The dream beat on the fifth continent: When the last ice age ended and the sea level rose, a mountain range in the East of Australia, in today’s Queensland, was separated from the Westland. The summits of these volcanic mountains are the Whitsunday Islands. James Cook, who sailed through them during Whitsun 1770 and named them after the “White Sunday”, has baptized them. The scenically beautiful archipelago consisting of 74 islands with the main island Whitsunday is a paradisian beat for sailors and lies protected behind the Great Barrier Reef, the largest reef in the world. The reef is almost 1.200 miles long with thousands of individual reefs that lie up to 160 miles offshore.
And the reefs protect the sailing waters: Sailors should be a little familiar with tidal navigation but even beginners and newcomers won’t have any problems in these gentle waters with little swell and can enjoy easy-going island hopping. Only 17 islands are inhabited, the beat is manageable; the distances short and uncomplicated, sight sailing is totally unproblematic. Everywhere the sailor is greeted by white dream beaches in front of lush greenery – the name “Whitehaven Beach” (on Whitsunday) says it all…Great Barrier Reef is located about 35 miles off but these islands are also surrounded by reefs and fans of snorkelling can experience an absolutely fascinating divers underwater world. Most of these islands belong to Whitsunday Island National park, the whole group is part of the Great Barrier Reef Heritage Area, in which a roughly 21.000 square miles large marina park has been put under nature protection as well. At times sailors can greet a humpback whale and sundry species of sea birds nest on Birds Island. The Tropical climate invites for sailing the whole year round, rainy season is from January to April with regular rain gushes.
Charter yachts can be taken over in Airlie Beach on the main land; on Hamilton Island is another Yacht Charter base as well. Hotel resorts can be found on Daydream Island, Hamilton Island, Lindeman Island, Long Island, South Mole Island, Hayman Island and Hook Island – every resort and every island boats a host of diversities, starting with family orientated offers, over to elegant choices and to luxury offers. The best way to reach the Whitsunday Islands is via plane from Sydney or Brisbane.
If you want to explore the protected waters north of the Great Barrier Reef, you can also charter from Cardwall or Townsville. In the South of the continent the best locations to start a cruise are the Yacht Charter bases in Sydney or Pittwater, capital of the same named county.
There are important yacht charter fleets with sailboats and catamarans for bareboat charters in Australia that are not listed in our Yachtfinder – please ask for offers. And of course we will be glad to send you offers for the most beautiful luxury charter yachts with crew in this area as well.
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