The Whitsundays offers a vast range of activities from bushwalks to mountain peaks and scuba diving to the bottom of the ocean, whatever your interest, you can find it in the Whitsundays. Tourism Australia recently voted bareboat chartering in the Whitsundays as a gold winner, unique accommodation experience. The Whitsundays is a sailing mecca unrival'ed worldwide. Here’s a few ideas for you.
We recommend having a loose plan of what you want to see and do whilst you are here, be it bushwalks, beaches, scuba, fishing, snorkelling, resort hopping or all of the above. Our briefer can then give you a rough itinerary before you depart. Just click away for more planning ideas.
Walk a little or a lot—choose from easy short walks to longer day hikes. The Whitsunday area has over 67 km of tracks traversing the mainland and
islands so there’s plenty to explore. Walkers can choose different distances and gradients. The tracks are well marked, some have interpretive signs and toilet facilities. The Whitsundays is rich in cultural history—ancient rock quarries, middens from feasts gone by and abandoned logging camps echo stories of long ago. The Ngaro and Gia people have an ongoing connection to this land and sea country that spans more than 9000 years.
Walkers can expect to see fantastic native Australian flora and fauna, look out for goannas, brush turkeys and native birds. White bellied sea eagles soar above while endangered beach-stone curlews probe the rocky shores.
Walk softly and quietly to take in all that the Whitsundays has to offer. Never feed wild animals directly or accidentally by leaving food or rubbish.
These are some of our favourite walks but feel free to download this great guide http://nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/pdf/whitsunday-vg.pdf
South Molle Island
Spion Kop and Mt Jeffreys
Whitsunday Peak, Dugong-Sawmill track
Ngaro cultural site
Solway circuit, Chance Bay track
Before setting out, choose your park and track carefully. Plan to walk early morning to avoid the heat of the day. Pick a walk that suits your time and fitness.
Fishing is great fun in the Whitsundays however as 70% of the anchorages are protected, you need to make sure you know where you can and can’t fish. You will not need a permit however there are bag limits on fish species. We also enjoy a reef closure twice a year during vulnerable times in the marine life cycle, such as during spawning seasons.
Fishing tackle is not supplied however you are very welcome to bring any gear you require. There is a fish guide on board which will help you identify what sort of fish you have caught and if you can have it for dinner!!
Just want to kick back and enjoy the serenity without worrying exactly what gear to bring? You can now hire the 'Fishing Pack'
Package consists of 1 x fishing rod and reel, 1 x Tackle box with hooks, sinkers, lures etc, 1 x Hand line with 40lb line and 1 x Landing net.
Cost is $12 per day payable to Cumberland at commencement of charter. Simply complete the form in your charter center below and your gear will be on board when you arrive. Bait can be purchased at the Kiosk at Abell Point Marina.
The Great Barrier Reef provides some of the best snorkelling in the world. Many of the northern anchorages offer sheltered shallow coves teeming with fishes and other marine life, plus they are abundant in corals, soft velvet like coral , fan shaped to hard corals that look like a brain. You’ll be amazed at the many different varieties and colours. Don’t be shocked if you see a friendly turtle or huge hump headed maori wrasse zips past you or a tiny fish wants to use you for shelter. Listen for the many varieties of parrot fish that feast on the reef , they can be clearly heard chomping down breakfast! You’re in their world now and it's quiet entertaining seeing the daily goings on in this underwater environment.
All your snorkelling gear - masks, fins and snorkels - are provided free of charge. The best locations can be found in the 100 Whitsunday Magic Miles, page 57. Prior to arrival, we ask you for your fin sizes and after the briefing we take you to the dive shop to be fitted out. We also suggest hiring Lycra suits in summer and Wetsuits in winter.
If you are not a confident swimmer, don’t panic we have lifejackets and flotation devices you can use to assist with buoyancy. And your briefer can give you the basics on how to snorkel.
Important notes to mention are always keep an eye on your vessel, the current and the time. If you stray too far from the boat you may find it hard to swim against the current to get back. We recommend that you always snorkel in buddy pairs and one of the crew stays with the boat. Be careful not to touch the reef, some corals are sharp and cause cuts and grazes which could get infected in the tropical heat. Never stand on the reef, you’ll cause damage.
Scuba Diving & Resort Dives
The Whitsunday Islands offer a limitless variety of diving and snorkelling opportunities. For certified divers, we can arrange for
scuba gear hire or you are welcome to bring your own gear, though we do have restrictions on the number of tanks.
The Whitsunday Islands are part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and there are zoning restrictions on certain recreations which
are explained in your area brief and a Zoning Information Booklet is provided on board.
The islands have fringing reefs which are home to an abundance of coral and fish life - and they will be very happy to welcome you
into their environment. The best locations can be found in the 100 Whitsunday Magic Miles, page 57.
Below are a few of our favourites.
Prior to arrival we ask you for your fin sizes and after the briefing we take you to the dive shop to be fitted out.
We also suggest hiring lycra suits in summer and Wetsuits in winter. Never tried Scuba Diving? Why not try it in the warm waters
of The Whitsundays? A qualified instructor will give you a talk on Scuba Diving and then stay with you as you dive under the water to experience the delights of coral gardens and friendly tropical fish.
The dive usually occurs off Hayman Island and costs from $75.00 per person. We can assist you to arrange a meeting point to
board the dive boat. Just let us know on the radio skeds in the morning and we can give you further instructions.
Popular Dive Sites
Hook Island (North East Corner)
Locate on map
Blue Pearl Bay
Locate on map
Locate on map
Locate on map
Hire tanks are usually 88lbs and can be refilled at most of the island resorts or we can arrange for change-overs at certain locations.
Costs range from $5 onwards.
All regulators come with BCD power inflation hoses, submersible pressure and depth guages and octopus.
