Home » Sailing the Whitsunday Islands in Australia with Topdeck

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands in Australia with Topdeck

Whilst planning my Australia adventure, it was photos of the impossibly picture-perfect Whitsunday Islands that put a sailing adventure there at the very top of my list. As you might know by now, I’m a real sucker for tropical paradise, and the Whitsunday Islands have to got to be the most visually appealing place I have ever seen!

Whitsundays Adventure with Topdeck

Sailing the Whitsundays Islands Australia with Topdeck

It was October time when I finally arrived in pretty little Airlie Beach on our Topdeck tour. Turns out, this is perfect time to visit as it isn’t jelly fish season so no wetsuits needed, phew!

We departed early from Airlie Beach on the beautiful East Coast and within minutes, we were gliding on the azure sea with everyone out on deck to soak up the stunning scenery and sunrays. My fellow #topdeckers positioning themselves in prime position for sunbathing and dolphin spotting.

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck

A true slice of almost uninhabited paradise, there are 74 idyllic islands that make the Whitsunday Islands. However, it was Whitehaven beach, one of Australia’s most photographed natural wonders, and the picture perfect jewel that I was most excited to see.

It didn’t disappoint and I was surprised to find we were the only boat anchored in the bay.

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck

Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven is a 7km stretch of the most dazzling white sand I have ever seen, and the kind that is so pure, it squeaks between your toes. I later found it out it is actually some of the world’s purest sands at 98% pure silica! Lapped by the most shallow and gentle turquoise sea – it might have been the most sublime slice of paradise I have ever experienced. We stepped off the boat and waded towards the sand spits.

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck
Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck
Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck
Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck
Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck

We spent the day swimming, snorkelling, basking in the sun and exploring the island. Some of us played beach games like cricket and rugby (tinnies in tow!) and others made their way into the forest and got up and close with the island’s wildlife. It got a little boozy but never too much, it simply ended up being one of the very best days of my life!!

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck
Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck

What to See and Do

Other than exploring the unbelieveable beach, a trip under the water’s surface is a must-do. It was teeming with marine life and colourful corals, and as it turns out, this is one of the most pristine corners of the Great Barrier Reef!

We climbed up to Hill Inlet for the stunning vista over the whole area. It’s about 1.3km up and there was not a single other person in sight. Completely and utterly surreal.

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck
Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck

Sunset and Overnight

We spent the evening socialising and playing games as the sun set with our epic group, before being swayed gently to sleep in a sheltered cove. Don’t forget to check out the stars, there’s certainly no light pollution here!

The next morning, some of us got up pretty early to step up on deck at sunrise to appreciate waking up in paradise before a refreshing jump into the sea – a real highlight of my whole Australia experience!

Everything we could have needed was included on the boat (even flushing toilets) and it was surprisingly spacious. If you’re keen on practising your seafaring skills, the crew are more than happy to teach and let you get stuck in.

Sailing with Topdeck meant we were fed like kings, from fresh salads to the catch of the day before, and had ample time to hang out and get to know our fellow #topdeckers whilst the crew handled the sailing. I think they must be up there as having one of the very best jobs in the world!

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck
Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck

When to Visit

The prime time to visit is between May through November. If you go from December, it might be jelly fish season and they’re pretty dangerous – they give you thin wetsuits to avoid being stung.

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck

What to pack

You’ll leave your suitcase back in Airlie beach and you take a smaller overnight bag on-board with you. Topdeck keep it for you in a safe place for you, so all you really need is:

·         Swimwear

·         Sunscreen

·         A hat

·         2 days’ worth of casual clothes for the evenings

·         Beach towel

·         Flip flops

·         Light jacket

·         Chargers

·         Camera (of course)

·         Essential toiletries

·         Motion sickness tablets if you’re really prone to seasickness – but honestly, it’s rarely rough sailing

How to choose your sailing company

The sheer number of sailing options are fairly overwhelming, both online and whilst in town. My advice would be to decide what is most important to you, whether it’s air conditioning in your cabin, Jacuzzis on board, or the fellow sailors. For myself, I wanted to sail with like-minded and fun travellers, so Topdeck was the obvious choice and it didn’t disappoint. 

If you’re looking to explore the East Coast of Australia, go check out Topdeck’s selection of epic tours here.

