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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Mothar Mountain Rockpools

Gympie, Gympie Area
Free Entry
Looking for a relaxing, sheltered place to while away some hours, you can't go past the Mothar Mountain Rock Pools. Located in the Woondum National Park, about a 20 minutes, 16 kilometres drive from Gympie's Central Business District, the Mothar Mountain Rock Pools day area provides the perfect family friendly location for a barbecue or picnic. Tables, wood fire barbecue, water and public amenities are all provided for your use on site. On a hot day immerse yourself into the pools to cool off. Set amongst a mixture of tall Eucalypts and rainforest you can take the opportunity to relax and unwind to the sound of water gently flowing over ancient granite outcrops. Or if you are feeling more energetic, enjoy one of the nature walks. There is a short 500 metre (20 minute) forest walk or a rather more serious 3.5 kilometre (2 hour) walk to explore.

Dugong Sanctuary - Clairview

Clairview, Isaac Area
Free Entry
In 1997, the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Council established Clairview (a small beach town approximately 1.5 hours south of Mackay) as a dugong sanctuary. Often dugongs can be spotted when they surface to breathe from the shore, or in the water, when in a kayak, boat or other recreational vessel - so keep an eye out for these majestic creatures! Be sure to slow down your vessel in areas dugongs are known to inhabit, don't litter and help us protect these magnificent animals. The fully protected dugong is a large herbivorous mammal which spends its entire life at sea. It has paddle-like forelimbs, no hind limbs or dorsal fin, and its tail is broad and horizontally flattened. Adults grow between 2.5-3.5 metres long and weight about 230-240 kilograms. For more information, visit Isaac Regional Council's web site.

Condamine Gorge '14 River Crossing'

Killarney, Southern Downs Area
Free Entry
Accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicles only, the Condamine Gorge's '14 River Crossings' track is appropriately named after the 14 river crossings you have to make exploring this beautiful part of the Gorge. During normal conditions the crossings of the Condamine River are relatively shallow. However, during wet weather the river will rise rapidly making it impassable. It is advisable to check conditions with the Warwick Visitor Information Centre or Bureau of Meteorology prior to visiting. The Condamine Gorge is home to a number of endangered species, please respect this precious environment. Note that private properties either side of the track may not be fenced, so please keep to the road and creek area and observe the 'no trespassing' signs. To commence the track from Boonah, start opposite the Police Station, travel out from Boonah along Rathdowny Road and turn right at Carney's Creek Road. Travel out approximately 12 kilometres to cross Teviot Brook floodway and then turn right to The Head. The low road is Condamine Gorge. This track is only accessible when the weather is dry, take the high road when river is flowing. From Killarney, turn left into Condamine Gorge just after the abattoir.

Heart Reef

Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Heart Reef, in the Great Barrier Reef of the Whitsundays, is a stunning composition of coral that has naturally formed into the shape of a heart. Located in Hardy Reef, Heart Reef is best experienced from the air by helicopter or seaplane, as visitors are unable to snorkel or dive there due it's protected status. Many tour companies will combine a scenic flight over Heart Reef with other breathtaking spots in the Whitsundays, including Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet. A certain highlight of any visit to the Whitsundays. Heart Reef was discovered in 1975 by one of Air Whitsunday's pilots and is now an internationally-recognised attraction of the Whitsundays and features on many postcards and brochures promoting the Whitsunday region and the Great Barrier Reef. Many an amateur photographer has been amazed by the fact that their own photos look just like the brochures! Heart Reef has been the site of many proposals and declarations of love over the years. If planning on making the ultimate romantic gesture, let your pilot know your plans and they'll be able to help you with some extra flight time over the famous icon.

