The History of Derwent Hunter

Derwent Hunter is a 22 metre tall ship that previously sailed the Whitsundays, offering a day trip to explore, sail, snorkel and relax! Her impressive sails and interesting history make her a local favourite, and ever after sailing here for 20 years, she still manages to make quite an impression. Here in the Whitsundays she has earned several awards in Adventure and Eco tourism and is a defender of the reef, actively participating in research programs.

Eco tourism is nothing new for Derwent Hunter, as she has always been involved in the environment, ever since she hit the water back in 1946. She was designed and constructed in Tasmania by a man named Walter Wilson of the Wilson Brothers Shipwrights company, whereupon she began to make her mark on the sailing world. Made by four men only hand tools, she was built with some of the best timbers the earth could provide, all farmed within eyesight of the shipyard in which Derwent itself was built, and soon began her career as a fishing boat. In later years she was used as a research vessel and then even later as the star boat in a family TV show called The Rovers, to add to her busy past, before becoming a passenger boat. For the past 20 years, she has been keeping guests happy in the Whitsundays, exploring the reef and educating people on its health and well being.

She is said to be the last Australian designed ship that was made to work under sail and was originally designed to resemble a grand banks schooner that was meant for fishing and supplying local restaurants with products. In her research years, continuing to today, Derwent Hunter has contributed greatly to research efforts on the Great Barrier Reef, Bass Strait and Tasman Sea. While she has now sailed on to greener pastures, she will always be a Whitsundays favourite!


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