5 best anchorages on Hook Island | Whitsunday Rent a Yacht

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The 5 best anchorages on Hook Island

A visit to the Whitsundays would not be complete without spending a night or two at one of the sheltered anchorages around Hook Island.

​The second-largest island in the Cumberland group, deep inlets, ideal kayaking conditions, beautiful snorkelling and safe anchorages, Hook Island is one of the most popular boating destinations in the Whitsundays.

The sheltered bays found around Hook Island offer ideal anchorages, with many boats mooring for a night or two in the calm waters. Due to its proximity to popular sights and the high chance of finding a protected place to spend the night, we often recommend first-time charters plan to anchor at Hook.

In this post, we outline the safest and most interesting places to anchore around Hook Island. 


Hook Island fringing reef

The Best Anchorages on Hook Island

Nara Inlet

Nara Inlet is spectacular. Located on the southern side of Hook Island, it’s sheltered from almost all winds thanks to the depth of the inlet which is surrounded with towering hills. When you’re not paddle boarding or kayaking over the glassy waters, take the short hike up to the Ngaro cultural site where you can see ancient cave paintings. If it’s rained recently you may also spot some waterfalls and creeks flowing towards the very end of the inlet. 

Macona Inlet

Situated right next door to Nara Inlet, Macona Inlet is similarly protected from most sides and offers a comfortable sheltered anchorage. It can be a great alternative anchorage if popular Nara Inlet is busy. There are several sand beaches to explore via tender or kayaks. When heading into Macona, keep to the port side to avoid Proud Rock sitting by the entrance. 


Stonehaven often gets a mention as one of our charterers favourite anchorages in the Whitsundays. Located on the eastern side of Hook Island and boasting a sprawling bay, this anchorage is surrounded by extensive fringing reefs offering great snorkelling. Look out for the resident turtle who frequently visits vessels, but please don’t feed him. If you want to settle in for a sunset, Stonehaven is the spot!

Butterfly Bay

Diving and snorkelling are extremely popular at Butterfly Bay and it’s often referred to as a local favourite. Found on the northern side of Hook Island, it’s a protected spot where you can pick up one of the free public moorings. The bay is home to a vast array of marine and bird life which is accessible from the beach or off your boat.

You’ll have to visit to decide how Butterfly Bay gets its name. Some people say it’s because the bay is shaped like a butterfly, others say it’s because of the colonies of butterflies found along the creek beds.

Maureen's Cove

Maureen's Cove is a spectacular snorkelling and dive sites.  We don’t generally recommend mooring here for overnight stays due to the lack of wind protection, but weather permitting you can if you must. Maureen's Cove is a very popular site for camping, just make sure you take beach shoes when you land because there's lots of coral rubble in the sand.


There is so much to see and do around Hook Island, you could spend your entire holiday exploring the different coves and fringing reefs. Hook Island includes protected bays, deep inlets, ideal sailing and kayaking conditions and pristine fringing reefs with some of the best snorkelling in the Whitsundays. Enjoy!



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