in April and May
The islands lie just off the Queensland coast and offer calm and protected waters and a huge selection of anchorages. You have access to over 90 different islands in the National Park all fringed with coral reef. Whitehaven Beach is regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches and a must see for all travellers in this area and is easily accessed by boat from a protected anchorage a short walk away. Along with the golden sandy beaches that you would expect, the Whitsundays boast unparalleled fringing reefs, making them a delight for snorkelers and diving enthusiasts. Tropical fish and turtles are abundant, and frequent sightings of dolphins and humpback whales are only a few of the marvels you are likely to experience here.
Summers are warm with frequent rain showers and winters are said by many to be the perfect climate – warm by day and cool by night. All the major central islands lie within 2 to 15 nautical miles of the mainland – from 1 to 3 hours sailing from Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island. They are all within sight of each other, separated by distances from about 0.5 to 5 Nautical Miles. The lesser frequented southern islands extend some thirty miles off shore and are up to 15 miles apart. Delightful secluded mainland bays are within 2 hours cruising north of Airlie Beach. Navigating about is therefore extremely easy, usually only by visual means, guided by the supplied charts and reference book – 100 Magic Miles. Rarely is it necessary to plot and steer a compass course. Situated on the same latitude as Tahiti, you can expect sunny tropical weather all year round, with temperatures seldom below 20°C even in the winter months. The South-east trade winds usually blow slightly stronger from March to May at about 20 knots. Lighter E-NE breezes September-December. July is the coolest time, January the warmest. Good anchorages are plentiful and varied. This is a great trip for sailing newcomers and families. You can swim in the Whitsunday waters but jellyfish are an issue and we recommend wearing a full length lycra suit (available locally) during the higher risk period (October – May) which reduces the risk of stings and is great sun protection too.
International access to the Whitsundays is via connecting flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Cairns International airports. Daily domestic flights fly in to Proserpine on the mainland coast if you’re embarking from Airlie Beach and to Hamilton Island if you’re embarking from Hamilton Island. If you decide to embark from Hamilton, it’s best to order provisions in advance as options on the islands are very limited.
The Latesail team are all experienced sailors who can help you find the perfect charter. Get in touch and we are happy to provide a personal service.
Call us on: 01227 479900