Australia is the South Pacific’s largest island, a rustic and original slice of paradise boasting scenic land and seascapes, mesmerizing beaches and a wonderful casual lifestyle. Australia is a vast territory of a rich biodiversity and plush shores where you will be able to visit such world renowned locations as the Great Barrier Reef ideal for all water activities and admiring awe-inspiring coral formations.
One of the best sailing destinations in Australia is the state of Queensland, home to Whitsunday Islands just off the east coast on the Coral Sea. This region boasts 74 pristine and mostly uninhabited islands where your days will be drenched in sunlight and your nights will be impressively moonlit. Bask in the sun on a chosen secluded beach and breathe pure unspoiled air or snorkel and dive in safe anchorages where you will find yourself in a utter terrestrial heaven.
Ready? Pack your luggage and see you in the Land of Oz!
Day 1: Airlie Beach / Nara Inlet, Hook Island
Embark on your tantalizing charter adventure in the coastal town of Airlie Beach, just a short drive away from Whitsunday Airport offering connections to the bustling southern city of Brisbane. When you will have made yourself comfortable aboard your luxury charter yacht waiting for you in Port Abel Marina, take a moment to stroll around this quaint town lined with boutiques, cafes and restaurants, explore nearby verdant peaks, sunbathe on the beach or take out water toys available aboard your yacht and play in the surrounding plush azure lagoon.
In the afternoon, head to the southern part of Hook Island, fjord-like Nara Inlet, where you will spend the first night. Drop anchor and hop off board to explore a whimsical cave at the northern end of the inlet featuring a Aboriginal rock paintings and lovely waterfalls nestled in plush subtropical fauna. Spend the evening onboard with freshly prepared cocktails and a sumptuous alfresco meal as you admire the setting sun leaving the island bathed in a warm palette of oranges, reds and pinks.
Day 2: Nara Inlet / Langford Bay
Enjoy a delicious breakfast onboard before heading to the northern coast of Hook Island to explore the lush Langford Reef, just off Langford Island. You will spend an adventurous morning snorkeling with vibrant fish and corals in translucent turquoise waters before sailing to Stonehaven Anchorage.
This panoramic site is a perfect backdrop for your elegant charter catamaran and it offers unique vistas of surrounding islands, Hayman, Langford, Bird and Black, eternally bathed in sunlight. As you unwind aboard your yacht and sip a fresh drink, marvel at the sun setting over mainland on one side and over Whitsunday Passage on the other. Bliss and serenity of this destination will be a retreat for the five senses and you will be left stupefied by the glory of these idyllic islands.
Day 3: Langford Bay / Butterfly Bay
Wake up to warm morning sun shining through panoramic windows aboard your luxury yacht and enjoy a delicious breakfast of fresh produce before setting sail to the north-western tip of Hayman Island with fabulous conditions for a noon session of snorkeling or diving among robust corals, an unforgettable submarine experience in these warm waters. One of the best diving sites in the country, Butterfly Bay features vibrant corals and small fish and will leave all water amateurs under its spell.
Day 4: Butterfly Bay / Hook Island Bays
Today you will leave Hayman Island as your Captain sets sail to the neighboring, larger Hook Island letting you choose which bay to explore. This rugged island is almost completely encompassed by Whitsunday Islands National Park and tourists usually drop anchor at one of two notable fjord-like bays on the island’s southern coast. If you wish to stay on the northern coast, discover the Maureens Cove, Luncheon Bay and Mantaray Bay before sailing east to Border Island and spending the night at Cateran Bay.
You will thrill at the possibility of snorkeling in the bay featuring a shallow hard coral and with a number of gullies and ledges to explore with favorable minimal currents, this site is safe for all family members to discover, especially children. Dine onboard or let your crew prepare a delicious meal on the beach, whether you are looking for a romantic celebration or a lively family feast.
Day 5: Cateran Bay / Chance Bay
Anticipate another glorious day as you head to Whitsunday Island for an idyllic day on the beach where you will simply not want to get out of the glistening clear sky blue water. On the island’s east shore lies one of the world’s most spectacular beaches, Whitehaven Beach, sporting over six kilometers of white silica sands harmoniously blending in with warm azure waters where water sports are a pure joy and where you will lounge around on the sand and soak up the sun while taking in languid surroundings. You will feel at peace with robust beauty of the beach, a genuine sanctuary for the senses.
