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#GoBareboating to the Whitsundays’ best kept secrets - tips and hotspots only the locals know

Whitsunday Sailing - @thesailingyogi

Local knowledge is a wonderful thing, and when you’re travelling there’s nothing quite like meeting someone ‘in the know’ who’s willing to share the area’s secrets and tips.

That’s why here at #GoBareboating we’re about to give you the keys to the Whitsundays’ hidden gems.

We hope you enjoy these 5 recommendations based on our experience of living in paradise, but shhhh… you might want to keep them to yourselves!

Photo credit: @thesailingyogi

Magical May

We’re often asked when the best time to visit the Whitsundays is.

The answer is any time but each season has its perks.

If you’re coming for the sailing the tradewind season from June to September is best.

If it’s wildlife you want to see, you can’t beat the humpback whale migration, also happening at that time.

Sun worshippers will enjoy the high season from October to the end of January.

In February the waterfalls begin to flow and the islands’ mountains turn a lush green, watered by the monsoon showers.

The locals’ secrets however are the shoulder seasons, from April through to about June, and September to November’s end.

May in particular is a month of magic.

The days are warm but not too hot, the nights are balmy and the sunrises and sunsets have to be seen to be believed.

Hot Tip: The best sunset anchorages are in the western bays of Hayman, Hook and Whitsunday islands as well as at ‘Bali Hai’ and Langford Reef.

Whitehaven Beach & Hill Inlet

Photo credit: @thewickedhunt

Hidden hotspots

Think of the Whitsundays and you immediately picture Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach.

No bareboat charter to the region would be complete without visiting these iconic destinations, but locals know there are hidden gems that should also be on your bucket list.

Tiny Esk Island boasts two moorings in a westward facing bay overlooking Tongue Point and Whitehaven Beach.

You’ll either have this place to yourself or be sharing it with only one other boat.

It’s an idyllic little location from where you can watch the sunset over one of Australia’s most iconic spots.

Meanwhile in northerly winds some of the area’s most beautiful anchorages are opened up.

Turtle and Chance bays on the south coast of Whitsunday Island are a paradise on earth.

Enjoy a seaplane ride from Chance Bay or take the walking track to Whitehaven Beach.

When you return there’s a choice of two gorgeous beaches to relax on or take a dip.

East of Whitsunday Island is Border Island with its superb fringing reef and brand new walking track, and south of the main group are Lindeman and Shaw.

Somewhat off the beaten track these lesser-visited destinations offer great rewards for those who take the time to add them to the itinerary.

Hot Tip: If you’re planning to sail a little further afield we recommend a charter of 7-10 nights.

Chance Bay, Whitsundays

Photo credit: @_markfitz

Ancient history

You don’t have to travel to Australia’s Red Centre to immerse yourself in the story of our nation’s first peoples or visit Indigenous art.

Tuck in to one of the Whitsundays’ most secure anchorages at Nara Inlet and dinghy across to the caves where the region’s Ngaro people once lived.

Interpretive signage and interactive displays have transformed this site into an experience you’ll never forget.

At the push of a button you can listen to the stories of elders past and present before climbing the pathway to their paintings on the walls of the caves.

Steeped in ancient history, this fjord-like inlet resembles a land that time forgot – a Jurassic Park of the Whitsundays or Peter Pan’s Neverland.

Hot Tip: Make friends with the resident cockatoo who will most likely visit your boat.

Nara Inlet, Whitsundays

Photo credit: @shazatsea

Great wildlife moments

Who doesn’t want to swim with a turtle?

Here in the Whitsundays that’s exactly what many of our charterers get to do.

The Whitsundays is also a place where you can swim with a kaleidoscope of coloured reef fish and giant Maori Wrasse.

Head to Manta Ray Bay, Luncheon Bay and Maureen’s Cove to see what you might find!

Hot Tip: The two moorings at the southern end of Stonehaven Bay can be very popular with our resident turtles.

Whitsundays marine life

Photo credit: @whitsundaysphotography

The beauty of bareboating

Of course there’s one other secret the locals keep and that’s about bareboating itself.

These days you can experience the Whitsundays in a variety of ways, from fast day trips to group tours, but there’s arguably nothing better than being the master and commander of your own ship.

On a bareboat you set the itinerary and the pace.

You can escape the crowds and enjoy the highlights long after the day-trippers have left.

Where else can you sleep under the stars with a different viewpoint every night?

Try bareboating once and we guarantee you’ll be hooked.

The Whitsundays by night

Photo credit: @reubennutt

The next step…

This list of locals’ secrets is just the start of many we could share, so why not ask us for some special recommendations when you book your bareboating trip.

For more information or to book a charter holiday with any one of our 5 member companies visit

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