For co-owners and siblings Bree Prince and Tim Norris growing up in Noosa was idyllic – surfing and boating, making the most of our beautiful waterways and beaches. 

Like Bree, Tim made the decision to relocate his family back to Noosa (to be with the extended crew) ten years ago.  

“We had a fantastic childhood growing up here and that was the number one reason that Timmy and I wanted to
come back and raise our families here,” Bree said. 

Bree and husband Scott have three gorgeous children; Tim and his wife Eva have two little cuties and gathering them together onboard the boat to chat and take photos you could feel the love. 

Upon moving back, they had no idea they would end up owning a hospitality business – but that’s where the story of Catalina begins. 

As they spent time on the river, sharing their experience with their children, they began to take more notice of MV Catalina – it’s been on the Noosa River for around 20 years. 

Over time, they started to imagine the possibilities of transforming the ugly duckling into something more luxurious. 

A place for locals and visitors to enjoys parties and weddings like nothing else that was available. The dream had begun. 

“We travelled aboard up to Lake Cootharaba and took in our first sunset over the water and knew that this was going to be something special,” Bree said. “Somewhere for everyone to enjoy great music, cocktails and good food while feeling like a VIP. 

“Even as locals, we’d never experienced this before and it was incredible. So, that’s where we started.” 

Seeing beyond the doubters and many attempting to talk them out of it, the siblings forged ahead with their vision.  

They strongly believed their idea would add value to the Noosa community and disagreed that an ‘ageing’ Noosa population was not the market for this type of experience. 

I remember the beginning very well – it felt like there was a new culture of youth and a different coolness coming to town but Bree says their inaugural cruise was quiet. 

“They were mostly family and friends who came aboard our first event and even they probably had their own doubts about what we’d set out to do,” Bree said. “But it only took a couple of weeks to catch on. 

“From 16 people in week one to 60 people in week two and then months of sell-out events following that.” 

Catalina Noosa was slowly cruising to success. 

“We knew it was always going to be a lot of hard work and we started out serving the food and behind the bar, doing what we could to make it work,” says Tim. “It’s a complex operation. A lot of people don’t realize what it takes just to actually get the boat off the wharf.”

The people want all that Catalina Noosa can offer so the business is set to grow even more with epic plans in the works! 

“We have some awesome food and drink collaborations coming up,” Bree shares. “We will continue to offer our spectacular sunset cruises with dancing and cocktails plus introduce our long lunches on the water. 

“Winter is a really beautiful time to enjoy the river so our lunches will provide the same Catalina experience but more refined and relaxed.” 

Catalina Noosa is the perfect venue for weddings, your next corporate function, launch or special event. 

What are you waiting for? Jump aboard!

About the Author /

[email protected]

Carlie Wacker has worked in the media entertainment industry for over 20 years. From television to stage and radio she has been lucky enough to work her way around the whole country. Over the last 10 years she has styled and choreographed innovative fashion parades and talent shows and brings her love for fashion and entertainment as our Fashion Editor. She is also an MC, voice-over artist and radio announcer.

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