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School and Youth Group Charters In The Whitsundays

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Gabby Boucher
Updated Tue 23 Jan 2024

School and youth group charters in the Whitsundays provide a unique opportunity to get outside the classroom and explore the natural wonders of Australia's Tropical North! Education is one of the most valuable tools for enlightening the minds and souls of the community. Though classroom learning is essential, every child can benefit from stepping outside into nature and trying a hands-on learning experience. The Whitsundays provide the perfect place to do so!

From the diverse ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef, to the fascinating cultural sites on the Whitsunday Islands, there are so many opportunities for immersive learning. Whether you have high-school students studying marine biology or geology, or you have younger kids who just want to have fun, a school charter in the Whitsundays will give these students an eye-opening adventure into the ecology, history, and culture of Australia. 

Whitsunday Islands walking

  1. Why Choose The Whitsundays For Your School Excursion
  2. School Group Charter Prices
  3. What Is Included In A School Group Charter
  4. Activities For School And Youth Group Charters
  5. Safety of School Charter Boats In The Whitsundays
  6. Perks of School Charters In The Whitsundays
  7. When To Book A School Charter In The Whitsundays
  8. How To Get To The Whitsundays

School and Youth Group Charters in the Whitsundays

Give your school kids or youth group a boost in their learning curriculum by booking a private charter in the Whitsundays! Having knowledge, awareness, and experience pertaining to the ocean is a huge asset to anyone growing up in East Coast Australia, where the beach is a huge part of daily life. A school charter on a boat in the Whitsundays allows your students to immerse themselves in nature and experience a new type of outdoor education. 

School and youth group charters in the Whitsundays are flexible as well! You can hire a high-quality vessel for any duration of time that suits you. Bring the kids out for a half day of sailing and snorkelling, or book a multi-day charter and let the kids participate in a real wilderness adventure. Whatever type of charter you choose, your vessel will be equipped with knowledgeable staff members to help your school excursion run smoothly. 

group learning about islands on a boat

Why Choose The Whitsundays For Your School Excursion

The Whitsundays are perfect for a school or youth group charter because this is one of the most beautiful and ecologically unique areas in Australia. From the wondrous white silica sands of Whitehaven Beach, to the protected marine life of the Great Barrier Reef, to the cultural landmarks on various islands, the Whitsundays are a haven for outdoor activities and education. There are so many immersive ways to soak in the natural beauty, from hiking to sailing to snorkelling and everything in between. 

The Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef consist of World Heritage-listed geological wonders that are sure to inspire children of all ages. School groups and youth groups are in for the trip of a lifetime as they venture beyond the four walls of a classroom and further their knowledge of Australia's wildlife, environment, and history out in the Whitsundays. This type of dynamic education cannot be replicated in a textbook!

Kids snorkeling in the Whitsundays

School Group Charter Prices

The price of a school and youth group charter in the Whitsundays will depend on the type of vessel you choose and the duration of the charter. You can book a half day charter for under 10,000 AUD, or you can book a 3-day, 2-night charter for around 36,000 AUD. The exact quote may vary, but the options are plentiful.

There are various types of vessels available as well, each of which offers its own unique perks. You can take your students on an authentic sailing ship that has a rope swing and bow nets, or opt for a high-speed vessel that's geared towards snorkelling and diving trips on the reef. 

With so many amazing options for large group charters, prices are competitive and you can easily find an affordable deal that suits your budget. Ask our staff for a direct quote so you have an idea of the price range! Whatever you end up paying for a school and youth group charter in the Whitsundays, the lasting positive impact that the trip leaves on your students will surely be worth it. 

group gathered on a boat

What Is Included In A School Group Charter?

Most private charters are all-inclusive, so water sports equipment, activities, food and beverages, and experienced staff members come with the vessel. Plus the itinerary is customisable so you can plan the ideal experience and know that all the fun activities are included. This makes it extremely easy and hassle-free for teachers to organise an amazing school charter with only one booking!

In terms of catering, each boat is different but most charters are fully catered for. Dietary requirements are also accepted, and many boats allow you to bring your own food if necessary. So no need to worry about those students with allergies, the onboard chef and crew will ensure that dietary requirements are catered for and your students are safe. The crew on board will prepare all the meals and take care of the cleaning, so you and your students can focus on the activities!

Kids sailing a Whitsundays sailing ship

Activities For School & Youth Group Charters

In addition to catering and staff, your school group charter will include some fun activities and a tailor-made, custom itinerary as well! This is the part that will really get the students excited. As one of the most visited areas in Australia, the Whitsundays are packed with thrilling and educational ways to explore the unique and tropical ecosystem. From the fringing reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, to the pristine islands and beaches, to unique cultural sites, here are some of the ways your students can engage with the natural world in the Whitsundays. 

Every school charter in the Whitsundays has a tailor-made itinerary so you can help plan the ideal excursion for your students!

group posing with driftwood Whitehaven Beach


The Whitsundays are the perfect place to introduce kids to the world of sailing! If you book a school charter on a sailboat, students can get an authentic sailing experience that will teach them about teamwork, organisation, and even the importance of physics and understanding the elements. This is an especially valuable activity for scout groups that put an emphasis on practical skills. 

girl pulling sails at sea

Snorkelling Or Diving

The Great Barrier Reef offers some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving in the world! Students of all ages, particularly those with an interest in marine science, can benefit from seeing this natural masterpiece with their own eyes. There is a chance to see creatures like sea turtles, reef sharks, giant clams, tropical fish, and diverse corals in their natural habitat, which is a fascinating way to learn about the precious underwater world. 

