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48 Hour Sailing Journey to the Whitsunday Islands

Are you dreaming of white sand, blue water and exclusive snorkelling experiences? If so, then read on. We embarked on a sailing journey and we're about to share that with you right here!

Hill Inlet, Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia
Hill Inlet, Whitsundays


The Whitsunday Islands (also known as the Whitsundays) is located off the relaxing town of Airlie Beach. The Whitsundays consist of 74 islands in total at the doorstep of the infamous Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

There are a number of ways you can get to the Whitsundays from the mainland including ferry, helicopter, sea plane, light plane transfers or sail boats. We wanted to seek a unique experience on our 4 day trip to the region so we went with the sail boat option - 2 Day 1 Night in the Coral Sea.

There are a few sail boat experience providers within the region that offer different journey durations and boat options. After much research, we went on the 'Hammer' with Prosail Whitsundays and had an absolutely unforgettable experience. We'll share with you what you should consider when choosing the perfect experience for you later in this blog.


Day 1

  • 9:00am Meet at Coral Sea Marina (previously Abell Point Marina) (we arrived 30min beforehand. If you're driving, make sure you allow additional time for parking. There is parking available at Coral Sea Marina but we left our car with our Airbnb host where we were going to be staying after our sailing trip.)

  • Pre-boarding checks then sailing time!

  • 12:00pm First snorkelling location. If you don't want to snorkel, you can take the opportunity to absorb the beauty the Whitsundays have on offer. We also did fish feeding at this location!

  • Lunch on the Coral Sea.

  • Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet - The Hill Inlet Lookout is about a 1.3km return walk up a hill. The views at the top is spectacular so make sure you bring your phone and/or camera along for some beautiful snaps!

  • More sailing and snorkelling x2.

  • Dinner under the stars.

  • 9:00pm Bed time - sleep under the stars, or in your bed.

Day 2

  • 7:00am Wake up.

  • Breakfast on board.

  • Sailing time! - Enjoy the experience of sailing - yes, the crew actually put the sails up and sail. This is dependent on weather of course but it was so much fun!

  • Lunch on board - the crew made us nachos and it was so delicious!

  • Late afternoon - end of journey and returned to Coral Sea Marina.


  • The adventure sailing experience out to the Whitsundays from Airlie Beach,

  • Spend time relaxing on Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet (we were given a timeframe to meet back at the disembarking location, however, this may vary depending on the provider so make sure you check),

  • Visit unique snorkelling locations within the marine park - here you'll see some of the most unique marine life and coral, and

  • It is an environmentally friendly way to visit the Whitsundays in comparison to other options.


The inclusions on our particular 2 Day 1 Night sail included:

  • Skipper and crew,

  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks with a stunning view (the food was great and most providers cater for dietary requirements),

  • Tea, coffee and drinking water,

  • Accomodation (you'll generally reserve this when you make your booking, depending on the provider, you may have single bed options, 'bunk' beds or double beds. The beds are in the hull of the sail boat, so if you get claustrophobic, make sure you discuss this when you're making the booking. You may also have the option to sleep beneath the stars in the warmer months!),

  • Snorkelling equipment e.g. masks, snorkel & wetsuits,

  • Marine toilet and hot showers, and

  • All marine park fees - You'll be snorkelling in a marine park but all fees are generally included in the total price.


We found the activities amongst the providers quite similar given the coastal location, but here are some considerations to help YOU choose the perfect experience:

1. How long do you want to go for? - You can go from day trips, 2 Day 1 Night (like ours), 3 Day 2 Nights etc. You can also charter a sail boat if you would like to go for longer!

2. How many people do I want to share the journey with? This can vary depending on the sail boat you go for. Some sail boats may only have 10 and others may have 20, plus the crew.

When you're sailing, you will generally be sitting on the deck enjoying the views. Of an evening, you'll either be star gazing and sitting on the deck, or sleeping in the hull (with people nearby depending on the bedding structure). You can interact with people as much or as little as you want. We found other guests to be very respectful through the entire journey. If this isn't for you, remember there is always the charter option if you have friends or family you'd like to travel privately with.

3. What locations do I want to visit?

Whitsundays is a given, but do you want to spend a bit more time along the coastline? Perhaps you may want to visit the Great Barrier Reef too? We didn't have enough time during our trip but this is definitely an option. Make sure you check this out if this is the experience you're after!


  • Hat

  • Sunscreen

  • Swimwear

  • Change of clothes

  • Sunglasses

  • Phone / camera

  • Thongs / flip flops / sandals

  • Seasick tablets - if you get seasick

  • Shoes - depending on the experience you book, you have the opportunity to walk up to the Hill Inlet lookout. It is a short walk but some people may prefer to wear shoes for comfort.

  • Bag without zippers - confirm this when you book. We were told some residential pests like to hide in zippers and therefore any bags with zippers cannot be taken on board. This ensures their boats are nice and clean for all guests to enjoy.

  • Any other personal items.

  • Ladies - bring a jumper/rain coat if you're climatised to warm weather. It does get cool at night if you sit on the deck (yes, even in summer).

We hope you've enjoyed reading about our journey. We can't wait to hear about yours! Make sure you drop us a message on email or Instagram to tell us about your journey!


**Please note we're not affiliated with the linked companies. They have been linked to aid in your research and the planning of your travels.

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