The Whitsundays - a perfect boating playground for charterers - Blog
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Your Whitsundays Experience Starts Here...

Your Whitsundays experience starts here...


Whitsundays Tourism Blog

The Whitsundays - a perfect boating playground for charterers


It’s no secret that I’m a fan ofthe Whitsundays, and you probably won’t be surprised to hear that I whole heartedly believe that the best way to experience the area is by boat. The Whitsundays have given me many of my most treasured memories: exploring with my family, racing with mates and relaxing on a charter yacht. You can spend months taking in every detail of the greater Whitsunday region, but I’ve found that the area is equally suited to a quick visit to tick off the highlights.

While there is no end to amazing destinations around the world, one of the Whitsundays’ key drawcards is its accessibility. And that’s certainly not to say that the region doesn’t hold its own in terms of scenery; it’s just that the many great anchorages and the short distances between them make it a perfect boating playground. For those new to boating, it’s a great place to dip your toes in the water, and for the more experienced, it’s a lovely cruising ground that reveals its true gems to those who take the time to explore in detail.

While owning your own boat is lovely, I believe chartering is an underappreciated option. In fact, I think it’s those who own a boat or have owned boats that will truly appreciate the convenience of chartering. Nothing makes me feel more relaxed and spoilt than stepping off the boat at the end of my holiday leaving someone else to wash and maintain it! Having your boat provisioned is another luxury that gets you out on the water as quickly as possible to enjoy the snorkeling, walking, sunset drinks, and of course sailing.


Image Credit : Jessica Watson 

On arrival to the area, your visit should be planned around the weather forecast. The prevailing winds are south easterlies and, later in the year, north easterlies. So, when the forecast gives you anything else, particularly light conditions, make a beeline for the eastern side of the islands. Even if you’re lucky enough to have quite some time in the Whitsundays, you’ll want to be ready to take advantage of calm conditions that bring out the best of some of the most scenic, yet exposed, anchorages.

On the subject of weather, while the winter months are the ideal time to visit, I don’t find the summer months unpleasant, with plenty of breeze on the water to keep you cool. There’s an increased chance of rain over summer, but the upside to this is that the islands’ many creeks and occasional waterfalls will run.

Visiting only a few weeks after Tropical Cyclone Debbie, which hit on March 28, I was impressed to find that almost all the facilities that a boatie would usually expect in the area were available. The local community has to be applauded, and I suspect that the Whitsundays will recover swiftly and emerge better than ever. The area’s many merits warrant it a spot at the top of any boatie’s bucket list

A highlight of my most recent visit (April 14-18) was a lovely night anchored at Whitehaven Beach. For me, it was a reminder of just how lucky boaties are. As the afternoon drew to a close, the day visitors were ferried back to their boats. Slowly the beach and anchorage emptied, leaving just a handful of yachts to enjoy a gorgeous sunset over one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches.

Jessica Watson

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Sunday, 25 August 2019

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