How long does it take to sail to Hamilton Island from Airlie Beach?
For the average sailboat travelling between 7 and 9 knots, it takes approximately two and a half hours to sail to Hamilton Island from Airlie Beach, on the 17 nautical mile journey. As the Whitsundays region receives year-round South-East trade winds, sailboats cannot directly sail towards Hamilton Island from Airlie Beach.
Travel times will vary depending on the sailing vessel you choose to travel on, the tide and local weather. For those travelling directly by motorboat from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island, at an average speed of 20 knots, it will take approximately 40 minutes.
For those travelling by ferry from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island, or vice versa, it will take approximately 60 minutes.
Recommended sailing route from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island.
The majority of day and overnight sailing trips, in addition to bareboat charters, depart from the Coral Sea Marina at Airlie Beach.
We recommend you spend more than one night at Airlie Beach, to take in all that the bustling, seaside town has to offer - from lavish restaurants offering breathtaking views of the marina and locally-sourced fresh seafood, scenic walks that offer panoramic outlooks of the Whitsundays coastline, and a multitude of vibrant nightlife options along the main street!
Different ways to sail to and from Hamilton Island
Ferry to and from Hamilton Island
Another popular, hassle-free way to get to Hamilton Island from Airlie Beach or Shute Harbour is by ferry. The ferry trip from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island Marina or Airport takes approximately 60 minutes and operates multiple times a day for travellers to the region. Run by Cruise Whitsundays, it boasts stunning views of the Whitsundays during the short journey!
If you are travelling by car to Airlie Beach via the Bruce Highway from either Brisbane or Cairns, there are multiple easily-accessible places in Airlie Beach to park your car. Whilst there are a variety of sites to park your car for free, parking at Cruise Whitsundays Maritime Car Park for a flat rate of $10 per day is the most convenient option for those travelling to and from Hamilton Island by ferry.
Commercial flights to and from Hamilton Island
Travellers to the world-renowned Whitsundays region often choose to fly into the Whitsunday Coast Airport (PPP) located in Proserpine, or directly to the Hamilton Island Airport (HTI), as this is the most convenient mode of transport from the major cities. Hamilton Island is the only Whitsunday island that boasts its own commercial airport, with direct flights flying in and out from Brisbane, Cairns, Sydney and Melbourne. Let the locals fill you in on how to get to Hamilton Island or Airlie Beach by air!
When planning your tropical escape to the idyllic coastlines of Hamilton Island from Airlie Beach, don't forget to check out our recommended packing list. A hat, sunscreen, and swimsuit are essentials for you to unwind on the islands of the Whitsundays!
Contact our friendly, local staff on +61 7 4914 2425 or live chat today to plan your idyllic sailing experience to Hamilton Island and its surrounds!