5 overnight anchorages under two hours from Shute Harbour


Compared to Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour is hours closer to the Islands; this is a huge bonus when planning your return trip.

Within two hours of leaving Shute Harbour, you will have a choice of five overnight anchorages for your first night among the Whitsunday Islands.

All guests must undergo safety and boat training on their first day of a bareboat charter. This can range from 3 – 4 hours, depending on the crew’s experience (Additional briefing time may be necessary for guests with limited experience).  Briefing and checking into your boat can be time-consuming, so having an anchorage nearby for your first night is very convenient.

Shute Harbour whitsundays

Here’s why Shute Harbour’s proximity to the islands is a huge bonus

The location of a charter company’s mainland base can significantly impact travel time to the islands and planning your return journey.

All bareboat hires in the Whitsundays must be returned in the morning before 10 am. Charterers should anchor close to the mainland for their last night to meet the return deadline.

If you return to Airlie Beach, you can anchor around Whitsunday Island or Hook Island. Both islands have overnight anchorages within 3-4 hours of travel to Airlie. However, if the weather forecast isn’t in your favour or you’re not an early riser, you may need to spend your last night at the marina to ensure you’re back in time.

When returning your boat to Shute Harbour, you can choose from several Island anchorages under two hours away, meaning you can relax and your holiday won’t be cut short.

Shute Harbour anchorages

Island anchorages close to Shute Harbour

Shute Harbour is a 10-minute drive from Airlie Beach yet hours closer to the below Whitsunday Islands.

Long Island

Happy Bay (anchor)

Happy Bay, at the northern end of Long Island and just under an hour’s sail from Shute Harbour. We suggest many people stay here on their first night simply because it is so close.

Long Island is a National Park dotted with walking tracks suitable for all.

Palm Bay (resort moorings)

Mooring at Palm Bay can provide a peaceful overnight anchorage for vessels wishing to be close to Shute Harbour on the last night of their charter.

The Palm Bay resort welcomes overnight visitors, with charters being able to pick up a mooring and stay the night on their boat. You will need to book ahead, ensuring that moorings are available. Bareboat visitors can take advantage of the resort’s pool and restaurant.

Please note that as of April 2022, Palm Bay Resort does not allow children under the age of 16.

Sandy Bay (public moorings)

Approximately 6km east-north-east of Shute Harbour, Sandy Bay is a secluded beach lined with mangroves. Ashore you will find camping facilities and walking tracks which connect up to the National Park trails crossing over Long Island.

Long Island Whitsundays

South Molle Island

Bauer Bay (anchor)

Outside our base at Shute Harbour, is beautiful Bauer Bay. It’s the best anchorage to explore the many kilometres of the National Park walking tracks on South Molle Island.

Anchor on the bay’s eastern side and take the picturesque walk up to the Spion Kop viewing platform and Mount Jeffreys. National Geographic voted this hike the Top Island Walk of Queensland

South Molle Island

Whitsunday Island

Cid Harbour (anchor)

Cid Harbour is a large Harbour with several bays offering anchorage options.

Just two hours’ sailing from Shute Harbour, it’s a popular first-night anchorage protected from most weather. The main anchorage, at Sawmill Beach, is off a shoaling sandy beach edged with fringing reefs. For the adventurous, climb through the rainforest to the top of the 437-metre-high Whitsunday Peak.

Cid Harbour Whitsundays

To learn more about chartering a yacht with Whitsunday Rent a Yacht, please browse our website or get in touch using the form below

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