Sailing the Whitsunday Islands is all the buzz for travelers planning to travel down the East coast. It sounded fantastic! I stayed in Tropical North Queensland (and Cairns) for several weeks before I made the journey down the East Coast, many of my friends didn’t. Due to these circumstances, I had the luxury to be able to inquire how much they enjoyed their sailing trip? The common answer consisted of a complaint that just because you put a sail up, doesn’t mean you are actually sailing.
I grew up spending significant parts of my summers on a small sailboat. Based on the feedback I received, I could easily conclude if this was the reality of touring the Whitsunday Islands on a sailboat, I would find it disappointing. “Real sailing” would be dependent on the weather while you were out. While you can plan trips to stop at certain places that are generally achievable, you may have to use a motor to get there. Furthermore, planning any trip that depends on wind power means you’ll want to be mindful of the tides.
I don’t know how local sailboat tour operators plan for the tides. It is possible they simply change departure times or the order of the stops or the departure times as to not be going against the tide, or that in this part of the world tides are not significant enough to plan your trip around. I decided against a sailing adventure. Instead I booked something a little more consistent. I booked a high speed eco-tour adventure.
Enjoyed local wildlife with some relaxing snorkeling on the beautiful Great Barrier Reef.
We were provided with lunch to enjoy on the stunning Whitehaven Beach where many people took a casual swim or stroll along the beach. The 100% silica sand is also noteworthy if you’d like to polish any jewelry you might have or just walk around and hear it squeak.
Our captain and guides were on the lookout for wildlife as we adventured around and we stopped a few times for turtles and once for a pod of dolphins (who promptly left as they had a baby with them). It was indicated often the dolphins are more social and will sometimes swim right up to the boat. Towards the close of our day our captain had a bit of fun creating swells for our ‘sister boat’ to go over and going over their wake making for an exhilarating time.