A hypnotic blend of land and sea, postcard-perfect scenery, and world-class diving
Situated in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia, the Whitsunday Islands encompass everything you would expect paradise to be. This collection of 74 wondrous islands is surrounded by the tropical waters of the Coral Sea, luring divers from around the globe with its crystalline, reflective waters and renowned diving sites.
As you cruise between the islands, you’ll be immersed in gorgeous, unspoiled white sand beaches, iconic landscapes including Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet, and the perfectly-shaped natural formation of Heart Reef. Named by Captain Cook, the islands were discovered in 1770, yet, to this day, remain largely uninhabited, with only eight of the islands offering resorts.
Underwater exploration is among the best you’ll find anywhere in the world. Swim, snorkel, and scuba dive with thousands of exotic tropical fish and the legendary corals of the Great Barrier Reef. Observe local wildlife in its natural habitat and spot an array of marine life, including humpback whales, dolphins, turtles, and dugongs. There is no limit to what you’ll discover in this magnificent haven.
With direct commercial and private flights transporting travelers from all over the world, the view from above allows you to experience the awe-inspiring landscape even before you set foot on land and board your superyacht.
To take advantage of the best weather for superyacht travel, plan your trip between May and September, when rainfall is low, the water is a refreshing 73ºF, and there are 11 hours of sunlight per day. Your journey will be filled with warm, sunny days, idyllic surroundings, and pure bliss.
Fly into Hamilton Island and board your luxury yacht. Stop in to Hamilton Island Yacht Club for some delicious local cuisine, or for a more upscale experience, request a private table at the exclusive, adult-only Qualia Resort. Return to your home on the water for a cruise around the island, stopping at Perseverance Reef or Dent Island to kick off your adventure with a refreshing swim in the glistening water.
Make way towards Neck Bay and prepare for tranquil solitude at a gorgeous anchorage surrounded by mirror-calm, brilliantly-blue waters. Between the islands of Shaw and Lindemanm, snorkeling along the coast is the preferred recreational activity, where schools of diverse, brightly-colored fish and stunning coral formations are everywhere beneath the surface. Walk across the bay on the “neck” and leave your footprints in the sand of an isolated beach that’s blanketed with unique shells and pieces of coral.
The Narrows & Cid Island
Head west towards Long Island Sound and continue on to Cid Island, a naturally-sheltered anchorage where fringing reef is exposed at low tide and offers amazing snorkeling at higher tides. Kayak through the mangroves before settling onboard your yacht to enjoy a meal and absorb the remarkable sights.
Whitsunday & Hook Island
A short hike up to Whitsunday Peak reveals striking panoramic views over Cid Harbour. Return to sea level and cruise around to the west coast of Whitsunday Island to make use of your yacht’s water toys, or take a more thrilling jaunt on jet skis. Continue to Hook Island, where the Macona and Nara inlets offer gorgeous, sheltered anchorages, a majestic fresh-water rock pool, a stunning waterfall, and Aboriginal rock art.
Langford Island & the Outer Reef
Langford Island is relatively small, but features an elongated sand spit that makes an excellent spot for a beach barbecue or picnic, sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling. Next, explore Butterfly Bay, where you’ll find excellent snorkeling and diving, and namesake butterfly habitants on the bay’s beach at certain times of year. Adventure-seekers can take advantage of the opportunity to head to the Outer Reef, where rendezvous diving can be arranged with a dive guide.
Hardy Reef & Hook Reef
This area is known for world-class snorkeling and thrilling dives off dramatic drop-offs, where you’ll find turtles, reef sharks, and barracuda. Take to the air with a helicopter tour and spot the famous Heart Reef from high above.
Dumbell Island & Whitehaven Beach
At Dumbbell, you could spend hours exploring the beauty of the underwater world, snorkeling among rainbow-like reefs and bustling marine life. Venture ashore and hike up Hill Inlet for unforgettable views of the magical world below, with marbleized swirls of brilliant blue waters and sun-bleached white sand. Don’t miss Whitehaven Beach, a pristine, award-winning beach that boasts powder-white silica sand that is among the purest in the world. Finally, cruise back to Hamilton Island, where you’ll bid farewell to your captain and crew and leave your yacht, but take with you lifelong memories of an amazing journey.