Whitsundays day trips vs overnight tours
If you've travelled to Airlie on a budget or a time constraint, chances are you may only be able to book one or two tours whilst you're here; you want to do as much as possible, for as little cost as possible.
Day tours offer a great way to get a flavour of what the reef has to offer; with prices tending to float around the $150-$200 mark and usually including lunch during the day; day tours can offer great value for money. These tours tend to hit the tourist hotspots on the reef, and will land you some great photographs to take home; but if you are hoping to find some of the hidden gems the reef has to offer, get to grips with diving, or just spend a little more time exploring Whitehaven; overnight tours offer a once in a lifetime experience.
Overnight tours do not only offer you the freedom to explore more of the reef, but more of the wildlife too. The majority of the life on the reef exhibits vastly different behaviours throughout the day and night and may even be more easily spotted at certain times. A great example of this is early morning turtle spotting; with the sunrise you can often catch turtles surfacing around the boats for their first breath of the day. The night offers great sightseeing benefits too, the most notable from your boat being the mass of sea life, friendly reef sharks, and dolphins attracted by the blue lights of the vessel.
From watching the sunrise over the ocean, to catching that first light to dive; overnight tours offer the chance to broaden the horizons of your trip enormously. Inevitable the freedom to play on the reef until the early hours does come at a price, but fortunately not one that's going to leave you heading straight back to the workforce.
If you have already had the chance to look up hostels, and hotels in the area; then you have likely found some great deals, but still find yourself faced with a $200-$300 bill to live it up on Airlie Beach for a few days; when you factor in food and the inevitable night out; the skies the limit. If you are anything like me, I came to Airlie for the reef, Whitehaven, and the Whitsunday Islands; and a few days on the reef, food and accommodation included was a far easier sell than another hotel room.
DAY TOURS ON THE REEF
If you do find yourself lacking the financial freedom to snatch that extra day on the reef; or simply don't have the time available to spend long lazy days cruising the Whitsunday coastlines, day tours do offer a great experience at a budget price.
If you pick well, you will find tours to and from the various tourist hotspots, with opportunities to snorkel one or two of the more accessible areas of the reef, and on a handful of the boats chances to chuck on a tank and dive too. Day tours on the reef will satisfy the curiosity of many, and ensure you take away some great memories from the area. A truly unique and spectacular experience that will leave you wishing you had more time to explore.
Overnight trips are undeniably the best way to see the reef, and tour the islands. From the history of the reef, to the development of the islands; your crew you will have all the facts; and with all the insider knowledge you'll find yourself in the best and often lesser known areas of the Coral Sea. With a wealth of vessels travelling the vast expanse of the reef; you'll find everything from total luxury and relaxation; to dive and exploration tours. If you have the freedom to book a two to three day tour around the Whitsundays there really is no better option; day tours offer a great experience but with all there is to see, you will find yourself wishing you had booked that extra day.