The Whitsundays: A Quick Guide

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday IslandsThe Whitsundays are a group of islands located on the coast of Queensland. If you are even considering visiting these islands, DO IT! Seriously. You will not regret it – that I say with confidence. Our visit to the Whitsundays was one of the best experiences of my life so far, and a definite highlight of Australia.

I have so much to tell you about this adventure, and so much to show you! This post will (hopefully) give you an idea of the basics. You will have to await the next one if you would like to hear more!

Choosing Your Tour

Where to begin? Well. We booked our Whitsundays tour when we had first arrived in Melbourne, about 6 weeks prior to actually going. Warning: do not do this – to avoid disappointment.

We later discovered that everyone else on our trip had booked months in advance, so I have no clue how we snuck in! The tour we booked seemed a little on the pricey side given that it was only for 2 nights/3 days, but do remember that you wake up when the sun rises so the days are long – you are sleeping on a boat after all!

I’m no expert, but it seemed to us like the majority of trips were sold as party packages. Picture this: foam party’s, crude drinking games, and a little more nudity than you bargained for. Similar to a Zante holiday I went on when I was 16…and didn’t wish to recreate. Instead we booked a boat called ‘Powerplay’; a decision we will never regret.

Powerplay was sold to us as a couples and single-girls-only boat (sorry gents). I suppose they thought this would mean slightly calmer clientele, as opposed to the group on the ‘Spank Me’ boat (I’m serious, this is what it’s called).

There are definitely are other tour options out there than the ones we were presented with in that little Melbourne hostel, especially if you’re willing to flash the cash. Perhaps unlike we did it would be wise to do some research before you go… Alternatively you could just take my word for it and book the same trip we did!

N.B. The party packages were in the same price range as our trip, but there is definitely a wider spectrum out there.

Powerplay Catamaran

Contrary to the party boat, we had an onboard jacuzzi, 2 trampoline nets to laze about on, and a really really nice crew. Important note: the crew cook all your meals for you as part of the package deal. I know, I know, this just keeps getting better!

Other features of the catamaran include:

  • Private cabins – there aren’t many of these so be sure to snap yours up.
  • A shower – you’re only allowed 30 second showers (yup, no conditioner ladies), your main goal is to rinse off any saltwater.
  • Paddle Boards – for obvious fun reasons.
  • Snorkelling gear – don’t worry about bringing your own.
  • Scuba diving gear – you have to pay a little extra to scuba, but it’s always nice to have options!
  • Underwater blue lights – at night you can see the amazing creatures that come out to play. Apparently some crazy people do night time snorkelling sessions, but I can’t see myself signing up for that one anytime soon! Can you imagine?!

The Group

Our little boat family consisted of 18 guests, and 3 crew members. As previously mentioned, the guests were supposedly couples/relatively calm individuals only. For our trip at least, this wasn’t really the case – the couple part I mean. In fact, I think we were the only couple on board!

So if you are worried about third-wheeling, don’t be! We were quite a diverse bunch. There were a few siblings, a few girls travelling alone, a group of friends, and a family (no young kids though obv).

As for the crew we had our Skipper – whatever that means, I know nothing about boats… We also had one crew member and one trainee crew member. The entire crew were incredibly fun and friendly. They were professional in terms of teaching us about the islands, the wildlife, and the history. Not to mention cooking and cleaning for us the whole time we were on board (thanks guys).

They also provided plenty of entertainment for us i.e. catching squid at night to attack the party boats with. This was funny, cruel and gross in equal measures.

For the most part the crew just really brought the group together. I’m not usually one for organized fun, but their ice breakers and general laugh-a-minute attitudes made for a great few days.

What to Bring

  • Swimwear. Swimwear. Swimwear. You basically don’t need any clothes except for PJ’s.
  • Towels and toiletries: Stating the obvious.
  • Sea sickness meds – you’d be surprised how many people commit to a 3 day boat tour without realizing they suffer from sea sickness!
  • Zip lock bags/Sandwich bags. Whatever you call them, bring them. Your valuable items will thank you later.
  • Alcohol if you want it. You aren’t allowed any glass on the boat so prepare in advance. You can buy alcohol down by the marina where you board, but I’m talking beers and boxed wine…
  • S U N C R E A M

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands

If you are interested to know what our days out there consisted of, you can check it out here! I promise there are plenty of pictures :). 

 

The Whitsundays: A Quick Guide

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