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Bareboat Charter Whitsundays

Updated 29/12/21

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Bareboating through the tropical islands of the world-renowned Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is quickly becoming a popular sailing option amongst families, small groups, and couples! Bareboat charters are an ideal way to enjoy as much privacy and freedom as you wish, granting the opportunity to sail and explore the magical destinations of the Whitsundays at your own pace!

The term bareboat refers to a ‘bare’ boat, that has no skipper or crew onboard like a private or small group charter does. Instead, you self-skipper the vessel, creating your own Whitsundays sailing itinerary and choosing which serene cove to anchor in each night. Choose from luxurious catamarans, sleek yachts, or comfortable motor cruisers - there is an ideal bareboat for every group and itinerary!

If you choose to embark on a bareboat sailing adventure your chosen vessel will be fully equipped with modern amenities and everything you need to holiday in ease and style. You will need to bring your own favourite meals and beverages, in addition to choosing your own itinerary and playlist for each day!

Although hiring a bareboat often includes onsite training and support, it is recommended that at least one passenger on board is well prepared with prior boating experience!


Best time of the year in the Whitsundays to hire a Bareboat 

The idyllic waters and picturesque islands of the Whitsundays region boast a year-long tropical climate, with daytime temperatures falling between 23°C to 30°C. Hiring and sailing around the Whitsunday Islands in a bareboat can ideally be enjoyed at any time of the year as the area enjoys light to moderate winds within the trade wind belt. However, if we had to pick, our experienced team of locals would recommend booking between May to November to relish in pristine, smooth sailing conditions!

Group of people lounging on a catamarans foredeck, Whitsundays

During the winter period from June to August, bareboat sailors are able to bask under bright, clear skies and look out for magnificent humpback whales migrating through the Whitsundays region!

The peak season to book a bareboat vessel, private charter, or small group sailing experience is during September, October, and November. The light winds create ideal sailing conditions, and days spent exploring under the sunshine!

The wet season, which traditionally spans from late December to March can bring the occasional shower yet is a perfect period to find a bargain and enjoy smaller crowds whilst exploring the Whitsundays!


Bareboat sailing itinerary of the Whitsundays

There are endless peaceful bays and tropical shorelines to explore at your own pace during your bareboat journey, however, let the experienced locals recommend their must-do Whitsundays bucket-list!

Snorkel amongst fringing reefs

The Whitsundays region is home to some of the world’s most sought-after snorkel and dive locations! Moor for the day in secluded bays and submerge yourself in the colourful underwater playgrounds below. Be sure to look out for unique species of soft and hard corals, and an abundance of exotic marine life such as sea turtles, stingrays, giant trevallies, and the breathtaking Maori Wrasse!

Woman snorkelling in the Whitsundays

Explore secluded islands

There is no way better to immerse yourself in a tropical escape than to spend a day relaxing and exploring the shorelines of a secluded island of the Whitsundays. Walk across the slowly disappearing sandbank attached to Langford Island during low tide or indulge in the powdery white sands of South Whitehaven. A perfect time to curl up with a book, and roll out your beach towel!

Bareboat catamaran moored in Nara Inlet, Whitsundays

Visit Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet Lookout

Sail into the iconic Tongue Bay passage to reach the world-renowned destinations of Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet Lookout – a must-do during your bareboat sailing experience! Take the short, uphill walk through native vegetation to reach the panoramic views of Hill Inlet’s ever-changing swirling silica sands and turquoise waters below. Cool off with a wade in Whitehaven’s tranquil lagoons!

Hill Inlet Lookout, Whitsundays

Take a hike

The Whitsundays region has more than its fair share of phenomenal hiking and walking trails that are suited to a variety of fitness levels. Wake early one morning to embark on the rewarding Whitsunday Cairn hike or learn and pay respect to Ngaro Country with a visit to the Ngaro Cultural Site at Nara Inlet!

Family at the peak of the Whitsunday Cairn Hike

Anchor in calm coves for the night

After spending your days snorkelling amongst vibrant fringing reefs of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and exploring the white sandy beaches of secluded islands, there is nothing better than being lulled gently to sleep by the sounds of waves lapsing on nearby shorelines. Anchor your bareboat vessel in a countless number of calm Whitsundays coves or inlets for the night!

Woman reading a book on the foredeck, Whitsundays


Things to consider when booking a Bareboat Charter

Whilst hiring a bareboat means you have the freedom to explore the Whitsundays at your own pace, there are several points to consider when choosing between a bareboat charter or a private charter sailing experience of the Whitsundays.

The majority of bareboat charters begin with a 5-night minimum and allow passengers to sail within the Whitsundays Islands region for as long as they choose. Private charters are additionally able to be booked as long as you wish, however, your departure times will vary according to the boats normal tour schedule. Several trips will have to be booked if you wish to book for longer than their standard departure/ return times.

Three people hoisting the vessels sails

Make sure to check out our guide to private charter versus bareboat sailing, to help you find your ideal Whitsundays sailing experience!


Your dream escape to the stunning Whitsundays awaits!

Call us on +61 7 4914 2425 or live chat with our local, experienced team today to explore your bareboat or private charter sailing options!

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