When is the best sailing season in the Whitsundays?

getaway sailing yacht, sailing past whitehaven beach

As one of the most dazzling destinations in Australia, the Whitsundays boasts superb weather year-round. Showcasing the beauty of the tropics without the turbulent weather, every season has something unique to offer.

With most people flocking to the Whitsundays to sail, it’s worth knowing the best time of year to do so. The answer? Whenever tickles your fancy! With stunning weather all year round, no time trumps another. It truly depends on how hot you like it, what events you want to attend and whether you want to escape the crowds or join them!

people laughing on deck in the whitsunday islands sailing

Due to the tropical climate of the Whitsundays, the area enjoys two major seasons: the wet and the dry. Wet season generally runs from December to March, making it one of the hottest times of the year. Coinciding with the summer school holidays, it’s also usually one of the busiest times of the year. While the weather can produce monsoons and heavy rain, it usually doesn’t stick around for long - and it never stops locals or tourists from having the time of their lives! Boats and other tours generally continue to run unless extremely bad weather rolls in, which is quite rare. December to March is the perfect time to sail the Whitsundays if you like the heat and don’t mind the crowds. 

new horizon ailing into the sunset in the whitsunday islands

The winter season, which usually lasts from around June to August is perfect for those who are seeking cooler temperatures and the chance to spot humpback whales! Migrating north towards north Queensland to have their calves and seek shelter from the islands, it’s the best time of year to sail around the Whitsundays if whale-watching is high on your bucket list. It’s also a much cooler time of year, so if you and your family can’t handle the heat and would prefer the winter weather, this might be your best bet. It’s worth noting that the crowds are busy during winter as well, so don’t expect to have the region to yourself!

The winter period also boasts a lot of great events in the Whitsundays, including Hamilton Island Race Week and Airlie Beach Race Week. These events lure thousands of people from all across the country, running for seven days each and creating a lively and vibrant atmosphere in Airlie Beach and the greater Whitsundays.

people standing at the lookout at hill inlet

If you’re seeking a quieter holiday, you might want to consider travelling to the Whitsundays during a shoulder season. April to May and September to November are usually a little quieter for the Whitsundays, as they aren’t host to major school holidays and the weather is a little milder. 

To wrap up, no sailing season in the Whitsundays trumps another. Each season brings something different and special, catering to every taste and preference. Be sure to make up your mind in advance so you can guarantee a spot on your ultimate sailing holiday! 

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