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Sail the Whitsundays

Listed under Sailing in Whitsunday Group, Australia.

  • Photo of Sail the Whitsundays
  • Photo of Sail the Whitsundays
  • Photo of Sail the Whitsundays
  • Photo of Sail the Whitsundays
  • Photo of Sail the Whitsundays
  • Photo of Sail the Whitsundays
  • Photo of Sail the Whitsundays
Photo of Sail the Whitsundays
Photo by flickr user Sami Keinänen
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This has to be the best way to get onto the Great Barrier Reef. Diving off your own boat you have the freedom to snorkel and explore on your own terms without having to move in a crowd and bump into people as well as reef fish, rays and turtles. It’s a bit like sailing on a giant home aquarium it’s so colourful. The islands themselves are also known for being tropical perfection.

Airlie Beach is a good place to start off from, as is Shute Harbour. Townsville and Mackay mark the shoreside barriers of the reef so if you’re planning to sail all along it those are your parameters of paradise.

Once you’re out on the water you’ll find that most of the 70 odd islands are uninhabited and most of the inhabited ones are inhabited with fairly expensive resorts. Hamilton is one of the largest of the group and has the only airport, it’s also got a swanky resort. Whitsunday Island is another of the largest, it’s got the famous white sands of Whitehaven Beach and a couple of secure inlets to park in. It’s also got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. Hayman has the swankiest resorts. Goat, Daydream, South Molle, Dent, Cowrie, they’re all beautiful green dabs of lush rainforest lined with white sand and blue ocean.

If you can’t sail or just want someone else to do it for you there are PLENTY of options for you here. In fact when it comes to sailing in the Whitsundays there are so many choices that there’s probably little good advice I can give, some of the most perfect days we had were the ones where we didn’t meet anyone and sometimes didn’t even know the name of the island or bit of reef we were on. Great place to drift rather than sail from one place to the next. You do need to be mindful of your supplies though.

Written by  Kenneth Hope.

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