Pipeline Tow from the Port of Cairns, FNQ to Upstart Bay, Central QLD for Hall Contracting

North Marine’s tugboat ‘Gulf Explorer’ traversed the Great Barrier Reef to deliver nine x 200-meter HDPE dredging pipelines from the Port of Cairns in FNQ to Upstart Bay, Central QLD.

Client: Hall Contracting
The largest privately-owned civil and marine construction company in Australia.

Scope of Work

North Marine delivered nine x 200-meter HDPE dredging pipelines from the Port of Cairns in FNQ to Upstart Bay in Central QLD.

Specialist cradle brackets were provided for the voyage and installed in-house by North Marine’s welding department, to tow the lengths of pipe from Cairns Port to Upstart Bay on the mouth of the Burdekin River in Central QLD.

These brackets secured the positively buoyant pipelines to the aft gunwale of the tug. Securing the cargo in this manner reduced drag and limited the ‘snaking’ effect of the pipes as the charter navigated through the Great Barrier Reef.

North Marine is well established in conducting extended marine towage assignments throughout the Pacific.

Communication between all parties was critical to this operation’s success. North Marine’s excellent working relationship with Reef VTS and other authorities proved invaluable in delivering a seamless service to the client.


The dredging pipelines are an integral part of Hall Contractring’s dredging operations. The client sought a contractor who could deliver all project objectives with time sensitivity front of mind, as well as providing value for money.

Working within the environmental controls of the Great Barrier Reef, as always, is a critical consideration and something that North Marine is highly established in.

North Marine can execute on all fronts, with a lot of experience operating in the GBR Marine Park, using local providers, workforce and in-house tradespeople for the bracket welding work.


Workboat Charter Company – North Marine

North Marine is a prominent marine support contractor based in the Port of Cairns in Queensland, Australia.

North Marine has a long history of delivering maritime support to private commercial companies and Government agencies.

Our fleet of vessels can perform a wide range of assignments – including harbour towage, long-range towage, tug and barge combinations, with a further variety of workboats for charter – See ‘Case Studies’ for more examples.


  • Waterfront marine facility in the Port of Cairns
  • Expert regional knowledge and experienced towing through the Great Barrier Reef
  • Good working relationship with Reef VTS & other applicable authorities
  • Hold necessary operational permits with GBRMPA and established operating within their environmental controls
  • In-house tradespeople for vessel adaptations add cost-effectiveness – welding cradle brackets
  • Adept at delivering logistically complex and remote projects
  • A fleet of suitable charter vessels to perform works
  • Local SME business using a local FNQ workforce
  • ISO Accredited
  • Experienced project managers and key personnel
  • Able to deliver all project objectives with value for money


North Marine successfully completed the contract with all project objectives delivered in full, on time and within budget.

Deliverables were met without incident. North Marine’s experienced Project Managers achieved the best results for the client, and since have performed other marine towage assignments for Hall Contracting.

Download Case Study

About the Client – Hall Contracting, Tow from the Port of Cairns

Hall Contracting is Australia’s largest, privately-owned dredging, civil and marine contracting company.

Based on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, it also has offices in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Molongle Creek Dredging Works

Hall Contracting was awarded the Department of Transport and Main Roads contract to dredge Molongle Creek and provide safer all-tide access to vessels in the area.

North Marine has performed multiple tugboat assignments for Hall Contracting, both to and from the Port of Cairns to Molongle Creek in Upstart Bay, Central Queensland.

Read more about the Molongle Creek dredging project here. 

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