Queensland’s Coral Coast lies in the protected lee of the Great Barrier Reef and ranks as one of the greatest cruising grounds in the World. Thousands of adventurers have chartered in the magnificent Whitsunday Islands and Sunsail is now making it possible for charterers to venture further afield and explore the outer Great Barrier Reef. Explore even more of the fantastic Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef, sailing your vessel in company with other chartered bareboats and with the confidence of knowing that you are guided by an experienced Master Mariner aboard a lead vessel.

Whether you are new to chartering or an old hand, Sunsail Great Barrier Reef Flotillas offer the next level of sailing experience. Seldom visited spectacular North Coast anchorages, remote coastal resorts and snorkelling on the outer Great Barrier Reef are just part of the adventure.

Flotilla cruising is ideal for couples, families or friends chartering as a group Predeparture route planning, daily navigation and activity updates, on-call support from the lead vessel and open channel radio communications contribute to greater safety and create opportunities for the kind of camaraderie experienced by likeminded people exploring new boundaries together. To book a Great Barrier Reef flotilla, call 877 942 4571 Departure dates for 2020-April 18th-26th, May 16th -24th, June 13-21, August 8th-16th, November 7-15.

9
Days
Overall distance
114.5
Nautical miles

Highlights

  • Snorkel on the outer Great Barrier Reef
  • Explore rarely visited anchorages
  • On call support & guidance from the lead vessel
  • Navigation skills development
  • Welcome drinks and BBQ at the Sunsail Base
  • Restaurant dining ashore at coastal beach resort
  • Social sundowners on spectacular & remote beaches
  • Freedom from crowded anchorages
  • Unforgettable memories and tales of adventure to tell again and again
Day 1

Shute Harbour

The day's sailing

0
Nautical miles
0 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Sunbathing Sunbathing
  • Fishing
  • Bushwalk Bush walks
  • Paddle boarding Paddleboarding
  • Kayaking Kayaking
  • Exploring Exploring
Flotilla welcome barbeque in Shute Harbour

The Sunsail Whitsundays base is located in the tranquil Shute Harbour, a 10 minute drive from the town of Airlie Beach. Giving you the chance to take advantage of the swimming lagoon, spend some time shopping or even relax at one of the local restaurants before your scheduled arrival to our base. Sunsail Whitsundays host a welcome barbeque for all the flotilla charterers in the early afternoon once you have completed your boat and chart briefing.

Coral Beach Whitsundays

Coral Beach

If you arrive early enough, you may wish to see more of Shute Harbour. Just 10 minutes up the road then another 15 minutes on a scenic bushwalk, and you will find yourself immersed in Coral beach’s beautiful scenery.

Lion's Lookout

Lion’s Lookout

If you have some time to spare or if you're on your way to our base, you can stop at the Lion’s Lookout and experience the spectacular views overlooking Shute Harbour and the Sunsail base.

Day 2

Whitehaven Beach

The day's sailing

18
Nautical miles
3 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Sunbathing Sunbathing
  • Fishing
  • Bushwalk Bush walks
  • Paddle boarding Paddleboarding
  • Kayaking Kayaking
  • Exploring Exploring
Whitehaven Bech

A picturesque sail past Hamilton Island and through Solway Passage and you'll reach your first destination, the iconic, Whitehaven Beach. Sink your toes into its white silica sand, which is among the purest in the world, then enjoy a paddle or swim through the crystal-clear waters. A beach picnic for lunch is a fun and social way to enjoy the day.

Beach on Hill Inlet

Hill Inlet

Take a short walk to the Tongue Point lookout, located at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach. You will discover stunning views of the inlet, Whitehaven Beach, as well as the famous swirling sands, which are caused by the shifting tide.

Day 3

Northern Hook Island

The day's sailing

18
Nautical miles
3 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Sunbathing Sunbathing
  • Fishing
  • Bushwalk Bush walks
  • Paddle boarding Paddleboarding
  • Kayaking Kayaking
  • Exploring Exploring
Northern Hook Island anchorage

The northern bays of Hook Island are perfect for swimming and snorkelling around the fringing reefs. A great spot to get out the kayaks and paddleboards for an afternoon of relaxed activities on the water.

Woman snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef

Snorkelling tip

The best time to snorkel is the middle of the day when the light is brightest for viewing a range of beautiful coral reefs, bommies and marine life.

