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Crystalline waters and beach for sailing vacation
Australias seaside blur sea and guided catamaran
Whitesundays beach and boat anchored

Yacht Charter Australia

The spectacular Whitsunday Islands are a chain of 74 beautiful islands located off the western coast of Australia, with wonderfully calm sailing and a warm, subtropical climate cooled by trade winds for most of the year.

What’s on this page

Highlights

  • Spectacular snorkeling & diving
  • The Great Barrier Reef
  • The Whitsunday Islands

Yacht charter Whitsundays

Australia Whitsundays catamaran  seaplane crystalline waters

Most of the islands are surrounded by a fringing reef system, with waters protected by the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef. The Whitsunday Islands have enough anchorages to keep you busy for months of happy cruising. If you love watersports, then this is a fantastic destination for kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and fishing.

An Australian yacht charter is a nature lover’s dream, with idyllic stretches of beach, numerous uninhabited islands teeming with wildlife and stunning coral reefs. It’s home to the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef.

From our base in Abell Point Marina on Airlie Beach, make Nara Inlet your first port of call on your yacht charter in the Whitsundays. Here, you can see the Ngaro Aboriginal cultural site with ancient cave paintings. If you’re feeling active, hike over the inlet for great views. 

Hamilton is a great mid-charter stopover, where you can fill water tanks, fuel up and shop. The island’s marina village has restaurants, bars, shops, a bakery and a supermarket. From here, you can book a scenic flight to get a bird’s eye view of the stunning reefs below.

Available charter types

Bareboat

For experienced sailors, a bareboat charter is the perfect getaway.
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Skippered

Relax and leave all the sailing to a professional skipper.
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Easy crewed

The simplest, hassle-free way to charter a crewed private yacht.
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Fully crewed

Your own private yacht for an all-inclusive luxury sailing vacation.
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Cabin cruise

Reserve a private ensuite stateroom on a modern catamaran.
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Aqualodge

Get closer to nature on the perfect self-catering Caribbean vacation.
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Power Catamaran

Cruise faster and see more on the perfect charter boat.
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Things to do in Whitsundays, Australia

Couple on skippered yatch enjoying drinks looking whitesundays

Take a scenic flight

See the Whitsunday Islands from a different perspective with a seaplane or helicopter flight. There are a number of options, from short hops to longer flights that even touch down on the Outer Great Barrier Reef.

Visit Whitehaven Beach

One of our favorite things to do in the Whitsundays is to head to the famous Whitehaven Beach and enjoy the impossibly white sand. This unspoiled haven is often rated among the world’s top beaches. Enjoy over four miles of beach with turquoise waters and fantastic views across the South Pacific, where you can sometimes spot pods of migratory whales.

Go on a crocodile safari

During your yacht charter in Australia, try a unique Australian tour to see estuarine crocodiles in the wild,  Cruise on the Proserpine River, learn about the mangrove ecosystem and observe the other inhabitants here, including birds, fish and crustaceans.

Visit Palm Bay Resort

Palm Bay Resort on Long Island blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings with Balinese-inspired huts. Stop in for lunch and enjoy a poolside cocktail and a stroll around the beautiful property.

See the Great Barrier Reef

One of the top things to do in the Whitsundays, and all of Australia in fact, is a visit to the world’s largest coral reef system, composed of over 2,900 individual reefs teeming with sea life. During the months of May to August, it’s even possible to see migrating whales, including the humpback whale, as well as bottlenose dolphins.

Weather insights

Woman paddle surf on sailing vacation

When is the best time to visit the Whitsundays?

Australia has a subtropical climate with wonderful sunny weather for a sailing vacation. The best time to visit Australia is between April and November. April to August has cooler and drier weather, with average temperatures around 75°F. With comfortable and dry conditions, June to September are ideal months for your sailing trip in the Whitsundays. It’s also the time when the whales visit with their calves. January to March is the wet season in the tropics. The weather is warmer with an average of 85°F and a risk of cyclones and rain.

What are the sailing conditions in the Whitsundays?

The sailing conditions in Australia are mostly easy, with short sailing distances.

The wind systems in the Whitsunday Islands are predominantly southerly to southeasterly most of the year. In summer, the winds are northerly to northeasterly. 

There are strong tides that need consideration when planning the itinerary of your yacht charter in Australia. There are plenty of sheltered bays on both sides of the islands if the wind gets too strong.

Australia yachts and catamarans anchored in port

Sailing Australia with Dream Yacht Charter

Yacht charter Australia

Explore the Great Barrier Reef and the beautiful Whitsunday Islands from our base in Airlie Beach. Plan your perfect Australia itinerary and enjoy sailing our catamarans and monohulls.

Sail guide yacht charters Australia

No sailing experience is needed to enjoy a sailing vacation in Australia’s Whitsunday Islands. Hire a sail guide to sail your yacht while you enjoy the vacation with your guests.