Mount Fox

Ingham, Hinchinbrook Area
Free Entry
Located south-west of Ingham, Mount Fox was created by a violent volcanic explosion about 100000 years ago. In the explosion, a lava flow 10 metres thick spewed from the southern end of the crater and chunks of molten magma were thrown out of the volcano's vent. Today, the well formed crater, about 10 metres deep, is covered with sparse grasses and stunted trees amongst the eucalypt woodland environment. The pink and long-fruited bloodwoods are common in this area and vine thicket is found in a steep gully on the southern slopes. Mount Fox's tussock grass slopes shelter a number of small animals. On a cool day in the winter months, skinks and other reptiles can be seen basking on the volcanic bombs. During the hot summer months, the grasses provide protection from the sun and are ideal nesting places for ground-dwelling birds like the little button quail. After sunset, rufous bettongs (small wallaby-type mammals) emerge to feed on herbs and grasses. The large wing span of a wedge-tailed eagle can also be seen, as this bird of prey soars above the Mount Fox crater.
Free Entry
Approximately ten kilometres from the Kennedy Highway on Tully Falls Road, Ravenshoe the upper car park is a shaded spot to leave your vehicle. You will need personal insect repellent for the walk to the waterfalls then return to your vehicle - the most rewarding way to complete your walk. Then proceed further south to Tully Gorge Lookout over the 275 metre gorge, your best chance for falling water is just after a storm in the "Green Season".

Wallabies on the Beach at Cape Hillsborough

Cape Hillsborough, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Cape Hillsborough National Park, approximately 45 minutes north of Mackay, is where you'll find rainforest meets the shoreline, volcanic headlands, eucalypt forests home to koalas and kookaburras and prehistoric rock formations. Cape Hillsborough Beach, also know as Casuarina Beach, provides one of the most iconic Australian photo backdrops, the 'Roo on the beach' at sunrise. Wallabies and kangaroos scour the morning tide for mangrove seed pods, seaweed and coral sand dollars. Enjoy the sunrise as wild marsupials bound up and down the beach. Remember however, that these are wild animals and should be treated as such. Please do not feed the kangaroos and wallabies and ensure to keep a safe distance at all times.

Kinkuna Section

Bundaberg, Bundaberg Area
Kinkuna section of Burrum Coast National Park preserves a wilderness area of coastal vegetation and wide, unspoilt beaches, just 30 kilometres south of Bundaberg. The Burrum Coast National Park which also incorporates both Woodgate and Burrum River sections is part of the Great Sandy Region, of which Fraser Island is best known. Kinkuna offers a true coastal wilderness experience for camping or hiking. Sand tracks lead through the predominantly flat landscape dense with vegetation and along the oceanfront. Kinkuna section is renowned for its springtime wildflower displays. The vegetation of coastal heath and banksias grows in poor, sandy soils either swampy or very dry and as is often the case, these types of areas put on a spectacular wildflower show - where it seems every bush and tree is covered in pale blossoms of white, pink and yellow hues. August to October is the peak time to view these wildflowers here, in Woodgate section and also just to the north at the Coonarr Wildflower Reserve. Kangaroos and wallabies, emus and abundant birdlife are features of the park.
Free Entry
Located just 20 minutes from the Ipswich Central Business District and 35 minutes' from Brisbane Central Business District, White Rock - Spring Mountain Conservation Estate features the distinctive, sculptured, rocky outcrops of White Rock and Spring Mountain. Covering over 2,500ha of regionally significant bushland, the Estate also features extensive forested ridges, escarpments and valleys that are home to an amazing array of plant and wildlife species. Visitors can enjoy the full gamut of outdoor activities including hiking, bird-watching, horse riding (bring your own horses), mountain bike riding and nature study. For the bushwalker there's everything from a leisurely 200 metre walk to the more challenging 19 kilometre round trip trail with most of the trails are suitable for hiking and mountain bike riding. If you're on horseback, then the Yaddamun Trail is perfect. The entry to the Estate is the Paperbark Flats Picnic Area, at the end of School Road in Redbank Plains. Amenities on site include toilets, picnic facilities and horse float parking. Don't forget to take a hat, sunscreen and drinking water. Visit the website for trail updates and to download the trail guide.

Coongarra Rock

Biggenden, North Burnett Area
Free Entry
For Four Wheel Drive enthusiasts, Coongarra Rock and Falls provide an opportunity to explore rocky outcrops, caves, rock pools and natural vegetation. It is possible to climb the rock but should only be attempted by fit and experienced bushwalkers. It is situated 24 kilometres south of Biggenden and Coalstoun Lakes. Lords Road is the turn off to Coongarra Rock. The road goes to within a short distance of this spectacular outcrop in a dry scrubby State Forest. The road to the falls branches off the road to Coongarra Rock and goes within walking distance of the top of the falls. The roads should only be attempted by Four Wheel Drive vehicles. These roads can be dangerous after heavy rain and care should be taken at all times.
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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).