Discover Whitsunday Islands

Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef

Holiday The Whitsundays Queensland Australia

The Whitsunday Islands are situated on Latitude 20 degrees south on the Queensland coast of Australia.

The group consists of some 74 islands and inlets, which are part of an unspoilt World Heritage Marine Park. They are the safest, most desirable and pristine cruising grounds found anywhere in Australia and they rival the best in the world.

You can reach the area by flying into Proserpine Airport, which is a 20 minute drive from Abel Point Marina, Airlie Beach, where our yachts are berthed. Or you can fly into Hamilton Island and transfer to Airlie Beach or have the yacht delivered to Hamilton. To reach us by car- Airlie Beach is 12 hours north of Brisbane and 8 hours south of Cairns. Whichever way you choose we recommend that you arrive the day before your departure.

The Climate

The Whitsundays are in the same latitude as Fiji with sunny, tropical weather virtually all year round. The water temperature averages 20-25 degrees Celsius.

Summers are hot and balmy with occasional rain showers, but even these are warm and refreshing. The trade winds are usually stronger between May and August, however you can expect sailing breezes almost every day.

What to Bring

To relax in the tropical climate, clothes need to be cool and comfortable. Casual is the way to go, shorts T-shirts and swimwear! Add something a little smarter if you are planning to visit one of the resorts.

In the winter evenings you need a light sweater or tracksuit. The bare essentials are sunscreen, sunglasses, wide brimmed hat, sand shoes and beach towel. Space is limited on board, so please do not bring too much and ideally pack in a soft bag.

Your yacht is fully equipped for cooking and sleeping and even the basics are includes, such as dishwashing liquid, cleaning products, sponges, toilet rolls and garbage bags.

The only thing to decide upon is food and again you have a choice. Make your holiday hassle free and pre-order your food through one of our provisioning companies. They can act as a shopping service or completely prepare your meals ready to cook.

All food and drink supplies are packed on board, allowing you to sit back and relax, enjoying that holiday feeling. Alternatively, you can bring food with you or purchase it on arrival.

On the day of your departure one of our sailing guides will spend 3 - 4 hours with you. They will give you a complete area brief and answer any questions you may have on the best places to visit and anchor. Then they will take you through the yacht thoroughly, showing you how everything works. Finally, our guide will take you out for a test sail and explain all the sailing equipment to you.

For those with little sailing experience a qualified sail guide can accompany you for one day or the complete holiday. Take advantage of their local knowledge in selecting the most suitable anchorages or snorkeling spots, whilst improving your knowledge and skills on the yacht. This would incur a reasonable additional charge.

The Whitsunday Passage was so named by Captain James Cook, as he sailed up that part of the coast on Whitsunday in 1770. The mainland jumping off point to reach the islands in the Passage is SHUTE HARBOUR, at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. It is a very pretty and popular holiday area, with myriad islands set in turquoise seas under usually cloudless sunshine. Water taxis and ferry boats take off at frequent intervals around the most popular islands, so it is not necessary to be staying on one of the resort islands to enjoy the beautiful Whitsunday's.

Things to do

Stay overnight before or after charter at Airlie Beach or on an island resort. Accommodation ranges from 3 to 5 star.

See for yourself the beauty of one of the wonders of the world by snorkeling or diving on the Outer Great Barrier Reef.

Try your luck at a spot of Deep Sea Game Fishing.

Expand your knowledge on a guided tour and walk in the spectacular tropical rainforest.

Experience panoramic views of the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands by flying over them in a helicopter.

What is a Whitsunday Sailing Holiday - Bareboat Charter?

A sailing holiday where you take the yacht out yourselves is often described as a “bare boat charter” Bareboating offers you the unique experience of cruising on “your own” yacht and discovering the beauty of the Whitsundays. It’s easier than you think. Ideally, we ask that one or two of you have sailing experience.

However, with basic common-sense almost anyone can enjoy a safe exhilarating sailing holiday. You can take the helm, set the pace and your own itinerary.

