If you’ve been watching social media lately, you might have seen the words ‘Wonders of the Whitsundays’ flash across your screens.
Here at #GoBareboating, we’re very proud to be part of this major destination campaign, in conjunction with Tourism Whitsundays and Tourism and Events Queensland, and alongside some of the region’s premier tourism operators.
So what are the ‘Wonders of the Whitsundays’?
We might be biased, but these are our top 5, and the ones you’ll experience if you go bareboating with any one of our member companies this year.
1. Unique experiences
No two bareboating holidays are ever the same.
You choose the vessel that’s right for you and you bring your crew.
Your itinerary is based on your interests and amount of available time.
You chart your course and move with the weather – which really is beautiful one day and perfect the next, for most of the year.
Parts of your trip will be planned, and parts will surprise you – like that golden sunset you weren’t expecting, or the moment the day trippers disappeared, and you realised you had a beach in paradise all to yourselves.
On no other holiday and in no other place, will you experience the true beauty of boating, like you will in the Whitsundays.
That is why going bareboating around our 74 islands is, in our opinion, the number one ‘Wonder of the Whitsundays’.
Photos: @guillaumecornetfilms & @rekahuszti
2. Whitsunday wildlife
Nature abounds in the Whitsundays and is undoubtedly one of the region’s wonders.
Whether you look to the skies for the abundant bird life, or the water for the array of tropical fish and marine mammals, our national parks don’t disappoint.
The Whitsundays is well known for its turtles and manta rays, but one of our annual highlights is the migration of humpback whales.
In the ‘winter’ months of June through to mid-September, there is no better way to meet these creatures than by cruising the Whitsunday waters on a bareboat.
Witnessing behaviour like breaching and spy-hopping firsthand is a great privilege, but something we can almost guarantee at the right time of year.
3. The Great Barrier Reef
It’s one of the wonders of the world, and being in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, clearly makes this a Wonder of the Whitsundays.
Surrounded by fringing reefs, the rainforest-clad slopes of our islands plunge into a kaleidoscope of colour and life below the surface of the sea.
Far from the mass market reef experiences of tourists on mother ships, bareboating is a means of getting up close and personal with the barrier reef.
Moorings at many of the island anchorages are conveniently placed so close to coral you can swim to the formations from the back of your boat.
Best of all you won’t be jostling with a hundred other people to see the turtles go by – it’s most often just you and your crew.
4. World class beaches
You’ve seen the brochures and the online images, but nothing beats Whitehaven Beach in the flesh.
Those silica sands really are as white as you think they’re going to be, proving the Whitsundays is a destination you don’t need to Photoshop.
Those swirls at Hill Inlet won’t disappoint, when you head to the first-class lookouts from Tongue Bay.
It’s no wonder this beach makes the cut in the world’s top 10 lists year after year, and that is why it will always be a Wonder of the Whitsundays.
Photos: @elisecook & @katseegler
5. Ancient culture
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – you don’t have to travel to the red centre to experience Australia’s most ancient culture.
If 2020 is the Year of Indigenous Tourism, that’s all the more reason to put the Whitsundays on your bucket-list.
Here you will find 74 islands born from the eggs of a serpent, according to the Dreamtime tales of the Ngaro and Gia peoples.
Take your bareboat to Nara Inlet on Hook Island, where in addition to superior shelter, you will find a site that was occupied thousands of years ago and is in fact one of the oldest discovered on the Great Barrier Reef.
See rock art in the caves and learn about our indigenous heritage from the fantastic interpretive displays installed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
We hope all this has whetted your appetite for visiting the Wonders of the Whitsundays.
Yes, we may be biased, but in our view, there is no better way to do that than by bareboat.
As Queensland’s Tourism Minister, Kate Jones, said herself, at the launch of ‘Wonders of the Whitsundays’, “the Whitsundays is one of the most beautiful places on the planet; there’s something for everyone in this part of the world”.
For more information or to book a charter holiday with any one of our five member companies, visit www.gobareboating.com.
For bareboating deals specific to the 'Wonders of the Whitsundays' camp