The 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.
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 Whitsundays 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 don’t wish to relive. Instead we booked a boat called ‘Powerplay’; a decision we do not regret.
Powerplay is marketed as a couples and single-girls-only boat (sorry gents). I suppose they think this means slightly calmer clientele, as opposed to the group on the ‘Spank Me’ boat. I’m serious, this boat exists…
There are definitely other tour options out there, 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 a wider spectrum out there.
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, it 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 related 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?!
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, 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 solo female travellers, 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 of the area. Not to mention how amazing they were, cooking and cleaning for us the whole time we were on board!
They also provided plenty of entertainment 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 organised fun, but their ice breakers and general laugh-a-minute attitudes made for a great few days.
What to Pack
- 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 realising they suffer from sea sickness!
- Zip lock bags/Sandwich bags. Whatever you call them, bring them. Your valuables 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 only…
- S U N C R E A M
If you are interested to know what our days sailing around the Whitsundays consisted of in more detail, you can check it out here!