The ideal weather in the Whitsundays is achieved by low rainfall and average temperatures below 30 degrees Celsius. May to September represent the peak season for charter guests, with the first month of the Australian “Winter” starting in June. The sea temperature is approximately 23 degrees and the average wind speed is 8 knots. There are approximately 11 hours of sunlight per day.
The wet season in Queensland runs from November to April: when the heavens frequently open releasing warm tropical rain, and the days and nights are warmer. It is also a popular time to cruise the Whitsundays and spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve in exceptional surroundings.
As the only living organism visible from space, the view from a helicopter is spectacular but nothing compares to the view from below. A kaleidoscope of tropical colours which move and shimmer as the waves gently sway, the fish dart in and out of the coral and the sun refracts through the warm shallow waters. Never has one charter location brought some much colour to your life.
The Whitsundays, and the Great Barrier Reef, offer one of the most pristine dive destinations in the world - with spectacular coral formations, hundreds of species of fish, turtles, manta rays and even visiting dolphins and whales (commonly seen swimming past superyachts, especially during migration season in August - September). At several highly pristine sites, divers will descend amongst an abundance of friendly marine life including the magnificent large Hump Headed Maori Wrasse which can be hand-fed, or the resident Bat Fish.
Every year, humpback whales migrate north from the Antarctic and make their way to the Whitsundays to utilise the regions waters to give birth, socialise and to mate. During the months of June to September guests can spot these beautiful creatures in the waters around the Whitsunday islands, and occasionally on the Great Barrier Reef. As whales are coming to the Whitsundays to give birth there is a high chance of seeing calves!
A rich cultural heritage
Known as Ngaro country, the Whitsundays reflect aboriginal presence throughout its territories. Archaeological research points to 8,000 years of Aboriginal habitation in this area, most recently by the Ngaro people who ranged far and wide through the high country around Proserpine and travelled from island to island in bark canoes.
The Whitsunday Islands were originally formed by volcanic action. However after the last glacial period the sea level rose, leaving the higher coastal peaks as islands. In 1770, the Cumberland Islands were discovered by Lieutenant James Cook. Later, the archipelago was divided into smaller groups - the Whitsunday Group, the Lindeman Group, the Anchor Islands and the Sir James Smith Group.
Guests can fly in to the gorgeous airport located on Hamilton Island, transferred from Brisbane's International Airport (1.5hour flight), Sydney or Melbourne, or directly with a private jet charter. Abell Point Marina is another great boarding location, located within 40 km of Proserpine's landing strip.
Board in Hamilton Island Marina after your Crew welcomes you with the traditional island buggy or air-conditioned vehicle. Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island of the Whitsundays, although it only spans over 5km2. While the guests settle down and take in their relaxing surroundings, a lunch or dinner at the stunning Hamilton Island Yacht Club is a great start to the experience, followed by a short walk around the island. Depending on the party, a stunning private table or massage moment can be arranged at the adult-only Qualia Resort.
The option is also there for you to cruise around to Perseverance Reef or Dent Island (home of one of Australia's most prestigious gold courses): a first swim and snorkel in the heavenly blue ocean, followed by sunset canapes in a sheltered bay.
Hamilton Island > Neck Bay [11nm]
Located in the Lindeman Group, Neck Bay is a Captain’s favourite and likely your first secluded experience of the Whitsundays. Fantastic snorkeling is renowned along the coast, tucked between Shaw and Lindeman Island.
What could you see? The Whitsunday is home to 1,500 species of fish, 360 species of hard coral, one third of the world’s soft corals, 7,000 species of molluscs, 500 species of marine algae, 600 species of echinoderm (eg. Starfish), 22 species of seabirds, 13,000 dugongs, 6 species of marine turtles (all listed as threatened), 30 species of cetaceans (eg. whales and dolphins).
When you step out of the warm ocean water, take a walk across the bay and the "neck" from west to east, sprawl on a secluded beach covered by unusually polished shells and coral varieties. After a beach barbecue and natural sand body massages, we will be spending the night at anchor sheltered here in Neck Bay.
