Located to the east of Hook Island in the Whitsundays, Border Island offers amazing snorkelling, secluded beaches, a great hike and spectacular views.
Far enough away from many of the day tour crowds, yet close to enough to be within comfortable sailing reach, this treasure certainly warrants being included on your bareboating itinerary.
There is a beautiful overnight anchorage on Border Island, however, if you’re on a timeline, you may like to consider adding a lunchtime stop off to your itinerary.
Border Island is a location on the way to popular sites in the Whitsundays. It's close enough to Tongue Bay and Whitehaven Beach to stop off at if, for instance, you've spent the night at Whitehaven, Chalkies or Tongue Bay and you’re heading to spend the next night on the north of Hook Island.
Perhaps what makes Border Island such a hotspot is how heavily protected it has been since the 1930s. Border Island is a Marine National Park Green Zone, which is the highest form of protective zoning in the Whitsunday Islands. It means that the marine life is abundant, birdlife is thriving and the water is as pristine as it gets.
On the north coast of Border Island lies Cateran Bay; a special sandy beach which has made it to our top 10 beaches in the Whitsunday region list.
The steep, tree-clad slopes surrounding Cateran Bay give it a sense of seclusion and if you’re lucky you will have the place to yourself. We often tell couples to plan a visit to Cateran for a romantic escape away from the day crowds.
The secluded sandy beach is best accessed at high or mid-tide. You can snorkel off the beach or even off your boat and you’ll be treated to swimming with a diverse variety of fish which are thriving in the area.
Public moorings have been installed to prevent damage to the fringing reefs. It is possible to anchor outside an exclusion zone marked by triangular reef protection buoys.
Experiencing abundant marine life is the biggest drawcards for Border Island.
In northerly winds, there is good snorkelling and diving along the island’s southwest and southeast flanks at Pitstop Bay. Neither of these spots offers acceptable anchorage for anything longer than a lunchtime stop.
Beautiful plate coral is found in the shallow waters of Cateran Bay. Inside the bay current is minimal, however, beware of strong currents at the entrance, particularly of the north-west tip.
While the marine life is prolific, it's important to remember that Border Island is a 'no-take' zone and fishing is most definitely not permitted.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services have created a new walking track which can be accessed from the north-west side of the island in Cateran Bay.
Allow one hour return for the class 3 1.2km track, which takes you on a journey across the island’s ‘saddle’ through native grasslands. We are expecting interpretive signage to be installed in the coming months.
The rewards along the way are stunning views from two lookouts.
Border Island is a beautiful escape offering amazing sites below and above the water. Be sure to stop in here to get your nature fix and to lap up a truly pristine part of the Whitsundays.
Join us to sail in the Whitsundays and enjoy the freedom to explore