Moor for the night in Chance Bay, a bit further down the beach, and top the evening off with wonderful snorkeling before heading to bed in this wonderland.
Day 6: Chance Bay / Hamilton Island
Commence your day with a rich breakfast aboard your luxury charter yacht or on the beach, topped off with a morning session of snorkeling or swimming, before visiting Hamilton Island, the largest inhabited island of the archipelago where you will spend the day ashore. Hamilton Island is almost entirely used for tourism however, it rests pristine as motor vehicles are prohibited on the island, with the exception of public transportation and commerce vehicles.
The island is lined with restaurants, cafes and bustling bars where you will enjoy delicious meals and dance the night away as well as meet adventure-seekers from all over the world who come to this safe haven to unwind, recharge their batteries and absorb authentic captivating panoramas of the untamed South Pacific.
In late August takes place the annual Hamilton Island Race Week, a week-long yachting event gathering more than 150 yachts from Australia and New Zealand racing around these islands. The celebration showcases the best yachts and is a fabulous way of discovering nooks and niches of these blessed islands.
Day 7: Hamilton Islands / Cid Island
Sail along Whitsunday’s south-western coast to reach Cid Island where you will moor in Sawmill Beach in Cid Harbor, quaintly nestled between these two islands. Your Captain will choose one of the safe and secluded anchorages with protected beaches for a day of pure relaxation onboard or ashore.
Ashore you will find a quaint hiking trail through the bushes lined with terrific verdant subtropical flora. Take this chance to stroll through the Whitsunday Islands National Park to discover why this vast spread of cays is so well protected from mass tourism and what makes this utopia a unique natural retreat no where else to be found.
Day 8: Cid Island / Great Barrier Reef
Book this excursion in advance and experience the thrill of discovering the Great Barrier Reef from a sea plane. Although you have been sailing through the reef and exploring it by snorkeling, diving and swimming since the beginning of your cruise, no other way of admiring the islands’ beauty gives it more justice than bird’s eye view. Marvel at perfectly azure lagoons expanding as far as the eyes can see dotted with impressive coral formations creating an unbelievable and beguiling seascape. You will simply not be able to take your eyes off this beautiful wonder, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981.
Make sure to take your camera with you as the plane ride offers spectacular views of this strikingly immaculate region. And once you get back onboard, take another chance to admire vibrant sea life from below the water surface while taking a leisurely bath in these majestic glittering waters.
Day 9: Cid Harbor / South Molle Island
You are now nearing Queensland’s mainland and your last overnight stop during your luxury charter vacation in Whitsunday Islands will be South Molle Island, home to South Molle National Park. This hilly destination features a number of bays and inlets to discover through 16 kilometers of walking tracks and the island’s resort, first established in the 1930’s, is situated on the northern coast on Bauer Bay. The resort offers not only accommodation for guests but also a golf course and a restaurant/bar for plenty of entertainment.
Hike up to Mount Jeffreys on the island’s southern half, and later continue southwest to Sandy Bay opening up to panoramic vistas of this robust sun-kissed region with rolling verdant bluffs overlooking deep and clear azure lagoons.
You may also want to take a short sail to the quaint Daydream Island, a small stretch of land measuring only 1 kilometer in length whose highest peak rises just over 50 meters above sea level. There are two resorts in this sailing mecca, one of them with an outdoor aquarium exhibiting a lush variety of vibrant fish and corals.
Day 10: South Molle Island / Airlie Beach
Start off your final morning in Whitsunday Islands with a savory breakfast that you can enjoy either in the dining area or on the aft deck of your luxury charter sailing yacht. Relax after the meal and cherish your last moments in this genuine haven, take a refreshing dip in the soothing waters or snorkel with fish for last-minute discoveries of plush marine life.
You will disembark your luxury charter catamaran or luxury charter mega yacht right where you commenced your great adventure, in Airlie Beach. It is time to say your goodbyes and promise yourself to come back to this pristine land of plenty during your next charter vacation with Sunreef Yachts Charter because there is always something new to explore in this mysterious and surprising idyllic fairyland.
We wish you a safe flight home and make sure to return soon!