A Whitsunday Luxury Sailing Holiday

Multiple Locations

Expedition voyages for discerning explorers departing from Hamilton Island. Learn about the Great Barrier Reef ecology from friendly owners, Lynne and John Boyce who for nearly 30 years' have welcomed guests to their floating home and personally introduced them to the very best of this water wonderland. Enjoy healthy gourmet meals and fine wines aboard Australia's most awarded charter yacht, Sydney Sundancer, which is licensed to carry more than 50 day guests. With spacious decks and weighing 37 tons, she is not only luxurious but incredibly stable. Just imagine the comfort factor when individual cabin bookings are limited to a maximum of 8 guests, or 10 for private charter. Children are very welcome, but only for private charter.

Glass bottom dive tender equipped with a deep ladder ensures ease of access to / from the water on snorkelling and scuba excursions. Other personally guided activities include reef walking expeditions and uninhabited island exploration. Every day is packed with a different "Discovery Channel" experience!

Visitor book quote : "A wonderful chef, a brilliant skipper! We were willingly enticed into a whole new world and adored every minute!"

7 day 7 night cruises but shorter periods by arrangement.

Activities

  • Sailing
  • Scuba-Diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming

Other Information

Family Friendly:

Family friendly – please refer to operator's website for services and facilities.

Our Tours

The Whitsunday waterways are home to such a diverse variety of marine life that the fishing will excite the experts. When Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee) was asked about fishing in Australia, he answered "Fishing in Australia? There are so many fish in Australia that you have to hide behind a tree to bait your hook!" Your hosts, Lynne and John Boyce, know from more than 25 years experience, where you will catch a "Whopper"! But if your preference is simply to observe, that's OK also, and they will take you places where colourful friendly fish swim right up to your mask as if to say "welcome to my world"!

Indicative rates

From To Inclusions
$280 $460

Living aboard John and Lynne's yacht, your days adventure begins on waking and continues unabated through to after dark, when fish can be seen leaping from the water under the ship's strong search light. There are close encounters with nature as dolphin play at the bow and whales leap playfully in the distance.

Guests are welcome to take the helm, to sail the yacht, secure in the knowledge that the captain knows the location of all the reefs, so they can enjoy the sailing while being relieved of the responsibility. Your captain will, of course, be pleased to instruct on the finer points of sailing and many novices (at the beginning) conclude their holiday with confidence and assurance in their newly found ability.

Indicative rates

From To Inclusions
$280 $460

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest tropical coral reef system in the world. It comprises about 2,900 separate reefs off the coasts of the islands and the mainland, and barrier reefs facing the sea. John and Lynne have dived almost half its' length and have chosen the most spectacular locations for you to explore.

Lynne is always in the crystal clear water to guide you, ensuring all the best corals and fish are observed at close quarters, and to inform the names of the fish and corals that you are viewing. John is always nearby in the "glass-bottomed" catamaran dive tender so "non swimming" guests can view the magnificent fish and corals.

Indicative rates

From To Inclusions
$280 $460

The American gourmet food and wine magazine ""Bon Appetit"" has written to Lynne, requesting one of her recipes for publication in the USA. You can be assured that her meals will exceed expectation and surpass much of what is served in well known Australian restaurants.

Lynne has the ability to produce mouth-watering delicacies in remote areas almost instantly because her daily duties also include guiding guests on morning and afternoon excursions visiting exotic locations that are usually only seen on the "Discovery Channel"! To fulfil her duties as chef, tour guide and deckhand she has developed time saving techniques which are published her online cookbook : "Gourmet Sailing....Delicious Dining on the Great Barrier Reef and other delights". She shares the secrets of her success in easy to follow instructions that will enable you to entertain your friends and family with enviable results. Warning : do not open this book on an empty stomach else you will become instantly ravenous...

Culinary delights including uniquely Australian dishes as well as fresh seafood, combined with other tropical delicacies and complimented by an extensive range of quality and award winning Australian wines will delight the connoisseur.

Indicative rates

From To Inclusions
$280 $460

There is so much deck space where just the two of you can relax that you may feel you are the only guests aboard. Lynne & John like to think of their yacht "Sydney Sundancer" as the little sister to the QE2, and indeed previous guests have advised that their level of service for those who want a "do nothing" holiday, is similar, but most importantly they guarantee no children aboard, when they accept honeymoon cabin bookings.

