Sail the Whitsundays at these 3 times of year | Whitsunday Rent a Yacht

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3 underrated times of year to sail the Whitsundays

If you're free to sail the Whitsundays at any time of year, don't go past these three lesser-known but still fantastic time periods.

If you’re not restricted with dates, you can choose to sail the Whitsundays when there is reasonable weather, fewer crowds and lower rates.

Generally speaking, the best time to sail the Whitsundays is considered to be around August and September. However, we recommend looking at some of the time periods outside of peak season to book your charter, particularly if you can sail outside of holidays.

The three months we’ve picked out to share with you can be slightly unpredictable weather-wise, however, they’re still great times to cruise with cost advantages.

sail the Whitsundays

Peak Season and School Holidays

Visitors to the Whitsundays will need to consider the high and low seasons as well as school holidays.

Peak sailing season in the Whitsundays, when prices are the highest, runs from mid-September to October and over school holidays.

The exact school holiday dates change every year, with some states having slightly different weeks off. Generally, there are four school holiday periods: two-week holidays in April, July and September and one 5-week holiday over December – January.

Bareboating with kids is an extremely popular family holiday (for good reason;). But, if you’re able to travel outside of school holidays, you have the advantage of being able to pick times of year to sail that many people don’t. 

sail the whitsundays

Three underrated times of year to sail the Whitsundays

If you’re in the planning stages of your bareboat holiday, or if you’re booking a second or third charter, then we suggest considering these alternative times of year to sail the Whitsundays.

Sail the Whitsundays in November

Our number one pick for the most underrated time of year to sail the Whitsundays is November because you can get bargain rates outside of the wet season.

  • November is the perfect time to beat the school holiday visitors.
  • Northerly winds are more common in Novemeber, meaning it’s possible to explore different anchorages usually accessed in the Whitsundays South Easterly trade winds.
  • The official wet season in the Whitsundays is considered to be December through to March. November is on the shoulder of our dry and wet season which means there can be some light rainfall and slight humidity, but these factors are not prevailing.
  • In November, at Whitsunday Rent a Yacht, most of our boats are priced at their lowest possible rates.
  • Springs tides bring glorious full moon nights, which are incredible from a boat, plus the small increase in current means you'll go a bit faster if you work the tides when underway.
  • From late September to early November, the trade winds diminish, meaning early November is ideal cruising weather in the Whitsundays.

Sail the Whitsundays in early December

Local sailors will tell you they love to get out among the islands in December, before the holidays and the peak wet season.

  • It's usually a quieter time of year because most people are busy with Christmas preparations and end of year celebrations.
  • In December you can enjoy some lower rates.
  • Seas between islands begin to get calmer, and the early summer temperature is a daily average of 30°C.
  • Rain in December usually comes in a brief, light shower that can be lovely in the warm weather.
  • It’s a great time of year to explore the islands ashore. Some of the waterfalls begin to flow in December.

Sail the Whitsundays in late May, early June

Late May to early June are outside of the school holidays and are also great value periods.

  • Late autumn temperatures in the Whitsundays are mostly sunny, averaging around 23°C, dropping to about 18°C at night.
  • Some local people find the water temperature too cold in May, but you should be fine if you're from Melbourne!
  • May / June usually has very low rainfall and low humidity.
  • Prices aren’t at their lowest, but they aren’t at their highest either. We recommend looking at this time of year for low to mid-season rates.
  • Winds are generally more substantial in the Whitsundays from March to May. If you visit in late May to June, you’re likely to be at the tail end of our windiest period.

sail the whitsundays

What if the weather isn’t in our favour?

The Whitsunday Islands offer plenty of shelter and calm water options year-round. However, if you did happen to come across some bad weather while on a charter, there are always several sheltered anchorage options to choose.

We’ve pulled together an article on what to do if the Whitsundays weather isn’t perfect, just in case you want to be prepared for unusual conditions.

sail the whitsunday islands

Conditions in the Whitsundays are variable year to year. Weather predictions and generalisations, particularly when the ocean is involved, need to be taken with a grain of salt. However, if you're looking to get the best value and to sail with fewer holidaymakers then you can't go past these underrated times to sail the Whitsundays.



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