Sailing Holidays in Whitsundays
With lush green islands protected by the Great Barrier Reef, calm seas and balmy tradewinds, the Whitsundays is a sailor’s paradise.
The Whitsunday Islands are tucked between the tropical coast of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef so the sea stays calm while the balmy tradewinds are perfect for sailing. No wonder the magical Whitsundays are renowned as the finest region in Australia for sailing.
The Whitsunday Islands are part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Most of the 74 islands are uninhabited pristine national parks, but there are over 7 island resorts where visiting yachtsmen are welcomed ashore. Secluded anchorages are seldom more than 1 hour apart. Go snorkelling over dazzling reefs, walk on lonely beaches, hike on bush tracks or go whale watching from July to December.
Nautilus Yachting can package your yacht charter with flights from the UK or add a yacht charter to your existing holiday plans. Why not add a week’s sailing in the Whitsundays to your trip “down under”.
Sailing in Whitsundays
Lying in the tropics, close to 20° South and cooled by the trade winds for most of the year, the Whitsundays have an excellent climate. The waters are protected by the Great Barrier Reef and most islands are surrounded by a fringing reef system. Good anchorages are plentiful and varied.
Seasons tend to be dictated by school holidays rather than weather, so some of the best sailing & boating can be found in the off-peak periods. Summers are warm with frequent rain showers and winters are said by many to be the perfect climate - warm by day and cool by night.
DAY 1 : Area and boat briefing at Airlie Beach Marina. Lunchtime departure for Nara Inlet (13nm). Explore waterfalls, Aboriginal caves and ancient rock paintings.
DAY 2 : Sail across the Whitsunday Passage to Cid Harbour (8nm) or Gulnare Inlet (14nm). Quiet and peaceful with wonderful wildlife, bush walks and delicious rock oysters. Cid Harbour is a very large harbour and one of the all weather anchorages of the Whitsundays.
DAY 3 : Set sail for spectacular Whitehaven Beach (10nm) and enjoy miles of soft, white silica sand beaches.Whitehaven is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. If Whitehaven is crowded, anchor at Chalkies which also has a magnificent beach.
DAY 4 : Cruise over to Hamilton Island for fresh supplies or to top up water tanks. Experience a change of pace in the busy marina and a choice of restaurants and bars.
DAY 5 : Reach up to Cateran Bay on Border Island for great snorkelling. Border Island is one of the outlying Islands and reef protection buoys have been installed to prevent further damage to the island's excellent fringing reef.
DAY 6 : Short sail to Butterfly Bay on Hook Island. Use the dinghy for more snorkelling or onshore visits. The reef and sand beaches here offer excellent exploring. Watch out for Sting rays when you walk on the sand flats (shuffle your feet).
DAY 7 : Take a leisurely cruise around the Hayman Island area or southwards across the Whitsunday Passage to South Molle Island or Palm Bay to celebrate the last night of a great cruise!
DAY 8 : Return to marina.
Situated on the same latitude as Tahiti, you can expect sunny tropical weather all year round, with temperatures seldom below 20°C even in the winter months. The South-east trade winds usually blow slightly stronger from March to May at about 20 knots. Lighter E-NE breezes September-December. July is the coolest time, January the warmest. Experience level 1.
Yacht charter in Whitsundays
Yachts are based at Airlie Beach Marina. Charters can also start or finish at Hamilton Island for a one-way itinerary. Charters start and finish any day (minimum 5 nights), giving you total flexibility over your holiday dates.
Click on the yacht names below to view yacht layout & specification
Yacht charter rates are shown WITHOUT flights giving you the flexibility to book your own flights.
If you want a flight-inclusive holiday Nautilus Yachting is a fully bonded ATOL tour operator and can book flights from the UK to fit your sailing holiday. Choose from a wide choice of airlines - we are not tied to any particular airline. All flight-inclusive holidays are fully bonded for your financial protection under our ATOL 3016. Airport transfers can also be pre-arranged.
FLIGHTS TO WHITSUNDAYS:
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Qantas have direct flights to Sydney. Jetstar and Virgin Blue operate onward connections to Proserpine. Transfer time to marina 45 minutes.