Bareboat Sailing in the Whitsundays

(Location: The Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia)

For Christmas 2013, we chartered a sailboat in The Whitsundays (only a three hour flight away!).

We picked up the Catalina 35 from Whitsunday Escape in Airlie Beach. The boat was no more than a year old and in pristine condition. Though smaller than what we’ve chartered in the past, it was fine for two people in these types of sailing conditions.

We did our own provisioning at Coles. Unlike previous charters, we would need to fend for ourselves food wise as there are no beach bars, lobster delivery, etc. in the Whitsundays 🙁

The Whitsundays were DESERTED. I mean sail-for-days-and-don’t-see-another-boat, have-the-whole- anchorange-to-yourself deserted. This was partially due to traveling during “low season” (AUS summer) which is coincidentally stinger season. During this time of the year, the area is also known for box jellyfish and irukanji – luckily we did not encounter either.


  • Short sail to Stonehaven Bay on Hook Island.
  • Sail around Hayman Island and then overnight at Butterfly Bay on Whitsunday Island
  • Hike to the Whithaven Beach overlook (WOW – just WOW). Overnight on mooring in Tongue Bay (next time go farther in the bay and anchor – too rolly)
  • Day anchorage at Whithaven Beach (had the place to ourselves with the exception of a seaplane).  Picked up a mooring at Dent Island to reprovision in Hamilton Island.
  • Quick sail to Daydream Island. After being on our own for four days, this place seemed PACKED. We were excited to have a land shower, but the facilities were pretty poor. On a positive note, there were kangaroos on the beach !
  • Sailed back to Hamilton Island and spent two nights on the dock in the marina. In retrospect, the moorings were better (quieter for sure!). The land showers were lovely though. We enjoyed happy hour at One Tree Hill, and held a koala at the Wildlife Hamilton Island.

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