The Narrows and Cid Island [25nm]
Waking up to admire a tropical sunrise, we will make our way West towards Long Island.
An exclusive passage, cruising the Long Island Sound will immerse you in lush bushland descending into the ocean and creating the perfect colour palette.
Continue onto Cid Island, where kayaking through the mangrove is a popular activity in the afternoon. Katoomba Bank, on the North of the island sets scene for some jaw-dropping sunsets, before we anchor in front of Hill Rock Reef or Cid Harbour for a quiet evening and overnight.
Whitsunday and Hook Islands [10nm]
Start your day with a fitness kick, walking up the trail to the Whitsunday Peak. The hike is approximately 1.5 hour to the peak, before soaking in the spectacular 360-degree views over Cid Harbour.
Heading back on board, watersports enthusiasts can enjoy an afternoon of fun along the west coast of Whitsunday Island where jetskis and other motorised watercrafts are authorised.
We then cruise on to Hook Island for our next overnight shelter. Separated from Whitsunday Island by a narrow, deep passage, Hook Island combines a “wilderness” styled resort with soul-refreshing forest walks, pure blue waters and white silica beaches. The faint Aboriginal rock art at Nara Inlet, created by the original Ngaro people, draws you back in time and through years of history of the original Owners of the land. Nara Inlet also features a stunning 30 minute walk leading to breathtaking views.
Hayman Island and the Outer Reef [45nm]
Get ready for an out-of-this-world experience today!
We depart Hook Island towards Langford Island or Blue Pearl Bay on Hayman Island. The western area of Langford Island reveals a sandbank which appears at low tide, and is a great spot for a beach barbecue. The popular red helicopters also love this landing spot, taking you to the air for a preview of your Great Barrier Reef experience. Blue Pearl Bay on the other hand will offer some of the best swimming and snorkeling surrounded by rich coral life. After lunch, we head back towards Hook Island to explore the Northern tip: Butterfly Bay’s underwater world is covered in coral outcrops and rubble with shallow walls, and populated by many small colourful reef fish species.
Depending on the general feeling on board, the option is to make our way towards the Outer Reef for our first night in the wide open ocean. Rendezvous diving is organised for the next morning, or your dive guide will be recounting his reef stories over dinner that night. 30 nm (approximately 3 hours) will take us to Hardy Reef just before the night falls, where we will safely anchor.
Hardy Reef and Hook Reef
These are pretty unusual views to have breakfast around! Time to go diving and discover what the Australian outer reef is all about. There is spectacular fish life with Trevally, Coral Trout, Snapper and a host of smaller marine life as well as Giant Maori Wrasse and a two metre long Giant Queensland Groper that usually congregate for a free feed. Snorkeling is excellent, as is diving off nearby drop-offs where you'll find turtles, reef sharks and barracuda amongst a myriad of other intriguing reef species.
If air is more your element, take off on a helicopter or seaplane tour which will reveal the world-famous and most photographed Heart Reef. Experience the vertical waterfalls with our tenders, which appear when the tide lowers by 2 to 3 meters.
Our second night on the reef should allow for a fun themed dinner organised by the crew on board, for you to rewind the day and maybe watch a slideshow of all the wonderful photos. If some of the guests are lucky, trawling on the way from Hook Reef resulted in freshly cooked fish!
DAY SEVEN & EIGHT
Dumbell Island > Whitehaven Beach > Hamilton Island [40nm]
It is time to make our way back to civilisation. We will first reach Dumbell Island, populated by a wide diversity of birds including sea eagles who can be fed off the aft deck.
6nm further south appears the first signs that the world-famous Whitehaven is approaching. Before reaching this unique and sought-after sight, take a hike up Hill Inlet and indulge in the astonishing views: the inlet below you is a striking mix of aqua and white swirls as the island's famed sands shift through the waters, creating beautiful patterns. Your yacht will anchor, and let you experience the silica sand with its tenders. The fine sand particles are great for polishing jewellery!
We anchor here for the evening, and cruise to Hamilton Island just around the corner for our last morning on board. Maybe a last meal ashore with your Captain and crew is a beautiful way to recount all the memories.