Your dive gear is delivered and picked up from your vessel.
Gear hire only for full length of charter unless arranged prior.
Certified divers will need to bring along their certification card.
Whitehaven Beach is a definite "must-see" whilst sailing the Whitsundays. The crystal clear aqua waters and pristine silica sand of Whitehaven stretch over seven kilometres along Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. It defines nature at its best and provides the greatest sense of relaxation and escape.
As soon as you set eyes on its bright white landscape it’s easy to see why it is the most photographed beach in Australia and has been named "Queensland's Most Beautiful Beach" by 'Keep Australia Beautiful' and Queensland’s Friendliest Beach more than once. CNN.com recently named Whitehaven Beach the 'world's top eco-friendly beach 2010'.
Visit Whitehaven Beach after all the day boats have left and you’ll have 7 kms of pristine white silica sand all to yourself. Best time to visit is when the winds are southerly as it provides great protection from the prevailing winds. Page ref C26 in the 100 Magic Miles.
There’s a great walking track from the southern end of Whitehaven that meanders through the bush to another beautiful bay called Chance bay. This bay can be hard to reach in southerly winds, be well worth the gentle stroll to visit this great bay. Make sure you go via the “look out” which provides 360 degree views across to Chalkies beach and south to Pentecost Island.
Whitehaven Beach has a small camp site and toilet facilities at the southern end. Day boats, Seaplanes and Helicopters visit during the middle of the day from the mainland and Hamilton Island. After about 3pm it’s just the overnight boats at anchor and a few campers who get to enjoy this great expanse of pure white silica.
If you’re interested in taking a flight over the islands or visiting the outer reef for some more snorkelling, let us know, we can book a seaplane to pick you up from your vessel and fly you out to the reef.
At the northern end of Whitehaven Beach is Hill Inlet, a stunning cove where the tide shifts the sand and water to create a beautiful fusion of colours. As the tide shifts, the white silica sand and turquoise shades of the inlet blend seamlessly to create a breathtaking view of swirling Whitsunday colours.
Whitehaven Beach Recent Awards
Whitehaven Beach is constantly being named amongst the world's best beaches. Here are just a few of the accolades awarded our famous Whitehaven Beach in recent times:
• TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Beaches Awards 2013, No. 1 in Australia and No. 3 in the world
• Cnn.com named world's top eco-friendly beach - 2010
• Australian winner - Resource Recovery Award - 2009 National Clean Beach Awards
• North Queensland’s Cleanest Beach 2009
• Queensland's Friendliest Beach 2009
• Queensland’s Cleanest Beach 2008
• Australia’s 20 Best Experiences - Island Experience - Whitsunday Islands.
For the best views of Whitehaven beach, journey to the lookout at Tongue Point on Whitsunday Island. Time your lookout experience on low tide to fully experience the beautiful fusion of colours that surface. For bareboats, the best spot to anchor is in Tongue Bay, Hill inlet its self in inaccessible by boats, and tender into the beach to commence the short bushwalk up the hill to the lookout across Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach and back down the other side to secluded Betty's Beach, at the tip of Hill Inlet.
Hill Inlet is in the top 3 most photographed locations in Australia and a vista not to be missed!! The walk is a gentle climb through the shaded bushland of the national heritage listed park. Native trees line the track and provide shady relief from the tropical heat. We recommend comfortable shoes, drinking water and don’t forget your camera!! Along the route are interpretive information boards, depicting the local flora and fauna, history and culture, at the lookout there’s a purpose built viewing platform, from here you can feast your eyes on the full wonder of Whitehaven Beach and marvel at the shifting white silica sands and aqua water, as it wanders through diverse vegetation eventually reaching the ocean.
Hill Inlet is a wide inlet lined with melaleuca, casuarina and pandanus trees. The 12 different species of mangroves found here act as an important nursery ground for marine and terrestrial life. Local and migratory seabird and shorebird species including crested terns, pied oystercatchers and the threatened beach stone curlew also nest at Hill Inlet.
Scenic helicopter and seaplane flights over Hill Inlet promise amazing aerial views as the magical waters and sand dance below. If you’re interested in taking a flight over Hill Inlet or visiting the outer reef for snorkelling, let us know, we can book a seaplane to pick you up from your vessel and fly you out to the reef.
The Whitsundays has just a handful of resorts you can visit. Many of the resorts are low key, creating a minimal impact approach on the beautiful island settings. Each resort has a uniqueness all of its own. All resorts have fees for mooring however included in the fee are access to the resort and use of their pool.
Hamilton Island is the larger of all and caters for thrill seekers and families alike. Hamilton Island has a 27 page activities list! And a 18 hole golf course so you won't get bored if you visit for a day.
Daydream Island has the world's largest open air aquarium with daily fish feeding. If fish aren't your thing, they have a rejuvenation spa with 16 different treatment rooms including thermal tables, hydrotherapy tubs, spas and Vichy showers. We recommend booking ahead as they have a very busy wedding season.
Long Island provides a relaxed atmosphere with barefoot bar, hammocks under the shade of the trees and buffet style dining. They warm things up once a month with a fantastic fire dancing show. On the island are great walks, fantastic flora and lodge style accommodation.
Hayman Island is an exclusive 5 star resort, owned by One And Only, which welcomes day visitors only and subject to availability as they have a very small marina. They have excellent restaurants, fantastic architecture and the infamous hexagonal pool. Strict dress code applies.
Paddling the sheltered coves of the Whitsunday islands is a popular way to enjoy the peace and serenity. Cumberland offers a choice of water sport accessories, all you have to do is choose which board suits you best. From $20.00 per night you can hire a Kayak, Sit on Paddle board or Stand up paddle board for the term of your charter.
Once you’ve booked your charter, you can order water sports through your charter center.