From choosing the right tour length and style for you, to what to pack and how long to stay, these are our 7 quick tips for sailing the Whitsundays.  

1. How do I know which is the best tour for me for sailing the Whitsundays?


The good news is, there are lots of options out there depending on how much time you have up your sleeve, whether you’re after a party boat, a backpacker adventure, a luxury sail or something a little bit more chilled. At Prosail we like to offer a unique Whitsundays sailing adventure that’s fit for anyone – we’re not a crazy party boat company but offer the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation (with a cheeky few sundowners if that’s what you’re after).


2. When is the busiest time to travel?


It’s best to book in advance for sailing the Whitsundays to avoid missing out on your chosen tour. If you’re after avoiding the crowds then visit out of school holidays (you can google these if you’re an international) as it’s a lot busier and the flights are often more expensive.


Generally speaking our top tip for sailing the Whitsundays would be September/October but we also have a lot of marine life that visit during different times of the year (humpback whales and manta rays). To find out more info on the best months to travel read our article here.


3. How long do you recommend going on a tour for?


We recommend not going for less than 2 nights so you really have the opportunity to soak up all the Whitsundays has to offer. Keep in mind that sailing boats travel slow – they’re not power boats that can shoot you out to Whitehaven and Hill Inlet in an hour half. For example, on average journey time between destinations is 30 mins – 2/2.5 hours. So while it’s an amazing and relaxing (and in our opinion, best) way to cruise around the Whitsundays, it also means that if you can squeeze in an extra day or two it’ll ensure you get to see the absolute most of everything without rushing.


We changed all our tours during covid to longer trips for this exact reason, and the feedback we’ve had from passengers has been great.


4. Do all tours go to Whitehaven and Hill Inlet?


Most overnight tours do, but not all day trips go to Hill Inlet. One of our big tips for sailing the Whitsundays: keep in mind when booking your overnight tour is the amount of time you’ll get to spend at Whitehaven. On the shorter tours you’ll generally have maximum 2/3 hours at the north end, and rarely time at South Whitehaven. This is where the long trips are great because you get time at both and don’t feel rushed at all.


Broomstick Whitsundays Sailing Vessel

More of our tips for sailing the Whitsundays:

5. Will I get to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef my sailing the Whitsundays tour?


If you do any snorkelling around the islands (which we’re not sure of any tours that don’t offer this to be honest) then, yes! However, there are two types of reef in the Whitsundays: the fringing reef and the outer reef.

A less well known of the tips for sailing the Whitsundays: pretty much all tours will snorkel the fringing reef around the islands, but if you’re a keen snorkeller or freediver then try and book onto a tour that goes to the outer reef if the weather permits! There’s so many incredible lagoons and reef systems with countless marine life and a little more unique than the fringing reef. The visibility is generally nicer at the outer reef too.


6. Do you recommend staying a few nights before or after the tour?


Yes, we definitely do! When you’re booking your tour make sure you check the departure and return times, as quite often you actually won’t be able to fly in or leave on the same day as your tour. But regardless it’s a good idea to stay for a few days either side to explore the mainland attractions – there’s a couple really cool waterfalls and beaches. You can read about those here.


7. Any other tips for sailing the Whitsundays?


Make sure you pack the right clothes – which is a little of everything. It’s the sub tropics so we can often have 4 seasons in one day. It’s a good idea to pack a windcheater or raincoat no matter when you’re coming, but if you’re visiting in our winter months it can still get cold in the wind at night so a jumper is a good idea. We have a list on what to pack here.  


Tips for sailing the Whitsundays – make sure you do these things:

Prosail Guest Overlooking Bettys Beach
Prosail Guest Overlooking Bettys Beach

We could go on listing our tips for sailing the Whitsundays all day, but we don’t want to keep you… 

How Can I Get More Information?

If we’ve answered your questions for tips for sailing the Whitsundays and are ready to book – have a look at our tours or other articles if you have time.-Alternatively, we have a live chat button at the bottom of your screen, or feel free to contact us by email



Prosail Author and Whitsundays Professional
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