By participating in any of the activities shown in other tours, your honeymoon can be as active as you wish. John and Lynne will even take you to secluded beaches where you can enjoy a private picnic and swimming.

Indicative rates

From To Inclusions
$280 $460
Gourmet Sailing Cooking School

Your hosts Lynne and John believe that fantastic food is the best accompaniment to the daily breathtaking wonders of nature experienced, so Lynne has published an online cook book (in response to decades of requests from guests) entitled "Gourmet Sailing....Delicious Dining on the Great Barrier Reef & other delights" which will give you an appreciation for both the meals enjoyed and also for the daily adventures experienced by all aboard.

Some chefs spend hours preparing difficult to follow recipes while others need a restaurant sized kitchen to cope but Lynne has the ability to produce mouth-watering delicacies in remote areas almost instantly because her daily duties also include guiding guests on morning and afternoon excursions to exotic locations that are usually only seen on the "Discovery Channel"!

To fulfil her duties as chef, tour guide and deckhand she has developed time saving techniques that she shares in easy to follow instructions that will enable you to entertain your friends and family with enviable results.

Indicative rates

From To Inclusions
$280 $460

From late June to mid September, which are by far the driest months of the year in North Queensland, the magnificent Humpback Whales migrate to the Whitsunday Islands from Antarctica to give berth to their young. Guests have regular spectacular encounters and sightings of these magnificent creatures during these months.

Indicative rates

From To Inclusions
$280 $460

Get “up close and personal” with inhabitants of the world’s largest tropical marine reserve! Your hosts, Lynne and John Boyce, personally introduce you to the best of this World Heritage listed location. Within the Marine Park are 1500 species of marine fish, 360 species of hard corals, six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles, 200 species of birds and 14,000 dugongs (manatees). You could even encounter giant huge humpback whales that migrate to the Whitsunday's each year during July to September. Capture (on film) a whale leaping from the water, a dolphin dancing at the bow or a turtle gliding by, as you sail effortlessly over crystal clear calm seas, these experiences are at your finger tips when you sail with the experts.

Indicative rates

From To Inclusions
$280 $460
Frolic With The Fish

Within the Marine Park are 1500 species of marine fish (that’s more than ten per cent of the world’s fish population), and your expert guides know where to locate friendly fish who will swim up to your mask and look you in the eye as if to say “Welcome to my world.

A trip to the Outer Great Barrier Reef, where scuba divers and snorkelers enjoy spectacular corals and other marine life that make up the world's largest living natural formation is a highlight of their holidays. They even have a “glass bottomed” catamaran dive tender so 'non swimming' guests can view the magnificent fish and corals without getting wet. John and Lynne are your key to this fantastic experience.

Indicative rates

From To Inclusions
$280 $460

When families learn together, they bond together and nothing can be more fun for families of all ages than learning about nature in the worlds’ largest marine reserve! Lynne and John will personally introduce you to amazing experiences on uninhabited islands, in the intertidal zone and under the water.

The islands abound in wildlife and Aboriginal caves complete with ancient paintings. At low tide, fringing reefs emerge revealing a multitude of marine life that Lynne will identify. Entering the magical world of colourful coral gardens and friendly fish is as close as just jumping off the back of the boat. Lynne and John offer free tuition to those who have not snorkelled before, and will guide you to the best locations underwater.

Indicative rates

From To Inclusions
$280 $460

On a live aboard holiday, you are welcomed into John and Lynne’s floating home with the same enthusiasm as they would welcome friends. They have introduced a "Special Budget Package": a discount of AUD40.00 per person per day off the full service prices (where you literally enjoy 'waiter service' all day) in return for help with the washing up and general shipboard chores. This Budget Package still incorporates all chef prepared gourmet meals but the discount is only available when you relieve Lynne and John of all 'after meal' activities. This is just like fully participating in general shipboard life and allows anyone taking advantage of the discount to participate as crew.

Indicative rates

From To Inclusions
$280 $460
Wonderful Wildlife Island Excursions

Most of the Whitsunday Islands are a truly pristine environment! The islands used to be part of mainland Australia but became separated when the sea level rose after the last ice age, so they display much of the native flora and fauna seen on mainland Australia. Lynne and John will guide you to places of rare natural beauty and to ancient aboriginal caves complete with paintings predating Captain Cook's discovery of the area in 1770. There are cathedrals of palms to discover and vistas to appreciate from most islands.

