Australia Yacht Charter Guide
Vast, varied and vibrant, an Australia Yacht Charter will bring you a true taste of adventure
The coastline of Australia is ideal for the adventurous charterer. Ancient cultures sit side by side with cosmopolitan cities, while natural beauty abounds in the miles of deserted beaches that ring the continent. The Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands are headline acts for superyachts heading for an Antipodean adventure. From underwater caves for divers to shallow coral gardens for snorkelers, these stunning waters deliver off-the-beaten-track cruising at its most spectacular.
One of 74 islands that make up the Whitsundays, Hamilton Island is the best-known and also the perfect place to embark on a cruise through the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef. To get there take a seaplane from the mainland airports of Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne and board your yacht in the Hamilton Island Marina.
HAMILTON ISLAND TO NECK BAY (11 NAUTICAL MILES)
Home to more than 1,500 species of fish and one-third of the world’s soft corals, the Whitsundays are the ultimate underwater world. Neck Bay is a favored anchorage spot renowned for its fantastic snorkeling opportunities. After a day exploring beneath the waterline, step ashore to walk across the bay and the “neck” from west to east.
NECK BAY TO CID ISLAND (25 NAUTICAL MILES)
Cruise west towards Long Island Sound and on to Cid Island. Kayak through the mangroves or step ashore to discover untouched native bushland that is home to wallabies, sea eagles, goannas, ospreys and kookaburras. Take in the sun set from Katoomba Bank or cruise to Hill Rock Reef for a peaceful night’s anchorage.
CID ISLAND TO WHITSUNDAY ISLAND TO HOOK ISLAND (10 NAUTICAL MILES)
Cruise to Whitsunday Island and take the trail to the Whitsunday Peak for spectacular views over Cid Harbour. Spend the afternoon enjoying the yacht’s watersports equipment anchored off the west coast where jet skis and other personal watercrafts are authorized. Cruise on to Hook Island for a sheltered anchorage. Separated from Whitsunday Island by a narrow, deep passage, the island is home to a wilderness resort and provides ample opportunity for shaded forest walks.
HOOK ISLAND TO HAYMAN ISLAND TO THE OUTER REEF (45 NAUTICAL MILES)
Cruise to Blue Pearl Bay on Hayman Island for some of the best swimming and snorkeling in the Whitsundays. Cruise back towards Hook Island to explore Butterfly Bay’s underwater world covered in coral outcrops with shallow walls populated by small colorful reef fish. Discover ancient rock paintings at the cave of Ngaro – a reminder of the island’s Aboriginal past before the arrival of European settlers. Make your way towards the Outer Reef for rendezvous diving followed by a safe anchorage at Hardy Reef.
HARDY REEF AND HOOK REEF
Discover what all the fuss is about as you dive the outer reef. From spectacular fish life to turtles and reef sharks, the underwater world offers a myriad of intriguing reef species. Take a helicopter tour to view the world-famous Heart Reef from the air.
HOOK REEF TO DUMBELL ISLAND AND WHITEHAVEN BEACH (40 NAUTICAL MILES)
Cruise on to Dumbell Island, populated by a wide diversity of birds including sea eagles, before approaching the world famous Whitehaven Beach. Step ashore to the silica sand and enjoy your last dip in the stunning waters that lap the shoreline.
Offering an endless supply of attractions and activities, the far-flung land of Australia promises action and excitement whenever you venture ashore. The bright lights of the cosmopolitan cities combine with tropical islands to make a spectacular alternative cruising destination for those looking to venture to the southern hemisphere. Dotted along the east coast are Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns, all providing social outlets, while natural beauty abounds in the miles of beaches along the coastline of Queensland. Combine a few days of swimming, snorkeling or diving in the coral-rich waters of the Great Barrier Reef with a few days ashore on one of the idyllic Whitsunday Islands, then hop on a helicopter tour to Hunter Valley to explore the vineyards.
While the coastline is too vast to explore in one charter, there are endless itinerary possibilities that encompass both the bright city lights and chilled tropical islands. Due to its sheer size, the country has a variety of climates. The temperate south has cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. In the north, a tropical climate prevails with a hot wet season and warm dry season. The best time to visit is from November through March, while the ideal diving conditions around the Great Barrier Reef are from September through to early December.
- Pixies Pinnacle is a superb anchorage for all manner of marine life, Great Barrier Reef
- Snorkel around Cod Hole
- Venture inland to Hunter Valley and choose from over 90 vineyards to go wine tasting
- Explore the aboriginal culture inland
- Enjoy a private sunset ascent over the Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Partake or spectate at the iconic Aussie surf haunt of Byron Bay
- Hike the Daintree Rainforest, Cairns
Protected from the ocean swells by the lee of the lower Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday Islands provide some of the safest cruising waters in the world. Although it is a year-round destination, the best time to visit is from May to October. November to April is the wet season and the days and nights are hotter and more humid.