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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 snorkelling & 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.

Choose charter type below to see available charters options

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.

Fully crewed

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

Cabin cruise

Reserve a private ensuite stateroom on a modern catamaran.

SailShare

Low package rates for island-hopping aboard a sailing yacht.

Aqualodge

Get closer to nature on the perfect self-catering Caribbean holiday.

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 holiday. 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 trip to Australia’s Whitsunday Islands. Hire a sail guide to sail your yacht while you enjoy the holiday with your guests.

Man sailing yacht catamaran

Australia sailing itinerary

Take a look at our Australia sailing holiday suggestions

Whitsundays 7 days
Other Itineraries
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

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

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.

What is the cancellation policy for Sail Share?

We highly recommend you arrange travel insurance in case you need to cancel for an unexpected reason to cover non-refundable deposits.

Our Sail Share cabin cancellation fees are:

  • More than 90 days before original embarkation date: 25% of the charter fee
  • 89 – 60 days before original embarkation date: 50% of the charter fee
  • 59 – 30 days before original embarkation date: 75% of the charter fee
  • Fewer than 29 days before original embarkation date: 100% of the charter fee

How flexible is the itinerary for a Sail Share charter?

Our yacht itineraries are designed by our destination experts and are set to showcase the best of the destination’s highlights. They are set and not flexible, even if you book all the cabins.

What happens if the weather changes while sailing on a Sail Share charter?

The skipper may decide to change the itinerary if there is bad weather.

Can I choose which cabin I want when I book a Sail Share?

Choose a double cabin with shared bath, or private bath for an additional fee.

Are there child or age restrictions for Sail Share?

Minimum Age: 16 years old

Get inspired! #MyDreamYacht

Follow our customer’s journeys & share your own amazing experiences on Instagram

Absolutely amazing! Fred + Isabelle were so accommodating and did so much for us. Isabelle’s food was incredible. Thanks so much!

Laura

Exumas Cabin

Excellent. Very professional and great service!

Thomas

Antigua Bareboat

Just what we needed coming out of a year of lockdown, to see new places and connect with nature. Highly recommended for your next sailing adventure!

Johan

St. Martin Bareboat

Excellent cruise and very good stay. Skipper attentive, very pleasant and very professional.

Maxime

Guadeloupe Skippered

Just returned from another fantastic sailing week at your base in Pula and I would like to thank everyone involved for making this possible on such short notice and without any problems.

Mathias

Croatia Bareboat

The marina itself is a perfect starting point with great facilities! The Lagoon 42 was in good condition and the skipper was amazing and very knowledgeable of the area.”

Jonathan

Spain Skippered

What an AMAZING experience. We’ve just returned from a week long skippered charter from Corfu, sailing around the beautiful islands of the Ionian. Paxos, Antipaxos and Corfu Old Town were beautiful and the secluded bays we had the pleasure of visiting thanks to our local skipper, Nicholas, were simply overwhelming. Fly and flops are no longer for us – we’ll be chartering with DYC for the foreseeable future.

David

Greece Skippered

Our group of 10 had an AMAZING time in French Polynesia from May 21-28, 2022! The food was amazing, our captain and chef, husband and wife: Henry and Mehee (sp), were incredible and the whole experience on board was a dream! We can’t wait to book another trip through DYC

Katie

Tahiti Crewed Premium

DYC provided a great sailing experience for my extended family on 2 monos out of Scrub Island. The boats were in great shape and preformed perfectly and the staff were friendly and helpful. Having worked for a number of charter companies over the years DYC is one of the best.

Charlie

British Virgin Islands Bareboat

Baja is my favorite place now. There was something for everyone: sailed under northerlies with mostly calm evenings, snorkeled, fished, bummed it on the sandy beaches, enchanted by pelicans feeding, greeted by the barking sea lions and explored the Ispiritu Santo island geology. DYC La Paz base provided competent professional support with a well provisioned and maintained boat. We were nourished well by an onboard cook arranged with DYC freeing us all for more play. A vacation and an adventure connected with nature.

Taiyoko

Mexico Crewed Premium

All staff were fantastic and made our trip very memorable. Incredibly friendly and welcoming, the food was amazing. The service throughout the trip was always first class!

Tommy

Thailand Cabin

Absolutely recommended. Perfect service and set up. Will charter again and will recommend Dream Yacht Charter anytime.

Zahradnik

Turkey Bareboat

I just returned from 3 weeks of amazing sailing with my family on one of your catamarans in Sardinia. I would like to express my thanks to our skipper Simone and Daniela, our hostess.

Giles

Sardinia Bareboat

For a first cruise as a skipper, the Mediterranean is great. The Dream Yacht Charter service is too!

Thomas

France Bareboat

We had an incredible trip and actually got engaged on the first night of our sail! We will certainly be back one day. Thank you for getting us ready for our charter. We were definitely beginners but he gave us a very thorough but very easy to follow training and it gave us a lot of confidence.

George

Australia 

The on board experience was way beyond our expectations. Isabelle provided exceptional three course meals. We could not believe her creativity and delicious meals. Thomas was an excellent skipper. He was always on the lookout for our needs. Thanks guys!” Spira, New Caledonia bareboat with crew charter

Spira

New Caledonia Bareboat

Yet again another fantastic sail with another great crew. Thanks again to a great captain and cook. Was totally fantastic.

Connie

Seychelles Easy Crewed

It’s always a pleasure sailing with DYC in the UK. Great team, great boats, great sailing. Very flexible and work hard to make your trip a success. Many thanks.

Derek

Brittany Cabin

Unforgettable spots to snorkel and beaches. Very experienced crew. Highly recommend.

Simone

No Country Selected Bareboat

 Cabin

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