SAILING THE WHITSUNDAYS
The Whitsundays are made up of 74 islands spread over almost 300km of pristine Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. As well as being the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the spectacular beauty and perfect weather of the region have seen it become a favourite with the boating crowd, and whether you want to take a Hobie Cat for a leisurely splash, sleep on a sloop in a secluded bay, or race maxi yachts for thrills, the Whitsundays offer something for everyone.
Whitsunday sailing options come in many forms, from crewed catamarans to private rentals, and there are dozens of outfits that will curate your holiday to your every want and whim. If you feel like joining a handful of others on a multi-day adventure covering the length of the archipelago, that's easily arranged. Want to sail yourself around the Whitsundays? Not a problem at all. Don't know the first thing about the life aquatic but keen to learn? Hands-on live aboard classes will short-track you to sailing mastery in no time.
It's not just the nautical side of things that appeals to those who head to sail the Whitsundays. The majority of the islands are uninhabited, meaning many of the isolated beaches are untouched ribbons of bright white sand flanked by incredible coral reefs and crystal clear turquoise water.
Bush walking and adventure abounds once you go ashore, fantastic snorkelling and swimming in the various lagoons and inlets lies just off the sand, and the fishing once you venture into deeper waters is just incredible.
Should you wish to venture to some of the larger islands on your travels you'll find accommodation ranging from camping to upmarket resorts and eco retreats, as well as all the activities you can handle. There is everything from golf to four-wheel-driving, Segway rainforest tours to sea kayaking, jet boating, skydiving, stand-up paddle boarding and aeroplane joy flights.
If you're keen to sail the seas then there's no finer place on the planet to scratch that itch than the Whitsunday Islands. A two-hour flight from Sydney takes you from the hustle and bustle of Australia's biggest city to a magical paradise that needs to be seen to be believed, and from the comfort of your own boat you'll be soaking it all up from the most unique angle of them all.