You can explore untouched islands at your leisure, snorkeling on fringing island reefs; swimming with turtles, rays and dolphins; discovering wilderness anchorages and soft sandy beaches.

It offers you the freedom of sunning yourself on the foredeck and relaxing to the rhythm of life afloat. The thrill of taking the wheel and feeling the power of the wind in the sails. Enjoying a drink in the cockpit, watching the sunset, barbeque freshly caught fish or a piece of steak and count the stars before you call it a day.

For those of you who wish to take a break from island hopping, you can always take an overnight mooring at one of the island resorts. There you can pamper yourself in one of the island restaurants and indulge in the island activities.

Sailing is the perfect choice for a group of fun seeking friends, a family or a honeymoon. Whether there’s just two or more of you, if it’s your first or tenth charter. We guarantee you’ll be completely satisfied. It is the total holiday experience that has few peers.

The Dream

Imagine a resort where the rooms have unlimited views, where the pool stretches as far as the eye can see and where paradise is a golden sunset over an immense tropical garden. Sailing on a Hunter Yacht in the World famous Whitsundays is all this and more......

Suggested Whitsunday Holiday

The Whitsundays offer the ultimate sailing experience, so hoist the sails and set course for the island of your dreams. These islands of paradise are strewn like pearls rising from the turquoise sea. The central islands are within 2 to 15 nautical miles off the mainland and they’re all within easy, short distances of one another. Warm, aquamarine waters surround them, and there are also a few resorts, each with their individual charm and atmosphere. Island hop your way around the coral fringed islands on your floating hotel. Let us now whet your appetite with a sample itinerary for 7 nights - please remember nothing is fixed and flexibility is the key - you can set sail for a minimum of 5 nights and the maximum is never ending.

Day One
Once you have completed you briefings set sail across the Whitsunday Passage to Nara Inlet on Hook Island. This is a fiord like inlet and if you wish to go ashore there are Aboriginal caves with rock paintings and waterfalls to explore.

Day Two
Head south down the Passage to Cid Harbour on Whitsunday Island. Taking in the clean unpolluted water and the purest of air. This is a truly picturesque anchorage. You can take a bush walk or sit back and enjoy the quiet, peaceful setting, on the azure blue waters.

Day Three
Cruise to Hamilton Island and enjoy everything this cosmopolitan resort has to offer. This is not just a resort, but an island village with a lifestyle all of its own. There are numerous activities to choose from or you can just relax at the pool bar. The restaurants would satisfy any food lover’s passion and budget.

Day Four
Set sail for spectacular Whitehaven Beach. This magnificent 5km white sandy beach is 98% pure white silica. Squeaky clean and dazzling to see, set off by the contrasting aquamarine blue of the water. Anchor here for the night or just opposite at Chalkies Beach on Hazelwood Island.

Day Five
Once you have enjoyed your breakfast and fed the fish in the crystal clear waters. Head off north to beautiful Cateran Bay on Border Island. Here you can experience fabulous snorkeling and see the reefs teeming with colourful fish.

Day Six
Sail north to the tip of Hook Island and enter a snorkeling paradise. Discover numerous bays where the turquoise waters lap up to the coral sand beaches. They offer wilderness anchorages and a metropolis of marine life amongst the coral forest. Stay the night at Stonehaven in readiness for your morning sail back across the passage.

Day Seven
Take a leisurely cruise over to South Molle Island. If you are feeling energetic you can climb Island’s Peak to enjoy stunning views of the surrounding islands. Or take advantage of the islands diversions such as golf, tennis, water-skiing. Celebrate the last night of your charter sitting on deck watching the sunset and the darkened sky become a glitter of stars.

Day Eight
After breakfast set sail for the marina and enjoy the views of the surrounding islands where the tropical rainforest is met by the coral sea. We shall meet you upon you return and bring the yacht back into the marina for you.


