The Whitsundays, Australia

Sailing vacations

Sailing experience level

Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef

A world away from Australia’s arid outback lies a string of idyllic tropical islands, teeming with life and boasting some of the world’s most spectacular natural landscapes. These are The Whitsundays—a chain of 74 islands off the Queensland Coast and now home to our Australian base.

For those wishing to leave the rat race behind, Hamilton Island is the ideal South Pacific paradise. Home to the famous Hamilton Island Race week, this lush, green paradise isle offers fantastic views across the South Pacific, where pods of migratory whales can sometimes be spotted making their way to deeper waters.

The vast expanse of the Great Barrier Reef runs along the length of Queensland’s coastline, just a handful of miles out from Hamilton Island. Snorkel and dive this subaqueous landscape, renowned as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and explore the pristine beaches, secluded coves and exhilarating bush walks of the fabulous Whitsunday Islands.

Suggested bareboat itineraries

Charter your own private yacht and sail the Coral Sea on an Australian bareboat charter vacation. More experienced sailors will relish the opportunity to explore the Whitsundays at their leisure, stopping off at quiet, picturesque anchorages and striking out to discover the Great Barrier Reef whenever the mood takes them. A liberating and thrilling way to explore the Coral Sea.

Whitsundays one-week bareboat

  • Big game fishing
  • Long Island koalas
  • Snorkelling Hayman Island
  • Manatee and turtle spotting
  • Hill Inlet Lookout photography
  • Relaxing on Whitehaven Beach
Itinerary details
Sailing School

Sailing schools

Learn to sail at one of our bases. From the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, Thailand to Australia, or even a bit closer to home at our Port Solent base, our RYA qualified instructors teach you all the skills you’ll need on your sailing holiday.

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Experience required

Sailing experience level
At least 10 days or 200 miles as skipper on an equivalent size yacht

Our intermediate sailing destinations, Level 2 sailing areas offer a greater challenge for sailors more comfortable on the open water. Enjoy strong winds and longer spells of open water sailing, suitable for more experienced skippers.

Skippered Holiday

Try a skippered holiday

  • Relax and let your skipper take charge
  • Be as hands on or laid back as you like
  • Learn from an expert skipper
  • Gain local knowledge and recommendations
  • Peace of mind and safety on the water
  • Discretion and privacy when you need it
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Sailing conditions

Max temp
50 (°F)
Min temp
Avg precipitation
Avg wind speed
Dominant wind direction
Hamilton Island/Great Barrier Reef (Australia)


6 Bay Terrace

Shutte Harbour

Queensland 4802


Base opening hours

Mon-Sun: 8am-5pm

Nearest airport
Proserpine Airport

Choose Sunsail

Destinations worldwide
Flotilla routes
Types of yachts
40 yrs
Creating holidays
4 hr
Service guarantee
ABTA – The Travel Association
Consumer protection