10 reasons sailing the Whitsundays is better than staying at an island resort


Sailing holidays are adventurous and offer a sense of freedom and independence that a resort holiday cannot match

Are you planning a trip to the Whitsunday Islands and trying to decide between booking an island resort or a bareboating sailing adventure? While both options offer unique experiences, there are several reasons why a bareboating adventure might be the better choice for your next vacation.

Whitsunday Islands

Sailing the Whitsundays Vs Staying at an Island Resort

A resort holiday typically involves staying at a hotel or resort with various on-site amenities and activities. Resort holidays are popular with those who want a relaxing time away without much planning or decision-making. Resorts typically provide a range of facilities, such as swimming pools, spa treatments, and organised tours, making it easy to find things to do without much effort. However, resort holidays can be expensive, crowded, and lack adventure.

On the other hand, sailing holidays can be more adventurous and offer a sense of freedom and independence that resort holidays cannot match. Read on to see why a sailing holiday trumps a resort holiday.

Freedom to Explore

One of the most significant advantages of a bareboating adventure is the freedom to explore the Whitsunday Islands at your own pace. When you book an island resort, you’re primarily confined to the resort’s property or nearby areas. With a rented yacht, however, you can sail to a range of Islands and explore secluded beaches, hidden coves, and stunning landscapes inaccessible from the mainland or island resort hubs

whitsunday beach island resort

Flexibility and Customisation

Another benefit of a bareboating adventure is the flexibility and customisation it offers. With an island resort, you’re largely at the mercy of the resort’s schedule. Meals are often served with set times, activities are scheduled in advance, and there’s not much room for deviation from the plan.

With a bareboating adventure, on the other hand, you can create your itinerary based on your interests and preferences. If you want to spend an extra day exploring a particular island, you can. If you’re dreaming of sleep-ins and lazy mornings, you can do that too. You can create your menu to suit everyone’s tastes, giving you complete control over your schedule.

If you want to take the pressure of meal preparation, look into some local provisioning companies catering specifically for bareboat holidays.


Privacy and Seclusion

You’re likely to encounter other tourists when staying at a resort, even a remote one. With a bareboat adventure, you can enjoy true privacy and seclusion. You can anchor your yacht in a secluded cove, away from other boats and people, and enjoy a peaceful evening under the stars. You can wake up to the sound of the waves lapping against the hull of your yacht and enjoy a cup of coffee on deck without seeing another soul.

Many secret anchorages and hidden gems around the Islands are tucked away from the main tourist sights, ideal for those wanting a private boating experience.

meal sailing

Value for money

Believe it or not, a bareboat sailing holiday can be more cost-effective than an island resort, especially if you are travelling with a group. By splitting the rental costs, opting to sail in the low season, sharing meals and choosing a boat suited to budget travel, it can be extremely cost effective.

If you’re interested in learning more about the costs associated with a bareboat charter, read this post: How much does it cost to charter a yacht in the Whitsundays

For a quick quote, head to our simple online quote system.

resort boat whitsundays

Changes of scenery

The Whitsundays are known for their stunning scenery, and a sailing holiday allows you to experience it up close. Furthermore, the mobility of your “floating hotel” enables you to soak up various landscapes and locations depending on your interests. Sail through turquoise waters, take the tender ashore to laze on white sand beaches or admire lush tropical vegetation and views as you traverse the many walking trails scattered throughout the islands.

For those interested in the indigenous culture, there are a couple of historical sights throughout the islands, with the main attraction being the Ngaro Artwork deep within Nara Inlet.

Adventure & unlimited time for watersports

Sailing is an adventure in itself; there are plenty of opportunities for adventurous experiences in the Whitsundays. You can go snorkelling or diving to see colourful marine life, hike through rainforests, kayak along rugged coastlines or even going after some Spanish Mackerel so your crew can feast on fresh fish throughout your charter.

Each day, you’re working with the uncontrollable elements, so a sense of adventure and a willingness to be flexible are essential!

Hook Island Whitsundays Fishing

Connect with nature not found within an Island Resort

A sailing holiday allows you to connect with nature in a way that an island resort can’t. You’ll be surrounded by the natural beauty of the Whitsundays from dawn to dusk, and you’ll come to appreciate it in a more intimate way. Taking in the stillness of a sunrise or the beauty of a sunset on deck after a day of basing your activities around the natural world is truly good for the soul!

Most parents know that screens are negatively impacting their children’s childhood. When you’re living on a boat, it can be a chance to go completely screen-free. Pack the Uno cards, prepare for some Charades and ensure everyone has a good book or two to get back to basics and the natural rhythm of life.

Access famous sites away from tours

World-famous Whitehaven Beach and the stunning view over Hill Inlet is located within the Whitsunday Islands. These natural wonders must be seen to be believed and are worth ticking off your bucket list.

Whitehaven and Hill Inlet are extremely popular sights, with day tours from Airlie Beach on the mainland and Hamilton Island resort. If you get the timing right during your bareboat charter, you can access these famous places in the morning or later in the day when the tours have stopped running.

Hill Inlet Whitehaven Beach

You can still have some island resort time!

There are several Island resorts scattered throughout the Whitsunday Islands. Those on a bareboat charter can access Hamilton Island, Palm Bay resort on Long Island and Daydream Island. Access to each resort is granted within their unique guidelines. For example, at Daydream, you need to book accommodation on the resort to berth at their jetty. And at Palm Bay, access is for over 16s.

Hamilton Island is the best island resort to visit on a bareboat charter. You can access the resort’s pools, shops, restaurants, spas and beaches by paying a nightly berthing fee. You really can have your cake and eat it too!

Looking for things to do on Hamilton Islands? See this post: 15 Fabulous Things to do on Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island Whitsuday Resorts

Unique and Memorable Experience

Finally, a sailing holiday in the Whitsundays is a truly unique and memorable experience you’ll cherish for years. It’s a chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the beauty of the tropics.

To some, the experiences you’ll share, the natural beauty you’ll see, and the adventures you embark on will stay with you for years. You can be sure that everyone will remember “that time you went on a sailing holiday” but will they remember when you stayed in another island resort?

Ultimately, choosing between a resort holiday and a sailing holiday depends on personal preferences and what you want to get out of your vacation.  A resort holiday may be the best option if you’re looking for a relaxing, all-inclusive holiday with plenty of amenities and planned activities. If you’re seeing adventure, independence, and the ability to explore new places, a sailing holiday may be the way to go.

Why provision for your Whitsundays holiday

Why provision for your Whitsundays holiday

Several Whitsunday provisioning companies cater for holidays and specialise in bareboat charters. They all offer flexible packages which can be customised to fit the budget-conscious or those who want to indulge. While provision might at first seem like a luxury, it...

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