Cruising the Whitsundays

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Island hop from one tropical paradise to the next

74 beautiful, tropical islands

The Whitsundays offer some of the world’s best sailing and cruising holidays.

A spectacular chain of 74 beautiful, tropical islands located off the Eastern coast of Australia in the Coral Sea – these rugged islands are covered in lush tropical vine forest and surrounded by brilliant, clear blue and turquoise water teeming with tropical fish, manta rays, turtles, dolphins, migrating whales and their babies.

Adventure begins the moment you step onboard

Your Whitsundays sailing adventure begins the moment you step on board. You can do as much or as little as you like while exploring the expansive clear turquoise waters, secluded coves, idyllic isolated beaches and myriad of marine wildlife.

Navigate your own holiday, join other travellers on a packaged overnight sailing adventure or hire a skipper to pull the ropes while you unwind on deck. The options are endless and all awaiting your arrival…


There is no better way to experience the beauty of the Whitsunday Islands
than by boat

Before you ask… no, the boats aren’t bare! Its called bareboating because there’s no skipper or crew, you hire the boat and you skipper yourself (and your companions) across the aquatic wonderland that is the Whitsundays, charting your own course at your own pace – a real-life choose your own adventure.

Chartering a boat in the Whitsundays is relatively easy with several companies to choose from based out of Coral Sea Marina, Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. Many are Eco Certified and offer a range of monohulls, catamarans and power boats depending on your preference. Before selecting your vessel it is important to consider the number of guests you’ll have onboard, and when you plan to travel, as there are seasonal special’s during the high, mid or low seasons.

All companies offer a sleep-aboard service allowing you to arrive the night prior to get comfortable onboard your home-away-from-home and also time to organise your provisions (food) for the duration of your charter. The majority of charter operators also offer extras such as paddleboards, kayaks, snorkelling and fishing equipment.


Formal boating qualifications or licences are not required in order to charter a boat in the Whitsundays – so literally anyone can bareboat. Some sailing or boating knowledge and a little experience is advantageous – but not a necessity. If you would like assistance, you can hire a skipper and/or host for all or part of your trip.

Crewed charters are best for you if you still want to hire your own yacht or catamaran, but don’t have the confidence to sail it alone. It is as simple as hiring a professional skipper and telling them where you want to go. Watch closely and you might even learn a little sailing for next time!


Vessels are fully equipped with all the necessities for a comfortable stay on board – all you need to bring is your sunscreen, swimming gear, hat, sunglasses and most importantly your sense of adventure.

Member charter businesses in the Whitsundays

Charter Yachts Australia

Charter Yachts Australia

Cumberland Charter Yachts

Cumberland Charter Yachts

Queensland Yacht Charters member of Dream Yacht Charter

Queensland Yacht Charters member of Dream Yacht Charter

Whitsunday Rent A Yacht

Whitsunday Rent A Yacht

Register here for more info about recreational boating

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