Sailing Whitsundays: the heart of tropical Australia in North Queensland demonstrates that the land down under really does have it all! Fancy cruising around turquoise blue water, sipping on a cold beer, catching the rays and cooling off alongside turtles and a giant, friendly maori wrasse called George? No problem!
At just a two hour flight from Sydney, the Whitsundays is the ultimate Aussie staycation. Spend a morning on Whitehaven Beach and you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re in Thailand or the Caribbean.
Whilst you can stay at one of the resorts on Hamilton, the best way to see the Whitsundays is by sailing it! Very little beats the feeling of lounging out on the deck with the hot sun beating down and the salty ocean breeze whipping through your hair. In fact, life at sea was so idyllic I even woke up by choice at 05:30 one morning to lie on the nets and watch as the sun came up. Anyone who knows me will know that this is pretty much akin to watching a dog walk on two legs…
Whilst there are day trips available from the islands or Airlie Beach, a two night cruise is definitely the best option, not least because you’ll get the immense Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet lookout to yourself first thing in the morning. We moored right by the bay, allowing us to step down on to that crazy white silica sand a little before 8am.
There are boats to suit all budgets and travel styles from huge party-centric backpacker boats to ex-racing boats allowing you to try your hand at sailing the real deal. If you’re like me and the true appeal comes from sunbathing on the deck with a cool drink in hand then you can choose a more intimate catamaran with a laid back vibe.
As always, I put my choice in the hands of RatPack Travel. Having rented multiple campervans via Sammy and completed an epic trip to K’Gari (Fraser Island), I knew he would choose well. The RatPack way is all about considering what kind of traveller you are and ensuring you’re given the BEST possible option for YOU, not which one is going to make the most commission like a highstreet agent.
Whilst I didn’t love the crew on our boat (you win some, you lose some), the other 17 passengers were all awesome. The vibe amongst the group was lovely and demonstrated that it definitely attracts a bunch of likeminded travellers (and that Sammy knows me well!)
A private cabin is a worthy upgrade if you value your space and privacy.
You can get an awesome FREE travel calendar from RatPack Travel for your trip to Australia or New Zealand. It was invaluable for my recent east coast roadie and helped me to book the Whitsundays in advance.
I’d recommend getting a calendar as soon as you’ve booked your flights and locking in those all important trips like the Whitsundays and K’Gari (Fraser). I missed my first choice of sailing Whitsundays dates because I was a bit stuck in last-minute Asia mode headspace…oops! I’ve attached one of Sammy’s demos below!
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