Whitsundays Bareboating Infographic

With islands aplenty and things to see and do galore, holiday options in the Whitsundays are endless. However, if sailing is on top of the 'must-do' list, it's a top spot for just that! Whether you're an experienced sailor or it's your first time at sea, check out our guide to Bareboat Sailing in the Whitsundays for some top tips!

Whitsundays Bareboating Infographic

Be Your Own Captain: A Guide to Bareboat Sailing in the Whitsundays

First things first - Here are the basics

  • A bareboat is a boat you can hire and sail or motor yourself
  • No license is required, but boating experience and common sense is recommended!
  • You're the skipper and your family and friends are the crew
  • Enjoy the freedom of navigating

Why is Whitsundays sailing rated amongst the best?

It puts a big tick on the bucket list
  • Sleeping under the stars on top of the Great Barrier Reef
It's safe for you and the environment
  • The waters are some of the safest, most protected and highly regulated in the southern hemisphere
  • All boats are eco-accredited
It's convenient
  • Operators are centrally located close to Airlie Beach or on Hamilton Island
Spoilt for choice with things to see and do
  • 50+ approved locations to drop anchor
  • 400+ types of coral and 1500+ types of marine species
  • 74 islands to sail around, 6 of them National Parks

Did you know?

  • There are more beds on boats in the Whitsundyas than in all the hotel rooms in Airlie Beach

How to get here?

  • Fly in and sail around

Meet the fleet

  • Sailing Catamarans, Sailing Yachts, Power Catamarans and Power Cruisers
All boats are fully equipped with:
  • Kitchens ready for meal preparation
  • Fresh linen and towels
  • Safety equipment
  • Tender (to head ashore at your heart's content)
  • 2-way radio
At an extra charge:
  • Transfers or security parking
  • Island pick-up or drop-off
  • Pre and post accommodation
  • Food, drinks and snacks
  • Sail guides
  • Fishing, scuba diving gear, paddleboards, kayaks and snorkelling equipment
  • Helicopter, seaplane flights, day trips and tours

Before your adventure begins...

  • Know what you'd like to see and do
  • Let the briefer help plot your passage
  • Arrive a day prior and stay on the vessel to allow time to familiarise yourself and stock it with provisions before your briefing

Safety is key!

  • Rest assured we've got you covered before you set sail
  • Boat operation, handling and boat systems training
  • Navigation, weather conditions and suitable anchorages
  • On-the-water assistance is only a radio call away!

Jaw-dropping ways to experience The Great Barrier Reef

  • Camp out under the stars
  • Snorkel over the soft corals and fringing reef systems
  • Witness the spectacular sunrises from a stand up paddleboard or kayak
  • Have a BBQ breakfast on the back of your private vessel with 360 degree views
  • Keep your eye out for the abundant marine, bird and wildlife in the area
  • Take a bush walk to Hill Inlet lookout
  • Take a scenic flight out to Heart Reef
  • Find a secluded beach for a picnic lunch
  • Head ashore and relax on world famous Whitehaven Beach 
  • Wet a line and catch dinner*
*Check permitted fishing zones within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in your initial briefing

Talk like a sailor

  • Aye Aye - reply to a command to indicate its understood and will be carried out
  • Thar she blows! - whale sighting from the boat
  • Shipshape - cleaned up and under control
  • Fathom - unit of length
  • Scuttlebutt - an open cask of drinking water
  • Avast Ye - pay attention
  • Ahoy me hearties - hello my friends
  • Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen - pull up the anchor and sail and let's get going
  • Seadog - an old or experienced sailor
  • Landlubber - an unseasoned sailor or someone unfamiliar with the sea