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck
Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck
Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands Australia with Topdeck

My entire Australia adventure was out of this world, but sailing the Whitsundays Islands with Topdeck was a real highlight. From the boats, the crew, the people to the incredible scenery and activities, I couldn’t have had a more amazing time!

I hope this post has been useful for anyone wondering how to visit the Whitsunday Islands and if Topdeck is the right tour for them.

Feel free to ask any further questions regarding the Whitsunday Islands in the comments section below.

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  1. June 29, 2018 / 2:36 pm

    Great post and such lovely pictures! This really makes me regret that I skipped the Whitsundays when I backpacked OZ in 2012/2013! But it gives me a good reason to go back again 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. June 29, 2018 / 2:54 pm

    Oh my goodness, that beach looks PERFECT. I don’t like going to beaches when they’re packed with other people, but I love when they’re empty and I can have the palce all to myself! I’m more of a mountiain girl, but my mom loves the beach. This would be a great place for one of our mother-daughter trips! I can’t get over how beautiful your pictures are. I haven’t been to Australia yet, but the Whitsunday Islands are definitely pretty high on my list now.

  3. Marcea
    June 29, 2018 / 3:20 pm

    The color of the water is spectacular!!

  4. Rachelle
    June 29, 2018 / 9:44 pm

    What a fun adventure! I’ve only been sailing around islands once before in the USVI and am craving another go! The water and sand on the island are so surreal. I’m glad that you were able to go without the wetsuits, those darn jellyfish!

  5. June 30, 2018 / 5:30 am

    Wow! The white sand and the azure waters look every bit like you have described. I have experienced this only in Maldives earlier. I would love to snorkel and dive and spend a fab day at Whitsunday.

  6. June 30, 2018 / 8:36 am

    OMG those sunset pics are incredible. My bf has been sailing most of his life and has yet to take me! I’ll have to insist this goes on our travel bucket list!

  7. June 30, 2018 / 3:29 pm

    It looks like you had an incredible trip! I have been to Australia before but never heard of this gorgeous beach! The gold and purple sky was absolutely stunning. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Aisha
    June 30, 2018 / 6:21 pm

    The Whitsundays Islands look PHENOMENAL! Those beaches are sooo gorgeous, beautiful clear, calm waters just like I like it. This excursion looks and sounds like absolute perfection!!!

  9. July 1, 2018 / 12:36 am

    Wow, I didn’t know that there was a place in Australia with cool, tropical vibes. I’m a tropical girl, so looks like my kind of place. I’m also a big fan of boat trips. Topdeck looks like the company I would go with when I visit. It looks like lots of fun and you get to spend time with other cool travelers, without it being just a crazy booze cruise. Thanks for the advice of when to go, I feel like know that information is always half the battle of planning a trip. The more I learn about the Australia, the more it seems like you could live there your whole life and still not see it all. Thanks for sharing.

  10. July 1, 2018 / 1:20 am

    Wow! Whitehaven beach looks stunning. Definitely putting it on my list of must-see places. Such great photos. That clear water and white sand are just awesome.

  11. July 1, 2018 / 7:17 pm

    This looks amazing, and your photos are beautiful! I can’t wait to get over to Australia and visit the Whitsundays! Wow!

  12. Baia Dzagnidze
    July 2, 2018 / 1:32 pm

    OMG this looks like a paradise. I would love to be there right now and escape the heat in my city

  13. July 2, 2018 / 10:01 pm

    Such an informative post! That beach looks unreal and you just made me add another place to my bucket list. Thanks for sharing!

  14. July 13, 2018 / 6:06 pm

    No, I’m definitely not jealous of this post! It looks so stunning there, I’d love to visit myself one day. I’ve read a lot about Whitsunday Islands, and those beaches are incredible. I’d definitely need my sea sickness pills for the sailing!

  15. Nancie
    July 14, 2018 / 12:34 am

    If I ever get back to Australia, the Whit Sunday’s will be at the top of my list. I’ll remember to go in October when there are no jellyfish.

  16. July 14, 2018 / 7:56 am

    The Whitsundays is one of my favourite spots in Queensland and Whitehaven Beach is stunning. It’s easy to lose yourself in the languid island lifestyle and once you’re there it’s pretty difficult to tear yourself away.

  17. July 15, 2018 / 12:59 pm

    Love your pictures…the water is so clean and the colors in your pictures are amazing. Sailing is something I would love to try out.

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