Whitsunday Island

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Whitsunday Island
20°16.118'S, 148°59.548'E Chart icon.png
lat=-20.26864 | lon=148.99246 | zoom=11 | y
Whitsunday Island Queensland.jpg
Looking north from Whitsunday Peak

An online cruising guide for yachts sailing to Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island is the largest of the Whitsunday Islands. It has a variety of good anchorages, some of which are stunningly spectacular. There is a small number of walks on the island and large areas of untouched bushland. The island is entirely National Park and there are no facilities on the island.

Whitsunday Island is the largest of the Whitsunday group. It is about 12 miles from the tourism centre of Airlie Beach and only a mile or so north of the major tourist resort and airport on Hamilton Island. Nearby Hook Island provides good alternative anchorages depending on circumstances.


See Queensland.


See Queensland.


See Whitsundays.


See Whitsundays.


See Whitsundays.


Navigation to Whitsunday Island is stright forward, No dangers.




Marinas & Yacht Clubs



Cid Harbour

Cid Harbour

Cid Harbour/wiki/Whitsunday_Island#Cid_Harbour
Anchorage icon Cid Harbour [[Whitsunday Island#Cid Harbour|Cid Harbour]] 20°15′S, 148°56′E
Cid Harbour

Cid Harbour is large and very popular anchorage on the western side of Whitsunday Island. The area is relatively sheltered from the prevailing SEly winds and generally free from swell. The anchorage can accommodate a very large number of boats and is popular with charter boats. It is not uncommon to find 50 boats overnighting here. There is a good landing spot at Sawmill Beach (site of an old sawmill) with walking tracks to Whitsunday Peak and to Dugong Beach. Expect to see turtles and dugongs in the anchorage.

The water is not clear, so care is required in anchoring, especially at the southern end where a patch of coral extends east from Hughes Point. There are no mooring buoys in Cid Harbour and none of the anchoring restrictions that apply in more sensitive areas. Expect a mud bottom and 4 - 5 metres of water.

When approaching from the south, especially from Hamilton Island, Hunt Channel, between Whitsunday Island and Cid Island is commonly used. There is a strong tidal flow in this passage.

Reference: Cumberland Charter Yachts page

Mays Bay

Mays Bay/wiki/Whitsunday_Island#Mays_Bay
Anchorage icon Mays Bay [[Whitsunday Island#Mays Bay|Mays Bay]] 20°13.263'S, 148°56.821'E
Mays Bay is a small area just north of Cid Harbour. It is a comfortable anchorage in secluded conditions and tends to attract few boats. It may provide some solitude if Cid Harbour is excessively crowded.

Tongue Bay

Tongue Bay/wiki/Whitsunday_Island#Tongue_Bay
Anchorage icon Tongue Bay [[Whitsunday Island#Tongue Bay|Tongue Bay]] 20°14.374'S, 149°00.923'E

Tongue Bay lies at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach and offers a much more sheltered anchorage if any southerly breeze is blowing. There are mooring buoys in the bay, but there is also a large area available for anchoring in reasonable depths. The bay is very popular with tour boats who take their passengers ashore to visit the Hill Inlet lookout.

Note that the landing beach, which gives access to the Hill Inlet Lookout, is fringed by a wide area of reef that dries at low tide. Keep an eye on the tide to ensure that you are not trapped ashore by a falling tide.
Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach

Hill Inlet

Hill Inlet/wiki/Whitsunday_Island#Hill_Inlet
Anchorage icon Hill Inlet [[Whitsunday Island#Hill Inlet|Hill Inlet]] 20°17.152'S, 149°03.523'E
Hill Inlet is accessible to very shoal draft boats. The inlet meanders considerably and is very tidal. It is strongly recommended that you take a good look at the area before attempting an entrance. Neither the entrance nor the channel are marked in any way

Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach/wiki/Whitsunday_Island#Whitehaven_Beach
Anchorage icon Whitehaven Beach [[Whitsunday Island#Whitehaven Beach|Whitehaven Beach]] 20°17′S, 149°03′E

Whitehaven Beach is a great anchorage in good conditions, but can be uncomfortable in brisk South Easterlies. The southern end of the beach is very popular, with a large number of day tripper boats arriving each day, not to mention seaplanes and helicopters. Don't expect solitude. Anchor in shallow water close to the beach on white sand.

Note that if you approach or leave Whitehaven via Solway Passage, care should be taken to avoid peak tide flows. A strong south flowing tidal stream, combined with brisk Trade Wind conditions, can produce very nasty conditions in the Passage. Whirlpools and steep standing waves are not uncommon.

Chance Bay

Chance Bay/wiki/Whitsunday_Island#Chance_Bay
Anchorage icon Chance Bay [[Whitsunday Island#Chance Bay|Chance Bay]] 20°18.804'S, 149°02.061'E
Chance Bay is only usable in calm or northerly conditions. Care needs to be taken to avoid the extensive reefs in the bay.
Gulnare Inlet as seen from Whitsunday Peak

Gulnare Inlet

Gulnare Inlet/wiki/Whitsunday_Island#Gulnare_Inlet
Anchorage icon Gulnare Inlet [[Whitsunday Island#Gulnare Inlet|Gulnare Inlet]] 20°17.780'S, 148°57.179'E
Gulnare Inlet lies on the southern side of Whitsunday Island. The entrance is relatively shallow and care is required.


Water Either in Hamilton Island, Airlie Beach or Shute Harbour
Electricity N/A (Not Available)
Toilets N/A
Showers N/A
Laundry N/A
Garbage Take your rubbish back to Airlie Beach or to Hamilton Island
Fuel Either in Hamilton Island, Airlie Beach or Shute Harbour
Bottled gas N/A
Chandlers None
Repairs Limited
Internet Take your rubbish back to Airlie Beach or to Hamilton Island
Mobile connectivity ?
Vehicle rentals N/A



Eating out




Things to do Ashore


  • Climb Whitsunday Peak from Sawmill Beach for stunning views that encompass most of the Whitsundays. An energetic climb, but the track is good. Look for the ruins of the sawmill
  • Walk to Dugong Beach from Sawmill Beach. Look for the Hoop Pines that were the basis for the old sawmill. There are basic camping facilities at Dugong Beach
  • Walk from Tongue Bay to the Hill Inlet lookout. This very popular walk provides a great view of Hill Inlet and the beautiful Whitehaven Beach. It is best done near high tide as the reef can be exposed by the falling tide, making the return dinghy trip difficult. Explore Hill Inlet and look for the stingrays in the shallow water (don't tread on them!!)
  • Enjoy a stroll on Whitehaven Beach. Despite the huge daily influx of day trippers, the beach is long enough for you to find a secluded piece if you want it.
  • Walk from Whitehaven Beach across to Chance Bay. This pleasant stroll through the bush takes you to the south facing Chance Bay. Despite the very large number of people on Whitehaven Beach, very few do this walk and Chance Bay is often deserted. Look for brush turkeys along the way and keep an eye out for the enormous mounds that they build


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See Whitsundays


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