It's impossible to be short of things to do when you cruise the Whitsunday Islands. You might be coming to the Whitsundays to escape the grind, to re-connect as a family, to read a book that you’ve been attempting to for years, thinking about nothing else but relaxing on the deck of a boat and taking in some peace and quiet. Or you might be looking for an action-packed adventure filled with daily activities. Or perhaps even a bit of both?
The great news is, from the moment you board your vessel in Shute Harbour, there’s a myriad of activities on offer, or you can simply unwind and take in the island life.
The Whitsundays region is a fishing haven, whether you're a novice or expert. With a wide range of tropical and sub-tropical species in our waters, it's unlikely you'll go away empty-handed.
Many visitors even get lucky here at our home base in Shute Harbour, the keen anglers often have a line in prior to even boarding their vessel!
No recreational fishing licence is required for fishing in the Whitsundays, however, it is important to be mindful of where you can fish and where the protected zones are within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
You can hire gear from Airlie Bait & Tackle (07) 4946 6632 who can deliver your order on request.
The Whitsunday Islands are part of The Great Barrier Reef marine park and offer some of the best fringing reef snorkelling in the world.
It's not surprising that snorkelling is the most popular activity on our bareboat charters which is why we include snorkelling gear with all of our bookings at no charge.
There are many amazing snorkelling sites scattered throughout the islands full of diverse and healthy reefs to explore.
A new attraction to the Whitsundays is the Ngaro Underwater Sculpture trail, giving visitors another reason to dive in and experience our marine world as well as some amazing art.
A fascinating attraction in the Whitsunday Islands is ancient rock art left by the area’s original inhabitants, the Ngaro People.
Dating back 9000 years, these ancient island people painted a cave in Nara Inlet on Hook Island. You can visit the cultural site by taking a short, yet steep 180 m walk up the hill, following signs and historical information along the way.
The artwork and surrounds are the earliest archaeological evidence for habitation in the area. Keep an eye out for middens made of shells which are still visible around the steep slopes of Nara Inlet.
Excellent visibility and warm water make the Whitsunday Islands a scuba diver's paradise.
If you are an experienced scuba diver you may wish to bring your own gear with you.
If you'd prefer to hire your own scuba diving equipment, Aqua Dive at Coral Sea Marina has everything you need. They also provide a map showing some of the best dive spots and the locations of air tank filling facilities around the islands. Equipment can be collected from Aqua Dive prior to your charter.
If you have not previously been scuba diving and would like to give it a shot, jump on one of the local dive operators boats for a day trip and introduction diving.
The Whitsunday Islands are a water lover's playground. There are many above-the-water activities such as stand up paddleboarding and kayaking to add to your charter holiday experience.
We can provide Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPS), Single Sea Kayaks, Single Surf/ Wave Skis, Double Sea Kayak, Sailboards (with a beginners rig) and Prescription Snorkelling masks on request.
Just let us know prior to your charter if you would like to hire any of this additional equipment.
Want to wine and dine, or check out the other touristy locations around the Whitsunday Islands?
During your bareboat charter, you are welcome stopover at Hamilton Island, Hayman Island, Daydream Island or Palm Bay Resort where you can berth or moor for a fee giving you access to the resort facilities.
Spend the day sightseeing, ordering cocktails by one of the many pools and enjoy an evening out at a resort restaurant.
Perhaps you are on your self-sail holiday in the Whitsundays to celebrate something special, or for no reason at all, you would like to organise a little something extra?
Imagine being picked up from your boat and taken up above the Whitsunday Islands over the Great Barrier Reef on a scenic seaplane flight. We can make this happen!
Our mid-charter Reef and Whitehaven Scenic flights are conducted by our valued industry partner, Air Whitsunday. You can either contact them directly, or we can tee it up for you.
Airlie Beach is a buzzing tourist hub and there's plenty to do for all ages and for all budgets.
For the kids, Airlie Beach has three playgrounds and the Lagoon with pools to suit all swimming abilities.
Try the Lion's Markets on the foreshore Saturdays from 8 am-12 pm; or enjoy a drink and the view at the Whitsunday Sailing Club. Twilight sailing races are held on Wednesdays from the club and locals are always looking for crew - turn up at 3 pm.
Also from Airlie or nearby are jet ski tours, skydiving and aerobatic plane flights. At night the main street buzzes with restaurants and nightlife.
If you’re looking to stretch your legs and see the islands from a different perspective, heading ashore and taking a bushwalk is the perfect way to do it.
The Ngaro Sea Trail is a popular bushwalking attraction which spans over Whitsunday, South Molle and Hook Island. However, there are many other walks scattered throughout the islands with something to suit all abilities.
We suggest everyone tries to do at least one hike when visiting the Whitsundays to experience the stunning flora and fauna in this part of the world. And the best bit? The views!
Here are 5 walking trails we recommend.
Air Whitsunday's Reef Adventure tour departs daily, showcasing the amazing expanse of the Great Barrier Reef before landing and transferring to a private semi-submersible vessel at Hardy Reef.
Enjoy two hours of coral viewing and snorkelling from the comfort of a glass-bottom boat moored inside confined waters. All snorkelling equipment, tuition and flotation devices for inexperienced snorkellers are included.
Pre-booking is essential in peak seasons, through us or direct at Air Whitsunday.
A day trip with Cruise Whitsundays is a comfortable way to explore the Great Barrier Reef.
Trips leave from Port of Airlie, Daydream Island or Hamilton Island. The cats provide access to a custom-built pontoon equipped with underwater viewing pontoons. Patrolled snorkelling and coral sub rides are just some of the activities available. All meals are provided.
You can book through us or direct with Cruise Whitsundays.
An exciting addition to the Whitsundays is the Ngaro Indigenous Cultural tours run by Whitsundays Paradise Explorer.
Learn from a local Ngaro guide about the history of these ancient seafaring people, their customs and how they hunted and sourced “bush tucker”. You will visit the Ngaro artwork cave, be guided through some of the most pristine landscapes in the Whitsundays and even learn to throw a spear.
Tour groups are small and they depart from Shute Harbour or Airlie Beach. Please contact our office if you would like to book a place.