As mentioned in other posts – I absolutely love sailing! And as the Whitsundays and Whitehaven beach are accessible only by boat, this was my perfect excuse book a bunk on a sailboat for 3 days! We booked with a boat called the Boomerang taking off from Airlie Beach, but there’s loads of options. These 3 day sails provide stinger suits and snorkel gear (and rain coats when necessary) which make it ideal for backpackers. They also provide all your meals including a ridiculously tasty curry. Plus they allow an opportunity to learn how to sail yourself, allowing everyone to take turn as grinders! This was basically my dream come true.
Be prepared for THE MOST photos on this blog as I was literally in heaven every single moment of every single day! Even in the rain!
Places to stop in the Whitsundays:
Whitehaven Beach is the most famous beach is Australia and the 2nd best beach in the world! (Outranked by Grace Beach in Turks and Caicos which is now officially on my travel list.) It’s renowned for it’s white sand and turquoise waters and has also won awards for cleanliness and eco-friendliness. The sand at this particular beach is fine enough to make your feet squeak and to polish jewelry (not recommending that you travel with extra jewelry for this purpose though! hahaha). The true miracle of Whitehaven Beach though, is the sand, made almost entirely of silica, doesn’t retain heat, making it one of the most comfortable beaches I’ve ever walked or laid on.
Blue Pearl Bay
Blue Pearl Pay is a beautiful part of The Great Barrier Reef. The Boomerang crew came prepared with enough fish food to create a frenzy and scare the caviar right out of you! Be sure to bring your stinger suit though every time you go in the water to protect yourself from the jelly fish that are so invasively present in these waters!
Stone Haven is another lovely reef to dive into for a snorkel. Although the colors in these parts aren’t quite as vibrant as where I scuba’ed in Cairns, the fish are plentiful and the reef is a bit more sheltered making for a more comfortable snorkel.
Anywhere that feels well suited to a pirate party or that has a beautiful sunset!
Tips to Avoid Seasickness:
- Sleep under the stars! I know this sounds cheesy, but sea sickness is much worse below deck, plus there’s almost no light pollution and this offers an incredible view of the Milky Way and the Southern Cross (the constellation incorporated into both the Australia and New Zealand flags). A whole crew of us slept on deck the night of the pirate party and it was ARGH-mazing!
- Benadryl and Dramamine at night are a must – notably a less romantic option than #1
- Sea Bands – also a less sexy option than #1 – but they are seriously effective and won’t make you sleepy. I use them for road trips as well.
- When actively sailing, stay towards the rear of the boat as there tends to be less motion back there. If you’re all about the thrill though, the front is exhilarating!
PS – If you actually get horribly horribly ill, consider skipping the multi-day sail and look for perhaps an option that will drop you at Whitehaven Beach only. Whatever you do, don’t skip the whole thing! It was my absolute favorite part of the trip. I mean we even got to swim with and terrify a baby lemon shark!