Sailing heaven on earth is the only way to describe the Whitsunday Islands. Made up of 74 islands, mostly uninhabited, here you can discover total tranquility.
Hamilton Island is perhaps the most commercialized of all the Whitsundays and its ever-developing marina is a major draw for sailing enthusiasts. The beaches you’ll find on your yacht charter Australia are some of the most spectacular in the world, particularly Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. Nara Inlet is very popular for a trip to the small cave displaying Aboriginal paintings on the roof and the more recent graffiti additions close by! Cast off from South Molle and chart a course for Airlie Beach on the mainland, a lively little town with a charming little beach.
Sheltered by the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays offer smooth seas for spectacular sailing all year round.
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To begin your sailing holidays in Australia, Yacht4Less recommends flying into Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, or Melbourne, and taking a domestic transfer to one of the regional airports. Once you are in Australia, you can fly regionally into the Great Barrier Reef Airport, Whitsunday Coast Airport, Shute Harbour, or Lindeman Island.
For the quickest way to the Whitsundays, it is best to get a connecting flight to the Whitsunday Coast Airport in Proserpine. This airport is well serviced, with daily direct services from most major Australian cities with Jetstar and Virgin Australia. From there you can have a short drive to Shute Harbor, or take the bus.
Transfer time from Whitsunday Coast Airport to base: 45 minutes
Alternatively, from the more major airports in Australia, you could take the train or bus to the Whitsunday Islands. Greyhound and Premier Motor Service run from Brisbane and Cairns to Airlie Beach daily. For train travel, it is recommended to take the Spirit of Queensland train from Brisbane, which operates 5 times a week.
The best time for yachting in Australia is year-round! Because the Whitsunday Islands are located between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer, you can enjoy a subtropical climate comparable to that of Honolulu or Mauritius. The average temperature in Whitsundays is 27.5°C all year. In the winter months, June through August, the temperatures drop to around 24°C to 25°C. In the summer, January through March, temperatures range from 27°C to 32°C.
While the temperatures remain fairly constant, there is a rainy season to take note of. From January to March, you can expect high temperatures, but with short periods of rain. However, don’t let this deter you, as these bursts of rain are usually quick and will not mess with your sailing holiday!
For your yacht charter Australia, AU$ is the official currency of Australia and you can, of course, use Credit/Debit cards almost everywhere.
Mooring during your sailing holidays Australia will be very easy. The Whitsunday Islands have 100+ public moorings and 90 reef protection markers for use by recreational boat users, bareboat charterers and the tourism industry operators. To protect the Great Barrier Reef from the damage caused by vessels’ anchors, the government established many public moorings at popular locations. You can research your moorings before your trip at the Moorings Register.
If you’re looking for more full-service marinas with all the amenities, Yacht4Less recommends Hamilton Island Marina, Palm Bay Resort, or the Mackay Marina Village.
For some Whitsundays sailing tips, be aware of the 3-4 meter tides which can cause currents through the passages between islands. This can create bumpy sailing at times and might influence your movements. Also, be sure to account for the large difference in water height, when anchoring. Navigation will be easy, as there are many landmarks by which you can find your way.
As many come to the Whitsunday Islands looking to snorkel amongst the flora and fauna of the Great Barrier reef, it is important to read up on the rules and regulations in place to protect the marine life. You can download the Marine Park Guide to learn more.
⚓ Day 1. Shute Harbour / Whitsundays - Nara Inlet (Hook Island) 12NM
⚓ Day 2. Nara Inlet - Stonehaven Bay (Hook Island) 12NM
⚓ Day 3. Stonehaven Bay - Butterfly Bay (Hook Island) 7NM
⚓ Day 4. Butterfly Bay - Tongue Bay (Whitsunday Island) 16NM
⚓ Day 5. Tongue Bay - Whitehaven Beach (Whitsunday Island) 17NM
⚓ Day 6. Whitehaven Beach - Cid Harbour (Whitsunday Island) 13NM
⚓ Day 7. Cid Harbour - Shute Harbour 9NM
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