A bareboat charter in the Whitsunday Islands is the ultimate escape.
It’s a road trip on water; the perfect way to cast off the nine to five routine and immerse yourself in paradise. For the uninitiated, a bareboat charter simply means hiring a vessel and sailing it yourself.
The freedom that comes with setting your own itinerary and pace makes bareboating one of the most idyllic ways to explore the 74 islands that make up the Whitsundays.
The dedicated crew at Whitsunday Holidays applies the same unique, personalised service to booking sailing and bareboat charters as it does arranging accommodation at its stunning Hamilton Island properties.
Owner operator Kristie Kaighin says the team can design a bareboat charter to suit any level of experience and budget – from an intimate escape for a couple seeking a true sailing experience in a monohull yacht, to a family get away in a spacious power catamaran that sleeps 10.
“We book such a broad range of guests, from families with older kids, friends getting together to share the cost of a bareboat charter or several families combining to enjoy the freedom of bareboating,” Kristie says.
“We really hone in on their expectations and requirements to match them with the right yacht.”
Novice sailors are well taken care of, with the option of a sail guide on the first day of their charter to show them the ropes.
Even the shopping can be organised for you with Whitsunday Provisioning stocking the boat before you leave.
The support doesn’t end when you set sail either. Whitsunday Holidays has twice-daily, compulsory, radio contact with every charter operator to find their location and chat about any further needs.
No two bareboat charters are the same with guests free to choose their own adventure among the islands. With so many unspoilt beaches and stunning coral reefs to explore there’s really no wrong move.
Here are some of our favourites;
Experience the same iconic silica sand of Whitehaven Beach without the crowds. The small stretch of sand on Haslewood Island has the added bonus of a stunning coral reef just off shore.
If you’re looking for a smooth night’s sleep, Nara Inlet is the perfect place to anchor. It’s also a good spot to learn more about the original inhabitants of the region.
The 340m return Ngaro Cultural Site bush walk will take you to a rock shelter that is home to the art of the Ngaro people, who have more than 8000 years history on the Whitsundays.
Much of the region’s beauty is found beneath the waves, but one of its most breathtaking experiences is found out of the water at Butterfly Bay.
The sheltered bay is on the northern side of Hook Island and, as its name suggests, is a magnet for butterflies. Make your way ashore, find a spot under the mangrove trees and prepare to be dazzled by the colonies of butterflies that gather there in search of shade.
Even the saltiest sailor can benefit from some inside information. Whitsunday Holidays charter consultant Clare Rushby is your compass for the region.
She has sailed all over the world and still ranks the Whitsundays as her number one holiday destination. Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach have been her home ports for the past eight years and she is as passionate about the Whitsundays as she is knowledgeable.
“I love how most of the Whitsundays are National Park, and not built up at all,” Clare says.
“You can still find great anchorages and be all alone as it’s not overcrowded. And of course, there’s the snorkelling. The best in the world!”
Clare can help shape an itinerary to suit your interests, time frame and experience. She’ll even reveal her favourite secret spots!
“I love the islands in the southern part of the cruising area, especially Shaw and Thomas Islands,” she says.
“Many people don’t get down that far and it is so quiet and beautiful.”
Whitsunday Holidays are the number on choice for Hamilton Island accommodation and Whitsunday sailing and bareboat charters, delivering premium, personalised service, seven days a week.