Man sailing yacht catamaran

Australia sailing itinerary

Take a look at our Australia sailing vacation suggestions

Woman looking at the sea enjoying vacation 8-day itinerary Whitsunday Islands

Day 1

Airlie Beach / Nara Inlet

Day 2

Nara Inlet / Cid Harbour or Gulnare Inlet

Day 3

Cid or Gulnare / Hamilton Island

Day 4

Hamilton Island / Whitehaven Beach

Day 5

Whitehaven Beach / Cateran Bay

Day 6

Cateran Bay / Butterfly Bay

Day 7

Butterfly Bay / South Molle or Palm Bay

Day 8

South Molle or Palm Bay / Airlie Beach

tortoise in crystalline waters 11-day itinerary Whitsunday Islands

Day 1

Airlie Beach / Cid Harbour

Day 2

Cid Harbour / Whitehaven Beach

Day 3

Whitehaven Beach / Cateran Bay

Day 4

Cateran Bay / Nara Inlet

Day 5

Nara Inlet / Daydream Island

Day 6

Daydream Island / Stonehaven

Day 7

Stonehaven / Butterfly Bay

Day 8

Butterfly Bay / Blue Pearl Bay

Day 9

Blue Pearl Bay / Macona Inlet

Day 10

Macona Inlet / Woodwark

Day 11

Woodwark / Abel Point Marina

Woman enjoying yacht charter looking at sunset and sea 15-day itinerary Whitsunday Islands

Day 1

Airlie Beach / Cid Harbour

Day 2

Cid Harbour / Neck Bay

Day 3

Neck Bay / Thomas Island

Day 4

Thomas Island / Palm Bay

Day 5

Palm Bay / Whitehaven Beach

Day 6

Whitehaven Beach / Hamilton Island

Day 7

Hamilton Island / Cateran Bay

Day 8

Cateran Bay / Macona Inlet

Day 9

Macona Inlet / Stonehaven

Day 10

Stonehaven via Langford / Blue Pearl Bay

Day 11

Blue Pearl Bay / Butterfly Bay

Day 12

Butterfly Bay / Nara Inlet

Day 13

Nara Inlet / Happy Bay

Day 14

Happy Bay / Mays Bay

Day 15

Mays Bay / Airlie Beach

Useful information for yacht charters in Australia

Australia saling vacation walking in beautiful beach

How do I get to Australia from the US?

To get to our base in Australia to start your yacht charter in the Whitsundays, fly into Proserpine Airport, also called Whitsunday Coast Airport (PPP). You can also fly into Hamilton Island Airport (HTI). This flight connects with the Cruise Whitsundays Ferry Service to the mainland. We are happy to arrange tickets for you with your charter booking. 

During the high season, there are regular flights from a number of Australian cities including Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.  

We can arrange airport transfers on request, which takes about 40 minutes via taxi from Whitsunday Coast Airport or a 60-minute ferry from Hamilton Island Airport Marina to Airlie Beach.

What language is spoken in Australia?

The official language spoken in Australia is English.

What is the currency for Australia?

The currency in Australia is the Australian Dollar (AUD).

What documents do I need to sail Australia?

To sail Australia, you will need a valid US passport. If you are traveling for less than 90 days you need an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), an online visa. 

If you charter a boat in the Whitsundays, you will need to nominate yourself, or someone in your crew with experience, as the skipper. They will be legally responsible for the boat.

You can hire a sail guide if you want someone to sail the boat for you. Sail guides have knowledge of the local area and have completed the GRMPBA Sail Guides Course. They are not legally responsible for the boat or the insurance. Boats up to 12m must have a Coxswain Certification and boats over 12m must have a Master Class 5 Certification.

How do I get around Australia?

Major car rental companies operate their offices at all airports, so please refer to airport websites for operating hours and contact details. Taxis are regularly available in front of the airport buildings. The Greyhound Bus also offers daily services throughout Australia and the pick up location is available from Port of Airlie in Airlie Beach. 

If you need an organized transfer from the airport, please contact our base manager.

What is the Wi-Fi like in Australia?

Internet access is available at our marina. There are also internet cafés in Airlie Beach and on some islands. Cell phones can work, depending on zones, but don’t forget about the roaming fees. Cell phone coverage is limited once you depart the mainland.

What regulations are there in Australia?

There are specific rules for Whitsundays regarding wildlife. Download the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Guide for more information. There is also a recreational guide on the government website.

Where can I find weather forecasts in Australia?

You can find Australia weather forecasts on the Australian Government website. The base also broadcasts the latest weather to guests on charter at 9am and 3:45pm daily. The base team will also make contact with customers twice daily – a local regulation.

What provisioning is there in Australia?

There are plenty of choices for provisioning in Australia. Please refer to the base guide.

What baggage can I take on my yacht charter, Whitsundays?