Day 4

The Outer Great Barrier Reef

The day's sailing

22
Nautical miles
3.5 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Sunbathing Sunbathing
  • Fishing
  • Bushwalk Bush walks
  • Paddle boarding Paddleboarding
  • Kayaking Kayaking
  • Exploring Exploring
Overview of Outer Great Barrier Reef

Exploring The Outer Great Barrier Reef is an experience unique to this flotilla, giving you the opportunity to travel further afield, discover more that the reef has to offer, and experience an overnight stay at the outer Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel and explore through the day, then stargaze all night long where you’ll be far enough away from any distracting city lights.

Corals and fish of the Great Barrier Reef

Dive the reef

Explore Bait Reef by snorkelling, paddleboarding or kayaking. Bait Reef is one of the Outer Reef flotilla spots, located 16 nautical miles north-east of Hook Island. A beautiful pristine reef with a unique feature – the Stepping Stones – a series of 18 or so flat-topped coral pinnacles lined up in a row along the west to southwest side of the reef. Ranging from depths of 15 to 25 metres stopping within a metre of the surface, the reef is the perfect setting for exploration by boat.

Day 5

Langford Island

The day's sailing

26
Nautical miles
4 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Sunbathing Sunbathing
  • Fishing
  • Bushwalk Bush walks
  • Paddle boarding Paddleboarding
  • Kayaking Kayaking
  • Exploring Exploring
Langford Island Whitsundays

A popular snorkelling spot in the Whitsundays, with plenty of colourful soft corals and bommies to be explored, is the long beach spit and one of the islands most endearing features. Despite being inundated by the surrounding sea at high-tide, Langford spit is perfect for beach picnicking, swimming and turtle spotting. Take a break from the below and take the opportunity to enjoy the Whitsunday sunshine.

Outer great barrier reef from above

Underwater Sculptures

If you can’t resist the turquoise waters, you can get an underwater picture with the latest addition to Langford Island, the sea turtle underwater sculpture.

Day 6

Gloucester Island and Resort

The day's sailing

26
Nautical miles
4 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Sunbathing Sunbathing
  • Fishing
  • Bushwalk Bush walks
  • Paddle boarding Paddleboarding
  • Kayaking Kayaking
  • Exploring Exploring
Gloucester Island from above

Shake off those sea legs and enjoy a day back on the land. Spend the day on the beach relaxing or playing beach games. Or, take yourself up to the resort restaurant and bar to enjoy a few social drinks and indulge in some local seafood.

Kids having cocktails on Gloucester Island and Resort

Gloucester Island and Resort

With its palm tree lined beaches and sparkling water Gloucester Island is an idyllic tropical escape, giving you the perfect opportunity to enjoy a relaxed beach walk as the sun goes down.

Day 7

Double Bay

The day's sailing

16
Nautical miles
3 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Sunbathing Sunbathing
  • Fishing
  • Bushwalk Bush walks
  • Paddle boarding Paddleboarding
  • Kayaking Kayaking
  • Exploring Exploring
Catamarans in Double Bay Whitesundays

Take a break, relax and reminisce on the adventure you’ve had so far. Double Bay is one of the most protected bays in the Whitsundays. This is a great overnight anchorage, providing protection in nearly all wind conditions.

Man fishing in the Whitsundays

Double Bay

The calm waters make it a perfect spot for paddleboarding and kayaking. This rarely visited bay also provides a great chance to drop a fishing line and relax.

Day 8

Southern Hook Island

The day's sailing

18
Nautical miles
3 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Sunbathing Sunbathing
  • Fishing
  • Bushwalk Bush walks
  • Paddle boarding Paddleboarding
  • Kayaking Kayaking
  • Exploring Exploring
Beach on Southern Hook Island

The southern end of Hook Island offers two stunning inlets, Nara Inlet and Macona Inlet. Both picturesque offering beaches, snorkelling and hikes.

Nara Inlet ancient cave paintings

Ngaro Cultural Site in Nara Inlet

Take a short bushwalk to Ngaro Cultural Site, a rock shelter containing art and cultural deposits of the Ngaro people who are the original inhabitants of the Whitsundays tracing origins back 8,000 years.

Day 9

Return to Shute Harbour

The day's sailing

12
Nautical miles
2 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Sunbathing Sunbathing
  • Fishing
  • Bushwalk Bush walks
  • Paddle boarding Paddleboarding
  • Kayaking Kayaking
  • Exploring Exploring
Overview of Shute Harbour Whitesundays

Leaving southern Hook Island, it is a short sail to return to our base in Shute Harbour. Take your time departing the vessel and make use of the base facilities. You may wish to head into town for a late lunch and explore the town of Airlie Beach.