Yacht Charter Holiday - Whitsundays

Our yacht charter holiday in the Whitsunday Islands, would still have to be, my most memorable holiday yet. I was living in Sydney at the time, and my stepfather, Cliff, flew my sister and I up to Airlie Beach to join him and his family, and my mother on a yachting holiday. He had his brother and nephew out from England. As it had taken him twenty years to finally get them out here, we thought we'd better show them a good time.

As it happens, the first day with couldn't actually leave the marina, as we'd arrived on the backend of a tropical storm. Airlie Beach is a great little village though and the night was whittled away with wining, dining and the exchange of years of memories. The following day our adventure began.

We left port early and enjoyed about four hours of superb sailing in our Beneteau. We were most exhilarated by the speed with which the wind alone could propel us through the waves. Apart from Cliff, none of us had done that much sailing before, so it was quite a buzz. Once you reach the first of the Whitsunday Islands, navigation can be done almost with the naked eye, which makes it easy, especially for amateurs like us.

Our first afternoon and evening, we spent anchored in a charming bay at Whitsunday Island. The island is an acclaimed National park, which means the fauna and flora are protected, creating a natural paradise. We explored a lush rainforest island, with natural fresh waterfalls, streams, stunning golden beaches and waters, filled with fish. By the time the sun began to fall below the horizon, we were set up, back on deck, snacking on Brie, and sipping cold Chardonnay.

Over the following few days, we meandered from island to island. Although the Whitsunday's house plenty of resorts with fantastic facilities, we felt more inclined to continue our search for the tranquil nature of the uninhabited islands; after all, we had means. I guess that's the beauty of a yacht charter holiday...you can do what you like, at whatever pace you like it. It's brilliant having the professional advice of a yacht charter operator on hand. I guess with so much experience, they're bound to know all the best places to go.

Their most impressive recommendation was the stunning Whitehaven beach. To visualize it now, sends me straight back to paradise. Imagine a beach, so white that the reflective glare from the sun almost burns; a sand so fine, that it you can barely separate one grain from the next; a water so clear that you can see the seabed and colorful fish, a mile from shore. Cruising into Whitehaven, we dropped the anchor and jumped into our snorkeling gear. The warmth and clarity of the water was just so inviting and the swim ashore was pure delight. That day, we set up picnic on the dazzling white sand, protected under the shade of a palm tree. We ate and drank, we swam, we took a siesta and we swam some more. By day five, I was wondering where our week had gone and how our yacht charter holiday, could almost be over. So soon??

On our final night, we took a berth at Hamilton Island. If we needed to return to civilization, I guess buzzing Hamilton Island, was the best place to start. Hamilton Island is a little city within itself. On the marina side of the island, you'll find a strip of waterfront cafes, bars and restaurants. On the other side, you'll find sophisticated, candlelit dining on a balcony overhanging the beach. We went out that night and enjoyed a grand finale of superb seafood, crisp wines and a hundred more memories.

The following day, with a remorse of one who knows that all good things must eventually come to an end, my sister and I waved goodbye to our family. They had one day of sailing back to Airlie Beach, and we, were to board our flight from Hamilton Island, direct back to Sydney. As our little plane took off, it circled back over the stunning islands and coral reefs, of the Whitsunday's - A place that will survive in my heart forever. I know that no ordinary holiday could ever have been so special. Our yacht charter gave us the freedom, to explore the best of the best, and allow the rest to unfold as we pleased.

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