The diversity of wildlife includes 200 species of birds as well as wallabies and goannas so you will need to keep your cameras “at the ready”!

Indicative rates

From To Inclusions
$280 $460

Find What's Nearby

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Places to Visit
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Whitehaven Beach

Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Whitehaven Beach is a pristine, award winning beach on Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. Whitehaven Beach stretches over seven kilometres and boasts brilliant white silica sand that is among the purest in the world. Sink your feet into the sand and wade into the warm waves that gently lap the shore and you'll soon realise why people come here from all over the world. At the northern end of Whitehaven Beach is Hill Inlet, a stunning inlet where the tide shifts the sand and water to create a beautiful fusion of colours. Many people claim Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach are the most beautiful places they've ever seen. The lookout at Tongue Point is the best spot from which to view the swirling sands of Hill Inlet, so if you don't mind a short bushwalk, book your Whitehaven tour with an operator that visits the lookout. Whitehaven Beach can be experienced in several ways. If you're interested in a day trip there are ferries, yachts, power boats and luxury cruising yachts that depart from Airlie Beach. A variety of sailing companies also offer multi-day charters that include a memorable visit to Whitehaven Beach.

Pinnacles, The

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Arguably the best dive site in the Whitsundays, with hard corals comparing favourably to those seen on the outer Great Barrier Reef. The best dive is off the western beach, adjacent to the Woodpile and swim east at a depth of seven to 15 metres. Large coral bommies dominate the terrain, reaching nearly to the surface. Acropora corals are everywhere and huge porite corals in the shape of boulders and massive towers can also be seen. Manta rays are very common in the cooler months, May to September, as are big Maori Wrasse. This dive is not for the faint-hearted as black and white tip reef sharks are frequently seen! In the shallow water, particularly off the western beach, the coral cover is nearly solid, mostly staghorn, with only a few sandy patches. Excellent snorkelling just off the western beach too. Diving depth is three to 18 metres. Diving visibility is typically three to 15 metres.

Blue Pearl Bay

Hayman Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Blue Pearl Bay is located on the north-western side of Hayman Island in the Whitsundays Group. Popular with tourists and locals for snorkelling, diving and sightseeing, Blue Pearl Bay is known for its coral and fish life including a resident Maori Wrasse. Day tours and overnight boats visit Blue Pearl Bay for snorkelling and or scuba diving. Visitors typically swim directly off their vessel, or tender into the southern beach and enter the water from the coral beach. Diving depth is from three to 18 metres. Diving visibility is typically from three to 15 metres. Best coral cover to be seen in shallow water off the southern beach. Scattered bommies with silty sand bottom at five to 18 metres, dropping off to coral rubble and silty sand below 18 metres. Best dive off southern beach, near Castle Rock. Shallow coral ledge (two to three metres) dropping off as descent wall to 10 to 15 metres. Wall has narrow canyons and caves making for great exploration. Strong corals near Castle Rock have some striking gorgonian fans at eight to 15 metres as well as whip corals. The shallow waters are predominately staghorn coral. Good protection from all winds except north-westerlies.

Butterfly Bay - Hook Island

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
A popular bareboat anchorage, Butterfly Bay is situated on the northern side of Hook Island. There are limited public moorings and snorkelling can be enjoyed along the bay edge or just off the beach. Offering coral outcrops with shallow walls, the bay is populated by many small, colourful reef fish species. The best of the bommies is found in the centre of the bay, although it may be difficult to locate at high tide. Be wary of tidal currents when moving towards the centre of the bay, away from the edges. Visibility: 2 - 10 metres. Diving depth: 5 - 12 metres. Bottom: coral cover with large patches of coral rubble and silty sand.

Ngaro Cultural Site

Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
The Ngaro people have walked this land for over 9,000 years. Protected from the elements in a once-hidden cave, Ngaro artwork adorns the fragile rock surface. The track begins deep inside Nara Inlet on Hook Island — an excellent overnight anchorage. Short and initially steep, the stepped track leads up the side of the inlet to a viewing platform at the cave’s entrance. Allow at least an hour to immerse yourself in the Ngaro cultural stories of the site.

