Bareboating in the Whitsundays | Whitsunday Rent a Yacht

Check availability and get a price

You are here

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 which 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 teir 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

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

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 bareboat varies depending on the vessel you want to rent and the season. Check out our online booking system to see the rates and vessel availability for different dates. 

The low season falls over summer, which is a sub-tropical wet season. Hiring a yacht at this time of year is one of the area’s best-kept secrets. The peak season coincides with whale watching in the Whitsundays and perfect weather conditions for living on the water.

The mid-seasons are fantastic times to hire a yacht and periods we highly recommend because it’s likely you will have great weather and less school holiday 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, deals 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.

With just the right mix of adventure, relaxation and connection to the stars and sea, bareboating in the Whitsundays is a holiday you'll want to do again.




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

  Contact us 1800 075 000 or