In the medium price range, with top notch accommodation in cottages or high rise luxury suites. Hamilton Island Resort, where the sulphur crested cockatoos will come and perch on your balcony if there is any sign of something to eat, guests enjoy wonderful swimming pools plus a choice of restaurants from budget to ritzy, a row of shops to browse at leisure, boats and sailboards to hire, beach chairs to laze on and those magnificent turquoise ocean views. Then there's a popular ice-cream parlour, boat cruises leaving and arriving several times daily, a special kids' club where they can be entertained all day, walking trails, fishing tackle hire with bait, a recreation room with everything and a day long program of activities to suit everyone. Then there's the sports complex, heli-jet flights, scuba diving lessons, a beauty salon, a fast photo processing service and much more.

Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef


Hayman Island Resort is possibly the finest on the Reef, this magnificent, five star resort, with its breathtaking swimming pools beside the ocean, offers the last word in luxury, comfort and quiet elegance. The island's philosophy is "Nothing but the best" for their guests and they strive at all times to meet this goal. Guests are accommodated in spacious rooms with ensuite bathrooms, or in suites with separate living rooms and dining areas and of course all the accommodation has private balconies, with splendid views of either the Whitsunday Passage or the palm gardens. Most guests arrive from the mainland and, on arrival at the wharf side, they will be welcomes aboard the 'Sun Goddess" or 'Sun Paradise' for the short trip to the island. Registration takes place over champagne aboard and on arrival, the guests are immediately shown to their room or suite. There are big, comfortable sun lounges under huge umbrellas along the pristine beach and around the pool for lazy times. Six restaurants, several of them with ethnic themes, are served by a team of Australia's finest chefs, who lovingly take care of their visitors' gastronomic needs. Recreation and sporting amenities abound including, tennis, swimming, diving, boating, aerobics, badminton and bush walking. Then there's snooker, chess, backgammon, table tennis, plenty of videos and the island library. Of an evening there is dancing and often special entertainment.


Brampton Island resort nestles beside a shallow bay and channel between Brampton and Carlisle Islands. It is enhanced by the surrounding natural bushland, as the island is a National Park. Accommodation is provided for 260 people, but it is well spread out, so that guests retain a sense of privacy. There are a variety of types of accommodation, the top of the range being the Blue Lagoon complex. A separate area houses the dining room, bar and entertainment complex. There are also a few shops, a big screen television lounge and a small Laundromat. In addition, there is dancing nightly and on Saturday evenings a massive feast and entertainment. Tea and coffee is available in all the units and morning and afternoon refreshments are provided free of charge in the entertainment area. There are all the water sports to enjoy, island cruises to take (with boom nets), plus glass bottomed boat cruises to view the coral and fish. Then there's table tennis and pool tables and more for those who stay on land.


Usually accessed from Mackay or Shute Harbour by boat or heli-jet, one of the older island resorts, especially meant for families, Lindeman has been taken over by Club Med and now offers all the activities for which that chain is world famous. There are 20 secluded beaches (gather your own oysters), two swimming pools, a Kids' Club and a choice of activities going on all day long. There's a fine golf course and the tariff includes all meals but not the drinks.

LONG ISLAND PALM BAY is a tropical style island resort, in the medium price range, with thatched private bure accommodation, dining and lounge areas, a swimming pool and masses of activities all day long, including all the water sports. Its buildings, no higher than the palm trees, blend in well with the surrounding national park. A number of major cruise companies offer all day island cruises, with scuba diving, boom swimming and glass bottomed boat viewing on the Outer Barrier reef sailing from Shute Harbour, including smorgasbord lunches.

CLUB CROC AIRLIE BEACH is very popular with families and teenagers, with three swimming pools, 2 spas, a tennis court, bbq's, a guest laundry, a hairdressing salon, baby sitting facilities, bars and restaurants scuba lessons, a tours desk, nightly entertainment and a resort shop. CLUB WALKABOUT, the backpackers hostel on the beach, offers good accommodation and excellent amenities at very reasonable prices.