Bareboating in the Whitsundays | Whitsunday Rent a Yacht

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Bareboating in the Whitsundays: How it works

Bareboating gives you the freedom to explore uninhabited islands, stunning beaches and the underwater worlds of the Great Barrier Reef marine park – all from your private floating hotel

Bareboating in the Whitsundays is a holiday that gives you privacy, adventure and an opportunity to immerse yourself in a world-class destination. But first, let's cover the basics...

What is bareboating?

Bareboating is hiring a yacht, catamaran or motor cruiser without a professional crew. You and your family or friends operate and live on the boat for a sailing holiday around the Whitsundays.

Bareboating means you have the freedom to choose how you explore. You decide your itinerary – where you anchor each night and what activities you do throughout the islands.

Some people have incredibly adventurous bareboating holidays with lots of sailing, hiking and diving. Others prefer to make their sailing holiday a relaxing romantic escape, enjoying lazing on pristine beaches, curling up with a book and living onboard at a slower pace.

Bareboating in the Whitsundays

What's so special about bareboating in the Whitsundays?

The Whitsunday Islands are a famous tropical paradise, and there is no better way to experience their natural beauty and splendour than from a private yacht.

The Whitsundays Islands are considered one of the best and safest sailing destinations in the world thanks to several factors:

  • The Great Barrier Reef protects the islands from large ocean swells making the waters relatively calm
  • The Whitsundays receive consistent trade winds (east to south-easterly winds) making for great sailing conditions
  • There are 74 Islands in the Whitsundays with more than 40 safe anchorages to spend the night. You won’t be short of new places to explore
  • The Whitsundays is home to one of the best beaches in the world, Whitehaven, as well as dozens of smaller and equally amazing coves and sandy shores
  • Thanks to most of the islands holding a national park status and only a small selection inhabited, the Whitsunday waters and reefs are clean and pristine
  • Bareboating and sailing in the Whitsundays are extremely popular, so help is never far away.
  • Hamilton Island marina and some of the other island resorts are open to people on private yacht charters giving you access to world-class resort facilities, restaurants and shopping
  • Cruising time between the islands is approximately 2 hours, which means you will have time in the day to enjoy your destinations without needed to spend too much time on the move.
  • There is a variety of beaches and coves away to explore from day crowds. Check out this post on cruising the Whitsundays: 20 places charterers love.

Bareboating in the Whitsundays

What’s included on a bareboat?

A bareboat comes fully equipped with fresh linen, towels and a kitchen with everything you need to prepare your meals. All vessels will have safety equipment, navigational aids and a copy of the Whitsunday Sailing Bible, 100 Magic Miles.

Whitsunday Rent a Yacht provides complimentary snorkelling gear to all of our guests. At an additional cost, you can hire stinger suits, kayaks, SUPS and fishing gear.

You will need to pack personal items such as suncream and clothing and arrange your food which you can bring yourself or organise through one of the local Whitsundays provisioning companies

You find a comprehensive list of what's included on your bareboat here.

Do I need a licence to go bareboating in the Whitsundays?

You do not need a boating licence to hire a bareboat in the Whitsundays. It helps if at least one member of your crew has some basic boating and navigation knowledge, but no formal qualifications are needed.

Everyone received a comprehensive briefing on how to operate their vessel above and below deck before they begin their charter.

If you are feeling unsure about your sailing experience or your ability to handle a boat, you can hire a sail guide for an hourly or daily rate to make sure you're confident with skippering the boat yourself.

We also run the Whitsunday School of Sailing, which is an option for anyone wanting to brush up on their sailing knowledge or learn the basics before a charter.

Further questions are answered in this post: Do I need sailing experience to go on a bareboat charter.

Bareboating in the Whitsunday Islands

What is there to do when I go bareboating in the Whitsundays?

There are so many things to do when you go bareboating we've written several blog posts on the activities. Feel free to click on the links listed below to find more detailed posts on these popular activities.

The cost of bareboating in the Whitsundays

The cost of hiring a yacht in the Whitsundays varies depending on the vessel and the season.

The lowest rates fall over summer, which is a sub-tropical wet season. The peak season coincides with whale watching season and perfect weather conditions for living on the water.

The mid-seasons are fantastic times to hire a yacht for a great price; they are periods we highly recommend because it’s likely you will still have great weather with less crowds.

Some of our boats can sleep up to 10 people. If you split the costs between 10 people over seven nights, the price can be as low as $60 per person, per night. 

To gage an idea on rates and what vessel could work for you, please visit our rates page and use the online booking system to see vessel availability and prices. Of course, we also invite you to get in touch with our team who will help tailor a sailing holiday to your needs.

bareboating whitsundays

What's the best time of year to Visit the Whitsundays?

September and August are considered by tourism operators to be the best times of year to sail the Whitsundays. However, every season around the sub-tropical islands offers something unique.

We will often tell people who are able to sail outside of school holidays to consider these three underrated times of year to sail the Whitsundays: November, June and December. These shoulder seasons offer great rates, decent weather and less crowds.

No matter what time of year or what you decide to do, bareboating in the Whitsunday will be a perfect adventure with a mix of relaxation, action and beauty. Many people ay that once you go bareboating, you will want to do it for every holiday!




Join us to go bareboating in the Whitsundays and enjoy the freedom to explore

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