If you only do one thing on the East Coast of Australia, it absolutely, 100% must be sailing The Whitsundays! It’s the ultimate bucket list, all-in-one experience.
It has beaches whiter than Fraser Islands Lake Mackenzie, its got colorful coral and is classed as the Great Barrier Reefs (inner reef) and the marine life is out of this world! Lets take a look at what sailing the world famous Whitsundays will offer you.
From your boat, it’ll take around a 10 minute walk through the national parks luscious forests to the most amazing beach! Firstly, make your way to the viewing platform and take in that mind blowing view. We have never, ever seen water as blue and sand that white! Once you’ve seen the beach you’ll find yourself running down to it. Once you set your feet on that white sand, you’ll be greeted by an all round picture postcard view- and it’s amazing!
If you have got yourself a good tour you will visit one of these snorkeling spots, or if your lucky enough, you’ll visit all three – Manta Ray Bay, Blue Pearl Bay and Black Island. All three offer amazing hard and soft coral alongside an abundance of marine life. Be sure to pack an underwater camera as you will want to remember these places for the rest f your life.
As you have just read above, Manta Ray Bay offers excellent snorkeling – during the winter as the name suggests you’ll find yourself swimming alongside Manta Rays. Black Island is a popular spot if you wish to swim with turtles. If your looking for sharks (harmless Lemon Sharks) and stingrays then a visit to Whitehaven will provide, they tend to swim in the calmer shallower water so keep an eye out. The reefs are packed with hundreds of fish, you will be surrounded – Literally!
Sailing was great- sitting on the edge of the boat, hanging your legs over the side with the water rushing past splashing your feet as it goes, is something not to be missed. It’s a feeling of freedom that we have never experienced before.
Tours vary from half day ($99 AUD) to a 3 night 2 day ($499 AUD) trips. A day trip can be had for around $150 AUD which is enough to experience the Whitsundays if you travel in a speed boat rather than a sailing boat.
Another way to get a cheap trip is to book on a tour on ‘standby’, this means that if a passenger fails to show up you’ll be the next in line, 20% can be saved by doing this.
We booked our trip through Bookme.com.au and at $240 AUD per person we managed to get a 2 day 2 nights sailing experience – we scored a half price deal! This however required advanced booking, flexibility and a little luck.
What to expect on a multi-day sailing trip?
Awesome sailing, yummy wholesome food, lots of sun, a 30 second shower and small beds. In reality, sailing has two, maybe three drawbacks that you need to be prepared for:
- Small living spaces: expect small beds and even smaller toilets, space is at a premium on these vessels.
- Limited fresh water: the fresh water is limited, there is enough for drinking however, there isn’t enough for each person to have a long shower. Be prepared for a 30 second shower throughout the entirety of your trip.
- Sea Sickness: if you’re effected by the rocking of a boat then you’ll want to take ginger biscuits and sea sickness medication. The rocking does get better in the evening but go prepared.
What to pack for a multi-day trip?
Remember pack small – We had a 20 litre pack each and its contents were:
- Swimming clothes
- Lots of sun cream (Min SPF 30)
- Spare clothes including a warm jumper
- Sandals (no footwear worn on the vessel)
- Photography gear (including underwater equipment)
- Sunglasses and hat
- Toothbrush, toothpaste
- Large water bottle