In 1985, inspired by the integrated resorts of the United States, Sanctuary Cove was the brainchild of property developer Mike Gore. Assembly of the 474 hectare site was completed in 1985 with construction work commencing soon after. The ‘Ultimate Event’ was scheduled for January 1988 which heralded the official opening of Sanctuary Cove. With four man-made harbours and the Marine Village nestled into the mid-area of the northern most Harbour One, the adjoining Sanctuary Cove Marina accommodated in excess of 300 vessels.

A village adjoining a marina was the perfect environment for a boat show and as part of the Ultimate Event the first Boat Show – and the first on-water boat show in Queensland – was staged at Sanctuary Cove filling the marina with over 250 boats.