Cheap Sailing Trips in the Whitsundays

Whether you're travelling from a chilly European winter or just want to get out of the city rat race, Northern Queensland is a tropical paradise like no other. The Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the natural world, hugs the eastern coast for over 3000km, offering some of the best snorkelling and diving sites in the world – sure beats sitting at a desk all day or tackling peak hour traffic. The Whitsundays are a group of 74 islands dotting the Queensland coast, each boasting their own unique beauty. But you won't see much of these Australian treasures from dry land. By far the best way to explore the reef is setting sail by boat.

Hiring a yacht or catamaran is the perfect way to hop from island to island while going at your own pace. Although the area is one of the most popular sailing destinations in the world the vast stretches of crystal clear water ensure the feeling of absolute freedom and seclusion from the outside world.

Whitsundays

Avast Mateys!

If your only experience on the water involves pool toys or boogie boards, the idea of charting a yacht through the Whitsunday islands may seem a little daunting. But fear not – travellers don't have to be seafaring, shanty-singing sailors to enjoy the benefits of sightseeing by boat. Package deals including a fully crewed boat offer excellent value for money with the minimum amount of stress. Not only will an experienced crew take the helm, they also know the very best dive and snorkelling sites not to mention local knowledge about the most breathtaking beaches.

To make your trip even more hassle-free most packages also include food; from BBQs, seafood, salads and snacks (plus BYO alcohol), you won't need to worry about refuelling your energy stores before diving back into the water. Packages range in price but cheap, 4-5 night budget sailing trips are not as expensive as you may think, and remember, the price includes all that delicious food!

All Aboard For A Bareboat Adventure

If you're really watching your pennies and want to save a bit extra, consider embarking on a truly adventurous trip by manning your own vessel. A "bareboat" (i.e. a boat without a professional crew) is a cheap and cost-effective way to see the best the Whitsundays has to offer without blowing the budget.

No formal boating qualifications are necessary to charter a bareboat; however you (and at least one other crew member) will need to attend a thorough briefing before you set sail to cover things like mooring, safety procedures and the GPS system. The last thing you want is your holiday ruined by having to bail out of a sinking ship thanks to Surprise Rock (yup, it's a real name for a very real bunch of rocks!). Not only will you (literally) learn the ropes of sailing, you'll also pick up plenty of nautical slang to impress your landlubber friends with back home.

Islands In the Sun

If you haven't quite found your sea legs there is no shortage of stunning islands to drop anchor at and explore. Hamilton Island, the largest inhabited island in the Whitsundays group, is a great place to restock and recharge your batteries (as well as the boat's). Loved up couples can duck off to a romantic hideaway, while larger groups can take ashore a scrumptious picnic package – and don't forget the cricket stumps/soccer ball/volleyball net.

Cars aren't driven on the island so the best way to get around is to hire a golf buggy (note that most hotels offer buggy hire as part of their accommodation packages). Hey, if you can charter a yacht, a golf buggy should be no problem!

For those seeking a little more adventure, nearby Daydream Island is a thrill-seekers paradise. Between kayaking, croquet, parasailing, coconut bowls, rainforest walks, mini golf, fish feeding, scavenger hunts, jetskiing and more, you'd be hard-pressed to spend a dull moment on Daydream Island. Or, if you want to take it down a notch, Hayman Island offers luxurious spa packages to relax and unwind, a range of dining options to satisfy the gourmet, or just grab a cocktail and enjoy the sunset.

Whatever the Weather, Whatever the Budget

Regardless of the time of year the Whitsundays boasts a constant tropical climate (no need to pack your winter woollies) and sailing trips are the ideal way to soak up all that sunshine. Even if you're travelling on the cheap, the islands offer an abundance of natural (i.e. free) wonders, from stunning reefs to picture perfect beaches. There's nothing quite like feeling the sea breeze on a yacht as you whip along tropical waters. The freedom of being able to stop and take a dip whenever the moment takes you will have you wishing you could travel by sea every day of the year – now we'd like to see you do that in peak hour traffic!

 
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