Charters - Australia

 

Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia

 The Whitsundays are a group of islands that are located at the heart of the Great Barrier Reef in the tropic waters off Australia, specifically 1000 km north of Brisbane and 2000 km north of Sydney on the east coast of Australia at 21 South. The 74 islands in the group are mostly uninhabited National Parks although there are a few homes and resorts in the area. They are cooled by the trade winds for most of the year and have an excellent year-round climate. The waters are protected by the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef and most islands are surrounded by a fringing reef system.

Since the weather is almost perfect year around the typical sailing seasons here tend to be driven more by when the kids are in school than the traditional indicators of calendar! For sailors, that means that some of the best sailing and boating can be found in the off-peak periods. Summers are warm with frequent rain showers and winters are said by many to be the perfect climate - warm by day and cool by night.

The trade winds usually blow slightly stronger from May through August. July is the coolest time of year while January is the warmest. And cyclones, if they do occur, are most likely between February and March of any given year. But never fear as good anchorages are plentiful and varied throughout the islands.

 A good way to think of the Whitsunday islands is through the seasons - either dry or wet. The 'wet' season is from January-March, the windiest months are March-May, and the driest months are August-October.

From mid-late September onward the trade winds abate and the best cruising weather in the Whitsundays is between August to early November. At any time of the year though, you can almost always be assured of having enough wind for a pleasant sail. The temperature is pleasant almost any time of the year in the Whitsundays, with temperatures seldom above 86 (F) in summer or below 64.4 (F) in winter. You can swim year-round in these lush waters. The trade winds are re-established after the summer monsoon in April-May, providing brisk sailing throughout the winter. The weather is generally more settled after June and the winds get progressively lighter after mid September.

There is a great deal to explore here, but consider this fairly classic classic sail around the islands that offers a bit of everything the islands are so rich with for the vacationing sailor.

Itinerary 1

Day 1: We recommend a short sail to the Nara Inlet, Hook Island- probably the best anchorage in the islands with the Northern anchorage being the best for protection - which is rich with natural and ancient sites including lovely waterfalls, Aboriginal caves and ancient rock paintings.

Day 2: Sail across the Whitsunday Passage, anchoring in Cid Harbour which is hidden between Cid Island and the western side of Whitsunday Island. Quiet and peaceful with wonderful wildlife, bush walks and delicious rock oysters. For the really adventurous, there is a hike to Whitsunday peak, but bring water!

Day 3: Set sail for spectacular Whitehaven Beach and enjoy miles of soft, white silica sand beaches. Swim, windsurf and relax.

Day 4: Cruise over to Hamilton Island for fresh supplies or to top up water tanks. Experience a change of pace in the busy marina and a choice of restaurants and bars. And don't forget Trader Pete's which seems to have every tacky bit of tourist junk you can image for your collection! Also, Hamilton Island is home to largest resort in the islands so if you want to clean up and hit the resort life, this is your chance.

Day 5: With the trade winds on your beam, reach up to Cataran Bay on Border Island for great snorkeling.

Day 6: For more exploring, a short sail takes you across to Butterfly Bay on Hook Island. This bay offers some of the best snorkeling in the islands but there are limited public moorings and fishing is prohibited here. You will have to use your dinghy for onshore visits.

Day 7: Take a leisurely cruise around the Hayman Island area or southwards across the Whitsunday Passage to South Molle Island or Palm Bay. Palm Bay is an exclusive spot with only 8 places to anchor, but it is lovely and a wonderful place to spend your last evening in paradise.

Average Maximum Daytime Temperatures

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Temp C

31

30

29

28

26

24

23

25

26

25

31

31

 Temp F

88

86

82

82

78

74

72

76

78

82

88

88



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