Maureens Cove, Hook Island

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Situated on the northern side of Hook Island, Maureen's Cove is a popular anchorage with sailors and divers alike. There are two dive sites at Maureen's Cove. At the back of the cove, on the western side of the beach is a series of bommies starting at 12 - 15 metres and rising to within three metres of the surface, parallel to the shoreline. Gullies and shallow caves make for an interesting dive, as does the abundance of medium-sized fish life. Along the Eastern edge is another good dive site known locally as 'Boulders'. Plate corals and other acropora dominate the shallow ledge which drops off as a small wall to 10 - 12 metres. This is also the best spot for snorkelling. The best corals, including large gorgonian fans, are near the point but beware of strong currents. Visibility: 3 - 15 metres. Diving depth: 3 - 15 metres. Bottom: large coral bommies and sandy bottom at back of cove. Good shallow coral cover with coral rubble and silty sand on the eastern side of the cove. Camping is permitted on the beach at Maureen's Cove, National Park camping permits are required.

Langford Island

Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Langford Island, near Hayman Island in the northern Whitsundays is a popular spot with sailors, divers and snorkellers. Many of the bareboats and crewed sailing boats will anchor near Langford Island. Langford Island is relatively small, but features a long sand spit that all but disappears at high tide. This is an excellent spot for a picnic, sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling. The best diving is found on the north-western end of the beach where scattered bommies offer an interesting maze to explore and there are a few shallow walls at the eastern end of the island. The majority of fish life is small, but abundant. Expect reasonable protection from all but the strongest wind conditions and moderate tidal currents at all but slack tides. Snorkellers will enjoy the ability to snorkel straight off the length of the beach, with the best areas to explore being closest to the island.

Luncheon Bay Dive Site

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Located at the northern end of Hook Island, in the Whitsundays, Luncheon Bay is a lovely dive site where you can explore bommies, caves and crevasses in depths to 20 metres. While the visibility in the Whitsundays is not always the best, the corals and variety of marine life found in this large bay will impress. Every rocky outcrop is covered in corals, including beautiful soft corals, black coral trees, gorgonians and sea whips. Reef fish abound, but divers will also encounter trevally, Maori wrasse, gropers, sweetlips, moray eels, coral trout and quite a few nudibranchs. But also keep an eye out for whitetip reef sharks, turtles and the occasional manta ray.

Luncheon Bay

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Luncheon Bay is situated on the northern side of Hook Island and features pristine coral and superb marine life. Luncheon Bay is popular with beginner divers thanks to its easy beach entry option. Intro divers can enter the water gradually from the beach, allowing plenty of time to become accustomed to the dive gear and the water. Luncheon Bay has some great swim-throughs for scuba divers and the beautiful 'tunnel of love’, which is an underwater canyon. If you would like to 'find Nemo', Luncheon Bay is a likely spot, just ask the friendly dive instructors if they can help you in your hunt. Also a good place to spot rays hiding in the sand or turtles feeding on the reef. Diving depth is three to 15 metres. Diving visibility is typically three to 15 metres. Good shallow coral cover to eight to ten metres, coral rubble and silty sand at depth. Large bommie on eastern point is of interest. Interesting terrain along the foreshore down to 10 metres, best along eastern side of bay with coral gullies and ledges. Divers and snorkellers can expect to see large fish including wrasse, sweetlip and red emperor. Open to northerly winds.

Lindeman Islands National Park

Lindeman Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Lindeman Islands National Park is part of the world famous Whitsunday islands and Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Aboriginal people referred to the main island, Lindeman, as Yara-kimba, the place of snapper-bream fish. The fourteen islands of the park feature a variety of vegetation types including rainforest in sheltered pockets, open forest in drier areas, grasslands and wetlands. Well-maintained tracks traverse Lindeman and Seaforth islands. While water is usually clearer on the northern end of outer islands, snorkelling over reef flats at high tide can still be rewarding. From May to September look for humpback whales. View sunsets over Neck Bay and admire spectacular vistas from Lindeman's Mount Oldfield. Birdwatchers will delight in more than 90 bird species that inhabit or visit the islands. Camping is permitted on three islands. Camping fees apply and bookings are essential. Book in advance for school holidays. Take water and a fuel stove. Check restrictions on activities such as spearfishing, collecting and fishing.
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Note: Information on listed products and services are provided by the operator and were correct at the time of publishing. Rates are indicative based on the minimum and maximum available prices of products and services. Please visit the operator’s website for further information. All prices quoted are in Australian dollars (AUD).