CHARTERING IN THE
The Whitsunday Islands, on the edge of
the Great Barrier Reef, has hundreds of boats available for bareboat (hire and drive)
charter. There are yachts (budget and deluxe), cruisers and power vessels, catamarans and
home cruisers (houseboats) available.
For a completely carefree holiday, you
can join one of the many skippered cruises for 3
to 5 days or hire a boat with a guide so you can enjoy yourselves.
The Whitsunday Islands is the most popular
destination in Australia for chartering a boat. Located 1,100kms (680 miles) north of
Brisbane, and 1,000kms (620 miles) south of Cairns, these 74 islands are protected in
between the Great Barrier Reef and the mainland.
Forming the largest offshore island chain on
Australia's East Coast, they offer great deep water sailing with their steep hills
protecting secluded bays.
As part of the fringing Reef, you can enjoy some of
the best diving in the world, cruise to some of the best beaches in the world and enjoy
the luxury ashore at any of the exclusive island resorts.
|You can join any
cruises or bareboats (skipper yourself) from either Abel Point Marina in
Airlie Beach (right), Shute Harbour or Hamilton Island. Most of
the operators are based in Abel Point, and will charge a delivery fee
for Hamilton Island departures.
Closest airports are Proserpine/Whitsunday
(20 minutes from Airlie Beach), or Hamilton Island, both serviced by
Qantas, Jet Star & Virgin Blue. Virgin Blue & Jet Star are flying into Mackay (2
hours drive from Airlie Beach) daily, and these are met by coach for
transfer to Airlie Beach ($39).
The Whitsunday Islands has the largest bareboat
(skipper yourself) fleet in the South Pacific and through Sail Australia, has been divided
The minimum hire is generally 5 nights, with this
extended by some operators to 7 during high season. We have a limited
number of vessels available for 3 nights, within 30 days of departure.
To skipper yourself in the Whitsunday's, you do not
require a license but we do require you to have a reasonable level of sailing/motor boat experience. When being briefed, the
operator will go into great detail of the area and take you out for a sail test - this all
takes between 2 & 3 hours. If you, or the operator, feel that you need more
confidence, a skipper can show you the ropes for the first 24 hours.
The boats are fully equipped and in most cases
include a vast range of accessories to make your cruise more enjoyable. For the majority
all you will need are clothes and personal effects and food (and this can be arranged as
A typical boat will include: linen, crockery,
cutlery, cooking gear, barbecue, fridge/freezes, wet weather jackets, radio/cassette/CD,
dinghy & outboard, bimini/boom tent, charts, cruising guide & tide tables, safety
gear and snorkel gear.
Please note: Seasons may vary slightly between the
different operators, please apply for exact dates and quotes.
Where there are 4 seasons, the period August to December are high, with the
September & Oct x-high.
||mid/end January to end of March
|| April to
end October to mid December
||mid December to mid January
September to October
Temperatures (in Celsius)
You can either have the catering onboard your
yacht expertly provided for you from roughly $30 per person per day, or you are
welcome to shop for yourself. There is a good size shopping centre close
to Abel Point Marina with a large supermarket, and a butcher that vacuum packs
your meat while you shop!
There are many boats available in the Whitsunday area
that are larger and include skipper, crew and cook. Available as a per person/berth
arrangement for scheduled departures 2 to 5 days, or you may hire the complete boat
(usually minimum 7 day, please apply) and enjoy complete relaxation.
Please apply to Sail Australia with your
There are many standards of accommodation in Airlie Beach or surrounding
islands, from backpacker hostels to 5 star resorts. Sail Australia can
help with accommodation prior or after your charter, just take a look at our accommodation
page for more information.
MUST DO THINGS WHEN IN THE
Walk a very easy walk to the top
of Mt Jeffreys on South Molle Island
Picnic at Whitehaven Beach
An introductory scuba dive