Whitsunday cruising

The Whitsunday Islands on Queensland's tropical coast are the epitome of the perfect tropical island holiday destination and are synonymous with the image of paradise. Centrally located on the Queensland Coast, the Whitsundays are right in the heart of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. The main islands lie directly between the Queensland Coast and The Great Barrier Reef to the east.

They are the most well known and well visited island group in Australia, and as one of the country's major tourist attractions and holiday destinations, they are without question a very special part of Australia. There are a mind boggling array of cruise options when it comes to the Whitsundays - including diving, yachting or plain old sightseeing.

Island Hopping

The cheapest are resort connection services, which link the various resorts on the Whitsunday Islands to the mainland. If you would like to do your own thing then arm yourselves with an Island Hopper Pass, a timetable and a map then set out exploring the islands on your very own itinerary. This way you can explore the Whitsundays at your leisure and see what you want to see.

Day and half day cruises

whitsunday deck Day and half day cruises around the islands are very popular, and due to that popularity, are within the budget of most travellers. The scenery is simply spectacular, and the majority of the islands are uninhabited, so you get to sail past and occasionally land and walk around on an island in its natural pristine condition. Almost obligatory is a visit to Whitsunday Island and a trek up the 20 minute rainforest walk to Tongue Point Lookout for that classic view over Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach that is featured in so many promotional shots of the Whitsundays. Most cruises then feature a visit for Whitehaven Beach, with its 7 kilometres of pure white silica sand curving around to Solway Passage and Hazelwood Island.

Some day and half day cruises on offer the chance to do a spot of diving, using either a snorkel or full scuba diving gear. Popular dive spots are around Bird Island and Langford Reef, which are nestled between Hayman and Hook Islands. This location is protected from the majority of sea and wind conditions, but does give rise to currents during tidal run. As a dive site, it excels however, with a full range of protected corals, marine life, small caves and coral walls. Expect to find Cod, Coral Trout, coral crunching Parrot Fish and other fish species hiding under the ledges awaiting your investigation.

Dive The Whitsundays

The Whitsundays offer many perfect dive sites. Almost every anchorage on the islands has awesome fringing reefs and drop off's with a huge variety of marine life. Diving in the Whitsundays has become more affordable then ever over the last few years as more and more Whitsundays scuba diving operators expand their diving operations. You can go on a cruise with an hour dive option, or embark on a multi-day adventure. If snorkelling is more your thing, there are similar options available.

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Multi Day Tours and Cruises

If you come to the Whitsundays intent on doing more that a basic cruise around the island, the options are many. Firstly, there is the type of craft you travel on - a cruiser, a yacht, a catamaran - the choice is vast, as is whether you hire the craft and sail yourself, or join a cruise and let someone else do the navigating.

If you intend cruising beyond a day, you can use a mainland resort or accommodation as a base and go cruising during the day; stay on an island or various islands overnight, or sail on a craft with onboard accommodation. The focus can be on simply cruising the islands, going ashore and exploring, spending your days utilising the facilities at the island resorts, or diving at various locations around the islands. What you see and what you do is only limited by the amount of time your have available and how much money you want to spend.

About The Whitsunday Islands

Nestled in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays share the same idyllic climate as the Bahamas, the Caribbean and Tahiti. Nature has left a collection of islands - actually what remains of submerged mountains - rising from a bright turquoise sea. The fringing coral reefs, tropical rainforests, pristine beaches and crystal clear waters, largely untouched by man, make this one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.

World Heritage listed, the Whitsundays form part of the world's largest National Park. Comprising some 74 islands the Whitsunday Group is primarily uninhabited. However if you pine for civilisation there is always one of the internationally renowned island resorts from which to choose. The warm aquamarine waters range between 20 and 25 deg. C allow year round snorkeling and diving opportunities and provide a glimpse into the magic of these Great Barrier Reef Islands.

The Whitsundays with its safe anchorages and coves, sheltered by the Great Barrier Reef, is one of the world's finest cruising areas and will undoubtedly capture your heart and imagination. Lying in the tropics close to 20 deg south the Whitsundays has an enviable climate year round. The Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea protect the waters of the Whitsundays from the ocean seas with most islands being surrounded by a fringing reef system.

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