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.

Dreaming of setting sail in the stunning Whitsunday Islands? If you’ve got some flexibility in your schedule, you can opt for a time when the weather is just right, the crowds are sparse, and the rates are lower.

Typically, the the sweet spot for sailing the Whitsundays is considered to be around August and September. Here’s a tip: peek outside of the peak season, especially if you can plan your voyage to avoid the school 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.

About the Peak Seasons and School Holidays

Now, let’s talk about the nitty-gritty of timing. Peak sailing season, with its peak prices, dances from mid-September to October, coinciding with school holidays. Keep an eye on those school holiday dates – they vary, but generally, there are two-week breaks in April, July, and September, and a lengthier five-week break over December and January.

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

Three underrated times of year to sail the Whitsundays

Planning your bareboat holiday or considering a second or third charter? Look no further – we’ve picked out three underrated times of the year that promise a delightful Whitsunday experience.

November Sailing: The Bargain Bonanza

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 takes the crown for the most underrated time to sail the Whitsundays. Here’s why:

  • Beat the school holiday rush.
  • Northerly winds open up new anchorages not usually accessible during the South Easterly trade winds.
  • It’s on the cusp of the wet season, so you might get a sprinkle of rain and a hint of humidity, but nothing overwhelming.
  • Bargain rates galore at Whitsunday Rent a Yacht.
  • Experience glorious full moon nights with spring tides.
  • Diminishing trade winds make early November ideal for cruising.

    Early December Delights: A Tranquil Prelude to the Holidays

    December isn’t just about holiday chaos – it’s a serene time for island exploration:

    • Quieter vibes as folks gear up for Christmas.
    • Enjoy lower rates.
    • Calmer seas between islands and a pleasant daily average temperature of 30°C.
    • Brief, light showers add charm to the warm weather.
    • Perfect for exploring the islands on foot, with waterfalls starting to flow.
    sailing whitsunday islands

    Late May to Early June: Value-Packed Tranquility

    Escape school holiday hustle with late May to early June sailing:

    • Sunny autumn temperatures around 23°C during the day and a cool 18°C at night.
    • Low rainfall and humidity for a comfortable cruise.
    • Great value with mid-season rates.
    • While winds are usually stronger from March to May, late May to June marks the tail end of the windiest period.

    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. There is also the option of mooring your boat at Hamilton Island Marina, giving you the option to combine a resort holiday with your sailing adventure

    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.

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

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