Please only take soft bags and not suitcases as they are too cumbersome on board.

What is the electrical current in Australia?

The electrical current in Australia is 240V.

What is the dialing code for Australia?

The dialing code for Australia is +61.

Why should I book with Dream Yacht Charter?

Dream Yacht Charter is now the world’s leading yacht charter company and offers you:

  • A diverse fleet of yachts with a wide variety of models and manufacturers to suit every type of sailor.
  • We have +60 exciting destinations and we’re a pioneer in finding new sailing grounds.
  • You can be assured of our commitment to customer service excellence.
  • You’ll receive a warm and friendly welcome from our base teams who will share regional tips, recommendations and advice.
  • We’re a trusted seller of new and used boats and an innovator in charter management options – sailing is our business.

What licenses do I need to hire a yacht and sail myself?

The skipper of a yacht has primary responsibility for the safety of the crew and yacht at all times. Many destinations require just relevant experience demonstrated by a sailing resume.

To charter in the Mediterranean, it is mandatory that you hold a sailing license recognized by the local port authorities for bareboat charters in Italy, Greece, Croatia, Spain, Malta, Montenegro and Turkey. Other destinations that require a license include Madagascar, Seychelles, Thailand, Brazil and Sweden. For Belize, the port authority will issue a certificate of competency and an application is made on arrival.

You must take your proof of competency and original certificate with you on your charter. We advise you to contact our team about your qualifications and the destination requirements before booking.

By accepting the yacht contract you are confirming that you and/or members of your crew are capable and competent to sail the yacht in the conditions and cruising area of charter. We reserve the right not to hand over the yacht if, after inspection, it is the opinion that the charterer is not, or may not be competent to be in charge of the vessel.

What is a skippered yacht charter?

A skippered yacht charter is when you rent one of our boats for you and your guests and a professional skipper sails it for you. No sailing experience is needed.

You will need to choose a yacht with a cabin for your skipper to sleep in as they are responsible for your yacht for the duration of your charter. We will find the skipper for you once you have found your perfect destination and yacht.

You will need to pay for your skipper’s food. You can invite the skipper to dine with you on board or out at a local restaurant.

What is the difference between crewed and by the cabin charters?

Our by the cabin charter charters offer exciting destination tours on a set itinerary crafted by our destination experts. You can book a double cabin and private bathroom and will share the boat with other guests who have booked the other available cabins. You will be looked after by a professional skipper and hostess with itineraries ranging from three to 11 nights. There is a set menu and included meals and drinks vary depending on location.

Can you tell me about your yachts?

Our super premier yachts are less than 12 months old from their first charter date, while premier yachts are less than three years old from their first charter date. Our yachts are well maintained and undergo regular, scheduled technical inspection.

In case of emergency, you can rely on our hotline, at any time, seven days a week. If you experience a technical failure affecting major and important parts of the yacht, we will repair the failure within four hours of receiving your call during working hours (8am to 5pm). If you lose more than four hours (during working hours), we will compensate you for one full day. If the repair takes more than one day, we will provide you with a similar boat or compensate you on a pro-rata basis. If restrictions to this guarantee apply in specific areas, this will be detailed during the charter check-in at the base.

Do I need insurance?

We highly recommend you arrange travel insurance in case you need to cancel for an unexpected reason to cover non-refundable deposits. Please make sure you have personal travel insurance that covers sailing.

We will insure the vessel throughout the charter with first-class insurers against all risks, to provide permission to charter as under contract terms and to cover third-party liability.

You can choose one of the following options:

  • Security Deposit: This varies on the size of the boat and when the boat is returned without damage it is refunded.
  • Damage Waiver: The charterer agrees to pay a non-refundable damage waiver at the time of booking, as well as a reduced damage deposit on embarkation that is refundable upon completion of the charter should no damage occur.

Ever considered a Cabin Cruise?

As pioneers in the industry, Dream Yacht was one of the first to develop the Cabin Cruise concept. It’s an ideal choice for solo or couples travelers seeking relaxed adventure, exotic destinations, and unique local cultures in an intimate, social setting – in comfort at sea.

Our promise

Private accommodations

Comfortable and private standard double cabins with ensuite bathroom

Curated itineraries

Experience world-class destinations, local culture and excursions with our expertly curated itineraries

Accessible

An affordable and intimate experience without the need to book an entire yacht or provide sailing qualifications

Vetted crew

Enjoy our professional crew with a strong local knowledge and friendly service

Full board meals

Enjoy fresh and delicious cuisine prepared and served daily

Choose your mood

Relax on deck socializing with fellow travelers, kayak or snorkel from your yacht, or enjoy exploring ashore

Get inspired! #MyDreamYacht

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What’s new?

Stay up to date with news and events or get some inspiration for your next yacht charter and pick up useful tips by reading our latest blogs.
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