Whitsunday’s Sailing …find Paradise
Australia’s Whitsunday Islands are perfect for cruising and sailing. The azure blue seas are clear, warm and inviting.
We have a great selection of Whitsundays Sailing tours so take your pick and discover the magic of the Whitsunday Islands
The combination of the calm waters, numerous undeveloped islands, predictable winds and protective harbours has made the Whitsundays one of the best places to sail in the world.
Visitors can do barefoot charters – going out on their own – crewed charters and on daily, overnight and multiple night trips. Kayaking is a very popular way to get around the islands, especially if combined with overnight camping.
In 1770, James Cook was the first European to discover the Cumberland Islands, which the aborigines knew about for over 6,000 years. This group of islands number over 150 and sit between the coast and the Barrier Reef. During the Festival of Whitsunday Cook sailed a passage near the north end of the group of islands and named the passage ‘Whitsunday’s Passage’. He wrote in his log book: ‘Indeed the whole passage is one continued safe harbour …’.
Later, other surveys broke the Cumberland islands into four groups of which the largest around Whitsunday’s Passage became known as the Whitsunday Group. While marketing material often quote 74 Whitsunday Islands, The Whitsunday group has over 90 islands. Most of the islands are continental islands and not the coral cays and islands that are in the majority elsewhere in the Great Barrier Reef marine park. While coral islands are still fairly fragile and flat, the Continental islands are really mountain tops of different elevations and host a variety of plant and animal life. The Continental island have developed fringe reefs and white sand beaches have developed. Another different factor is the aquamarine shade of the sea throughout the Whitsundays, – created by reflection of fine silt.
Hiking and Camping the Whitsunday’s
The Whitsunday’s give adventure seekers a different type of experience that other parts of the Great Barrier Reef provide. There are six national parks located on Continental islands with another four on the mainland’s coast. Here visitors can hike for hours into the wilderness, following simple trails. Primitive camp sites are available in the island parks, no electric – generators are prohibited – no showers, no stores, no open fires, no drinking water and you dig your own toilet. Okay, exaggerated you don’t have to dig your own toilet at all the campsites, but the rest is true. Some sites are near landing areas, while others require a hike to reach. Some of these harder to reach sites are well worth the hike, just off a trail and on a secluded cove. In total there are 31 campsites on the islands and 67 km of marked hiking trails.
Resorts and Accommodations.
If camping and sleeping overnight on a boat is not in your plans, no worries. The area has a large variety of accommodations from simple hostels to five star resorts. The majority of the accommodations are on the mainland. Of the 74 islands only four have permanent commercial/ residential development on them, and only Hamilton Island has multiple developments. Hamilton Island is also the home of the Great Barrier Reef airport, which is the major airport servicing the area. The airport also provides seaplane and helicopter service to other islands and sightseeing.
Once you have discovered Whitsundays Sailing you may never want to leave