Snorkel gear is provided on all private charters! Scuba diving is not offered on all vessels, and it is generally only available for older kids above a certain age. But there are plenty of different boat options that offer a range of underwater activities. Some charters offer semi-submersible boat rides so students can view the reef without actually getting in the water.

girls snorkeling

Guided Walks & Cultural Sites

The Whitsundays are home to numerous cultural sites that reflect the traditions and cultures of the Ngaro People. This group of indigenous Australians thrived in the Whitsundays, and seeing some of their artwork and landmarks first-hand is a great way for students to appreciate the vast history of the Traditional Owners of the land. 

On a school charter in the Whitsundays, students can embark on guided bushwalks through the dense forests. Local guides will share their knowledge about the First Nation's history as well as the local flora and fauna. Bushwalks give students the chance to spend time in nature, spot native wildlife, and learn about the ancient landscapes that grace the Whitsunday region. 

Ngaro Cultural Site


Camping amongst the untouched wilderness of the Whitsundays' tropical islands is another eye-opening activity for students in Australia. There are 25 official campsites scattered throughout the Whitsunday Islands, most of which offer a remote and immersive bush camping experience. Nothing will enhance a child's appreciation for nature like sleeping under the stars, listening to the sounds of the wilderness, and waking up to a tranquil sunrise!

Camping by the beach

Reef Education / Eyes On The Reef

The Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef are a mecca for reef education. From basic knowledge provided by tour guides, Reef Masters, and skippers at sea, to in-depth conservation programs like fieldwork and internships, the Great Barrier Reef is the place to be for any students interested in marine biology! Many of the tour boats and local organisations in Queensland have eco-certifications and are actively involved in reef protection programs, creating the perfect learning environment for young minds. 

Students can even participate in programs like Eyes On The Reef, managed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. This program allows students to get involved in data collection and processing as the experts work to monitor reef health. Coral Watch, managed by the University of Queensland, is another organisation that specialises in coral preservation and health. 

Great Barrier Reef

Water Sports

Most school and youth group charters in the Whitsundays have water sports on board! In addition to snorkel or scuba gear, many vessels have kayaks and paddleboards so students can have a blast out on the water. Some ships even have rope swings and water slides. These types of water sports teach kids about balance, hand-eye coordination, environmental awareness, and general fitness. Also, they're a fun way to sightsee on the water and have fun with friends!


Safety on School Charter Boats in the Whitsundays

All school charter boats in the Whitsundays make the safety of students a top priority. Each vessel has regular maintenance and safety checks to ensure everything is working in top condition. Safety equipment such as flotation devices and first aid kits are always readily available, and the crew is highly trained to deal with passenger accidents or mishaps on board. You can feel at ease knowing your students will be taken care of on a school charter! If there is a serious medical emergency, Proserpine Hospital is just 26km away from Airlie Beach. 

Every vessel is slightly different, so please reach out if you require more detailed and specific information that pertains to a certain boat. Our team will be happy to run you through the safety features and procedures on any boat that you're interested in chartering. 

kids smiling around a table on a sailboat in the whitsundays

Perks of School and Youth Group Charters in the Whitsundays

To summarize, here are some of the main reasons to consider the Whitsundays for your next school and youth group excursion:

  • All-inclusive booking that covers accommodation, catering, and activities
  • Beautiful and safe World Heritage-listed destination
  • Explore the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands
  • Range of fun activities that cater to many interests
  • Learn about sustainability and environmental preservation
  • Build practical skills while taking a hands-on approach to education
  • Unique and affordable vessels that prioritise safety
  • Charters range from a few hours to multiple days
  • Flexible, custom itineraries to suit your syllabus requirements
  • Experienced local staff onboard to ensure your trip runs smoothly

Who are our educational group charters for?

  • Primary schools
  • High schools
  • University course groups
  • Research and fieldwork groups
  • Scout groups
  • Youth groups
  • Holiday care groups

Give your students a trip to remember with a private charter in the Whitsundays! With a combination of land and sea activities that emphasize the area's cultural, ecological, and biological significance, students of all ages can broaden their minds and foster newfound interests in the world around them. Our team at Sailing Whitsundays is available to help you book the next private charter for your school or youth group, so don't hesitate to reach out with any inquiries! 

School Charters Whitsundays

When To Book A School Charter In The Whitsundays

Around 6-12 months in advance is the perfect time to book a school charter in the Whitsundays. The further in advance you can organise your charter, the better! Planning your school or youth group charter at least 6 months in advance leaves plenty of time to research, get quotes, and get approvals from parents and headmasters.

Vessels will have more availability as well if you enquire at least 6 months in advance. The longer you wait, the less likely your vessel of choice will have availability for your charter. You also have a better chance of finding availability in the winter months! Peak travel season for school charters tends to run from August to October. The slower months of May, June, and July mean fewer tourists in the area and more availability for boats. Winter in the Whitsundays still sees beautiful temperatures and your students have the added bonus of seeing whales at sea. 

girl snorkeling in coral reefs underwater

How To Get To The Whitsundays

It's pretty straightforward to get to the Whitsundays for your school charter! Airlie Beach will be the point of departure, as most boats leave from either the Coral Sea Marina or the Port of Airlie in town. If you're flying into the Whitsundays, fly into Proserpine Airport which is located about 30 minutes inland from Airlie Beach. 

There are a few transfer options for getting to Airlie Beach from Proserpine Airport. Heart of Reef Shuttles is one of the best. This reputable local company offers comfortable bus transfers with an attached trailer to store luggage. You can book airport transfers per person, or you can book a private transfer and rent out the whole bus for your class. 

For more questions about transfers and accommodation in Airlie Beach if needed, contact our team!

aerial view of hill inlet lookout in the whitsundays

Contact our knowledgeable team of local travel experts if you have any questions about booking school and youth group charters in the Whitsundays!

We are available on chat 24/7, or you can call us at +61 74914 2425. 

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