sailing whitsundays southern cross

The Whitsunday Island group is made up of 74 stunning islands of paradise, including the infamous Whitehaven Beach. Most visitors to Airlie Beach will allow a few days to sail around the islands, however if you do only have one day to explore, then there are number of day sailing tours available. As a travel agent at Nomads Airlie Beach I have been lucky enough to experience a number of whitsunday sailing boat tours and today, I decided to head out to Whitehaven Beach for a day on a boat called Southern Cross.

whitsundays sailing

There are number of boats to choose from when sailing the Whitsundays - from schooners, catamarans and sailing yachts. I personally love the sailing yachts as when onboard, you really get that fast paced, adventure style experience. Southern Cross was built in Perth to race in the Americas Cup. This superb racing yacht also once won the Louis Vuitton Cup!

Departing at 8am and returning at 5:30pm, Southern Cross sailing is a full day out on the water offering a real sailing experience. The boat departs from Airlie Beach, through Hooks Passage and down to Tongue Bay, before arriving at Whitsunday Island where we could explore Whitehaven Beach and take a walk to the famous lookout point - Hill Inlet.

After check in and meeting the crew (who were really friendly) it was time to set sail and be on our way to Hill Inlet. When on route morning tea and cakes were provided for everyone to enjoy and once that was over the real sailing began. Guests were encouraged to help with the sailing and I personally helped with the hoisting and trimming of the sails, this put the boat on the angle and allowed us to pick up some real speed out on the water.

southern cross boat

After about two and half hours we were at our first location - Hill Inlet. This was a guided 15min walk. Once the postcard pictures were taken it was time to walk down to the famous Whitehaven Beach. An hour was allocated for the beach where you could go swimming or just relax and enjoy the white sandy beach. Once the lovely beach time was over it was time to walk back to the boat that was waiting at Tongue Bay and have some lunch.

Lunch was a buffet style of various meats and veg options, it was a good selection for all. After the lovely lunch it was time again to set sail and make our way to do some snorkelling. Our snorkel spot for around 45mins was at Ravens Cove, a nice cove with a good reef but due to currents there wasn’t fantastic visibility though it was a very enjoyable experience. Snorkelling time was over and sails were once again set to make our way back to Airlie Beach. Afternoon tea and fruit was provided on the homecoming and journey time back was around one and half hours.

Overall a fantastic full day on a great sail boat, friendly and approachable crew, and good day for all ages. Thank you Southern Cross sailing for a wonderful experience! :)