Australia's Tropical Island Sailing Paradise
The Whitsunday Islands lie off Australia's North Queensland Coast, getting there a flight of less than two hours from Brisbane. These 74 tropical islands, most uninhabited, are protected from the ocean by the outer Great Barrier Reef, a true wonder of the natural world.
The majority of the Whitsundays have national park status, with sufficient controlled development to provide visitors with a healthy balance of resort accommodation, leisure pursuit and wilderness activity. The cruising grounds of the Whitsunday Islands offer an almost infinite number of anchorages suitable for charter boats, with spectacular beaches set against an aquamarine sea teeming with marine life.
Sailing the destination is line-of-sight over short distances, with generally moderate, reliable winds to send you on your way.
A Yachting Holiday in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
Your Whitsundays sailboat charter gives you all the best in a tropical island sailing vacation, but with a uniquely Australian flavor. Lying within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and just offshore coastal North Queensland, this sun-drenched group of islands is easily the most popular charter yacht cruising destination in Australia. Because of their location inside the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday Islands offer some of the most sheltered waters in the South Pacific for charter cruising and sailing with friends and family.
The Whitsunday Islands are renowned for their lush rainforest and sandy deserted beaches. Countless uninhabited islands entice you to slip away and enjoy lazy private days in the tropical sun. And when it's time for some exercise, a short walk just beyond the white sand will normally bring you to a spectacular hiking trail in the national park. Come aboard and explore this wondrous coral kingdom and all the marine life that calls it home.
Around the Whitsundays, secluded anchorages are seldom more than thirty minutes apart, and finding that idyllic one all to yourself is surely the answer to every sailor's dream. And once the sailing, snorkelling and swimming are done, set sail for the bright lights of one of the Whitsundays' up-market island resort, for fine dining, entertainment and fun Australia-style, into the wee small hours.
Climate and Sailing Conditions
The weather here is tropical, with the Trade Winds that blow most of the year keeping temperatures pleasant. Daytime averages range from 23° C (73° F) December to February up to 31° (88° F) from June to August, and the water remains around an inviting 25° C (77° F) throughout the year. With such a wonderful climate for holiday making, the best times to go sailing tend to be determined by Australian school holiday dates rather than by the weather. For yachtspeople looking for a charter holiday, that means some of the best conditions occur during off-peak periods.
North Queensland summers (December to March) are warm and humid, with frequent rain showers occurring. The winter here (June to September) is considered by many to offer the perfect climate - warm by day and cool by night. The trade winds usually blow slightly stronger from May to August, but the weather is generally very settled then. In March the brief 'wet' season arrives, with August/September the driest months.
Winds are generally moderate, making for excellent conditions throughout the year. And if you are there at a time when the breeze gets up a bit too much for the crew, there is always good shelter and a nice beach nearby. Spring and early summer are popular months for cruising. Cyclones if they do occur are most commonly expected in the late summer.