Looking to charter a boat in the Whitsunday Islands?
What can you expect?
The Whitsunday Islands are incredibly beautiful and World renowned for crystal clear water, Great Barrier reef, amazing sea life and just gorgeous scenery. It’s a dream holiday to just immerse yourself in the heavenly calm of this beautiful part of Australia. There are so many areas to explore and the best way is by boat.
There are the general ticketed cruises which take you out for a day to explore part of the reef or visit Whitehaven Beach or one of the many other unique spots that are out there. These day trips are great to get a taste of what the Whitsundays has to offer, but 1 day is just not enough to really soak it all in and explore the vast area of the Whitsunday islands. That’s where charter boats have become increasingly popular for travellers (international and local) wishing to explore on their own accord and have the flexibility to make the experience special to them.
So how does it work?
There are many fantastic charter boats available for private charter which include crew and even a chef to cook you some amazing food throughout your journey.
The duration of the journey could be from 1 day charters up to a week charter or even longer if the time (and $) permits. There is so much to explore and the longer you are out, the more rewarding the experience.
Some boats are based in the Whitsundays and some travel up from Sydney for the winter months. Some of our recommended yachts that are available for Whitsunday charters are Lady Pamela, Alani, Quantum, OneWorld and more.
What to expect
Each boat’s Captain can suggest an itinerary that is suitable for you and your group. We spoke to one of our recommended luxury yachts One O One, to provide a sample itinerary for a 3 night charter in the Whitsundays.
Hamilton Island & Whitehaven Beach
Once you arrive at Hamilton Island make your way by golf buggy to your new home for the next 3 nights: ONE O ONE, as the captain and crew greet you and welcome you onboard with a cool drink as they whisk you away on your beautiful luxury yacht.
Let the Stewardess show you to your rooms and make yourself at home as ONE O ONE cruises to her first anchorage for the journey.
You’ll discover the World renowned Whitehaven Beach, located at the southern end of the largest of the islands in the group, Whitsunday Island.
Whitehaven Beach is the largest beach at 7km long made from 97% pure Silicia which gives the sand its snowy complexion. So fine it makes for a great jewellery polisher.
After enjoying the soft sand and a swim, freshen up onboard and join everyone on the rear deck for your first of many chef prepared meals.
The afternoon is yours to relax in the sun with a cocktail in hand, or venture out to Whitehaven again to make the most of the stunning location.
For the evening join the crew at the bar for sunset canapés and cocktails and chat about the adventures of your day.
Enjoy a beautifully prepared three course meal by the amazing on-board chef, April.
Captain Craig joins you in the saloon to welcome you on board and go through the itinerary for the next few days.
Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet & Luncheon Bay
Wake up at your own pace and stroll to the aft deck where a beautiful buffet breakfast awaits. Soak in those ocean views and sprawling turquoise water as you enjoy fresh juices, hot coffee, eggs just the way you like them and more. What a way to start your day.
It’s then time to change into those swimmers and take advantage of the relatively empty beach before the day trippers arrive.
There are two ways to see the Whitsundays by sea and by sky. As an additional option why not make the most of it and take a flight in a seaplane. The Seaplane arrives and as you board make sure those cameras and phones are charged as these sights are not to be missed.
Upon your return with heads high in the sky, enjoy a true Aussie style BBQ lunch.
After lunch One O One ups her anchor and cruises ever so slightly north to Tongue Bay where a quick hike will take you to the most stunning view of Whitehaven Beach, cameras are essential.
It’s been an action-packed day which means appetites must be catered for. Sunset Cocktails and canapés are provided, and hot tub is roaring ready for a more relaxing part of the day. So sit back and relax as we venture even further north to our next anchorage for dinner. Luncheon Bay, situated at the most northern end of Hook Island and makes for a perfect dinner setting.
A wholesome meal is prepared and served on the stunning rear deck accompanied by hand picked Australian wines.
Captain Craig joins you to discuss the following days plans and if the weather permits it’s see ya later land and hello Bait Reef Lagoon.
Bait Reef Lagoon, Outer Great Barrier Reef & Stonehaven Bay
Perhaps you may hear the sound of the engines humming in the early morning (4am) as Captain Craig sets sail for your next adventure? One O One is making her way to the Outer Great Barrier Reef to Bait Reef Lagoon for a day of snorkelling swimming and sun and no land in sight.
Once One O One safely takes up mooring amongst the large coral bommies and reefs, enjoy your delicious breakfast spread, you’ll need the energy to explore this amazing and famous reef.
The Stepping Stones are a unique feature of Bait Reef. They are made up of 18 or more flat-topped coral pinnacles lined up in a row. At the Southern Face shallow waters are dominated by flat terrain completely covered by hard corals with the odd sand patch. Large turtles, manta rays and some pelagic fishes such as Mackerel and Barracuda are often seen cruising along the drop-off.
Scrumptious lunch is served on board followed by more snorkelling and relaxing until late afternoon where it’s time to make our way back towards mainland Australia.
If weather permits spend a very special night on the reef or motor back to the mainland where the protection of Cid Harbour awaits.
Cid Harbour & Hamilton Island
The final morning is upon us and it’s time for one last buffet breakfast surrounded by the beautiful scenery that is Hook Island.
If you’re an early bird the Whitsunday Peak is a must do hike. 2 hours return it’s not for the faint hearted, but rest assured the views from the top are well worth it.
Mid-morning One O One anchors up for the final time and heads south along the eastern side of Whitsunday Island towards Hamilton Island. Take it all in and get those group photos to ensure you can reminisce this journey again.
Safety back in the berth as One O One’s crew bid farewell but hope to see you again soon.
What charter boat is right for you?
There are a great variety of boats available for charter to explore the Whitsundays / Queensland region now. Most boats are Sydney based and travel up for the winter season to capitalise on the holiday makers in search for warmer weather.
The right boat depends on your preferences:
What are you willing to spend or what can you spend on this holiday. The charter boat itself is a holiday especially if you are spending multiple nights onboard. What do you value that experience. Charter boats range from $3,500 per day – $30,000 per day. Obviously the more you spend the bigger and nicer the boat will be.
- How many passengers do you have?
The size of the boat you need also depends on how many passengers you have. Some boats can only take up to 10 passengers, other cans take more. Then again we have had many small groups under 10 charter out the biggest boat there is, simply because they like the space and luxury and they can afford it.
- When are you travelling?
Some boats are based in Whitsundays all year round, others are only there during the winter months. The date you decide to go will define which boats are available for you.
- Is it a day charter or overnight?
Most charter boats focus on overnight or liveaboard charters where as some charter boats only offer day charters as they are not equipped to have passengers stay overnight.
All these factors will determine which boat is right for you.
It’s always best to speak to a Charter broker who has access and relationships to multiple charter boats. They can then send you options and pricing according to your preferences.
Feel free to contact Sydney Harbour Specialists for your Queensland boat charter.