Skip the crowds, save on rates and see the Whitsunday Islands come alive when you go bareboating in summer.

Bareboating in Summer: The Whitsundays best kept secret


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Discover the advantages of opting for a bareboat charter during summer in the Whitsundays.

Understanding summer sailing conditions in the Whitsunday Islands can unlock the potential for a fantastic charter experience with incredible rates for people in the know.

In this post, we explore the details of summer bareboating in the Whitsundays. Learn about the wet season timing, the advantages of bareboating in December, January, and February, and discover the unique features the Whitsundays’ summer weather brings.

When is the wet season in the Whitsundays?

Summer in the southern hemisphere runs from December – March. The official wet season in Whitsundays is from January – March.

Secrets about bareboating in the Whitsundays over summer

If you book a charter in late November and December, you can enjoy low season rates, calm seas and fewer people.

One of the best-kept secrets about sailing in the wet season is how delightfully warm the rain is. Also, it doesn’t constantly rain, with the tropical heat broken up by showers that only last for a few moments before the sun starts shining again.

We’ll cover some more summer sailing advantages in detail below.

Whitsundays summer weather conditions

The heat throughout a Whitsunday’s summer is constant, running between 28-32 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

The ocean provides sea breezes, and the water temperature stays at 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit).

Humidity is high at around 80%, but the sea breeze takes the edge off when you are on a boat.

Winds generally come from the east or the north and are mostly light at around 15 knots.

Summer is stinger season; a stinger suit for snorkelling and swimming is required for safety. We actually suggest that our gests wear a stinger suit year-round for sun protection and peace of mind.

Rainbow Whitsundays summer wet season

Summer sailing conditions in the Whitsundays

Generally speaking, the light winds in summer make sailing conditions smooth in the Whitsundays. The winds start to pick up in March and are at their strongest through May.

It’s always a good idea to check the wind conditions regularly when planning your charter. The weather can be unpredictable, even in the most predictable seasons! We recommend you look at local weather sites like Willy Weather, Windfinder, BOM and Elders Weather for up-to-date wind conditions. While you are on the water, our team always stands by to assist with advice.

Best anchorages for summer sailing

To stay comfortable and cool, you will want to avoid anchorages and moorings exposed to the northerly winds. We recommend these anchorages when the northerly winds are blowing and the temperatures are high:

  • Chance Bay, Whitsunday Island: Soft sand, great swimming and sunbaking
  • Stonehaven, Hook Island: Beautiful coral reefs great for snorkelling
  • Cid Harbour, Whitsunday Island: Great rainforest walking trails, picnic areas and soft sandy beaches
  • Enjoy a stop-off at Turtle Bay or a visit to Lindeman Island, where you can hike to Mount Oldfield to see breathtaking views of Pentecost, Hamilton, and the Whitsunday Islands.

The best vessels for bareboating in summer

It’s possible to hire a yacht with air-conditioning if you are concerned about the humidity. The downside to air conditioners is they are powered by a generator which can be loud. Some boat air conditioners will only work when plugged into mains power at places like the Hamilton Island Marina.

If you want to hire a yacht with an air conditioner, please chat with our reservations team and make sure you know any boat-specific limitations. It is important to have reasonable expectations about what an air conditioner can do while living on the ocean.

If the idea of a generator and aircon is not appealing, you can opt for a vessel with ample shade cover in the cockpit and plenty of windows. You might also like to look for a boat which has cabin fans.

sunset in teh whitsundays
Why go Bareboating in Summer

Save with summer sailing rates

Put simply, if you go sailing in the Whitsundays over the summer, you will get a great deal. Summer is not peak season, and yacht hire rates are significantly lower. We’re talking savings of up to $500 a day!!! If you charter for several days, you reduce your hire costs by thousands of dollars!

Check out our rates page if you want to compare rates throughout the seasons.

The wet season rain is warm

The wet season isn’t wet all of the time. Over summer, showers pass quickly. Towards the end of summer, we do get more rain, but it usually happens once a day in the afternoon.

The good thing about bareboating in the wet season is the rain is warm. You might find that you look forward to the occasional warm freshwater shower. It’s refreshing on a yacht.

The Whitsunday waterfalls come alive

After the dryer months, the tropical Whitsunday Islands come alive. Waterfalls burst forth with renewed energy, which makes for unique photo opportunities and pleasant freshwater swimming.

The best waterfalls can be found by pulling up at Nara Inlet or Stonehaven Bay on Hook Island.

Experience Whitsunday rainforests

A stroll through a Whitsunday rainforest in the wet will give a whole new perspective to the term “rain forest”!  The tropical forest smells fresh and new, and running streams and rivulets add to the ambience. Many forms of tropical wildlife, including birds, frogs and reptiles, often become more active throughout the wet, which is great news for the quiet observer.

Avoid the crowds

Perhaps one of the biggest drawcards for sailing the Whitsundays in summer is you will experience the Islands away from the peak season crowds. Many popular anchorages will be uninhabited, meaning you will experience this amazing part of the world all to yourself. What an opportunity!

Escape the crowds by sailing the Whitsundays in summer, enjoying uninhabited anchorages and the tranquillity of this spectacular destination. Seize the opportunity to explore the Whitsundays at a great rate, away from peak season crowds, and inquire about a memorable summer bareboating holiday. Visit our rates page for more information or contact the team with any queries.

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Whitsunday Rent a Yacht acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and in particular the Traditional Owners of the Whitsunday's Region, the Gia, Juru and Ngaro People; We recognise their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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