The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world and the only living organism on earth visible from space. It's absolutely massive! It's not something that even on a large motor yacht you can sail around in a day or two. At 350,000-square-kilometres, it's larger than Italy. And there is so much to see and do.
The Great Barrier Reef extends off-shore from Rockhampton in the South to Cape York in the North and includes the Whitsundays right in the middle and considered the heart of the Reef. While Townsville, Cairns and Port Douglas also give you access to some spectacular northern areas that are sure to delight you. This is a tropical paradise of pristine sand cays, crystal clear waters and colourful coral.
Some of highlights of this extraordinary destination include:
Many charter guests start their adventure at Hamilton Island where the largest of the Whitsunday Island resorts combines the best of island living: beaches, coral reefs, native flora and fauna, fine dining and the award-winning Hamilton Island Yacht Club. While 70% of the island is national park, Hamilton Island has a full calendar of social events each year, including food and wine festivals, ballet performances and an internationally significant yachting regatta, Hamilton Island Race Week which runs each August.
Hill Inlet & Whitehaven Beach
Whitehaven Beach deemed "the world’s best beach” for 2021 by Tripadvisor, stretches over seven kilometres on Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. It is pristine, boasting brilliant white silica sand that is among the purest in the world. Sink your feet into this softest of sands and play in the tropical warmth of the waves that gently lap the shore and you'll soon understand why people travel here from all over the world. At the northern tip of Whitehaven Beach is Hill Inlet, a gorgeous inlet where as the tide shifts the white sand and azure water blend creating a breathtaking mosaic. The best spot from which to view this spectacle of swirling sands is the lookout at Tongue Point, easily accessible via a short bushwalk.
Townsville’s Museum of Underwater Art
In Townsville, MOUA is a series of incredible world-acclaimed artworks offering guests a totally unique marine experience. This is the first underwater art installation in the southern hemisphere. Created by the global leader in underwater sculptures British artist Jason deCaires Taylor it is designed to both educate and inspire, making reef conservation the focal point.
Orpheus Island, located between Cairns and Townsville, is the epitome of everything a tropical island should be, known for its breath-taking beauty, stunning fringing reefs and the exclusivity of the luxury resort. It is also famous for a massive boulder coral recently discovered. At 10 metres wide, standing 5m tall and estimated to be 483 years old this remarkable coral has been named Muga Dhambi, big coral, by the Manbarra people, the traditional custodians of these islands.
Just 70km north of Cairns, Port Douglas is a tranquil, tropical town that has earned a reputation as a holiday hotspot, popular with guests craving untouched wilderness and long stretches of deserted beaches. From popular Four Mile Beach to remote Dickson Inlet, Port Douglas is a charming, low-key place to visit blending 5-star resorts with a slower pace of life, from its palm-shaded streets and alfresco dining to elegant avenues of boutiques.
At the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island, 150 miles north of Cairns, is a haven of isolation, relaxation and indulgence. Lizard Island boasts 24 white sandy beaches and its own dazzling Blue Lagoon, perfect for snorkelling or simply as a scenic backdrop to your charter vacation. It is also one of Australia's most exciting fishing destinations. Black Marlin fishing season (September to December) attracts visitors from all over the world.
In the turquoise waters of Queensland, as well as diving and swimming with an amazing array of marine life under water, you can jet ski or kayak amid coral cays, or take in the panoramic landscape from a seaplane or helicopter! This is a tropical paradise ideally explored by the privacy on your own Charter Yacht.
Some of the world-class luxury charter yachts available to explore this awe-inspiring Great Barrier Reef include the following:
SIMBA is the ideal luxury charter yacht for families who are looking for soft adventure and to enjoy the array of water toys. SIMBA is equally attractive as Mothership for the marlin season and divers who want to discover the under water beauty of the Great Barrier Reef.
Step inside to the cool and calm of the saloon and dining room, where guests can lounge in comfort on the large L-shaped sofa with a dedicated library nook. The dining area has a bar ambiance with seating for up to eight guests. The décor aboard SIMBA is composed of a neutral palette with pops of colour in the furnishings and original artwork.
SIMBA’S oversized teak swim platform and aft deck are versatile for launching water toys, fishing, storing bait and your catch, or the perfect spot for sunbathing and socialising over alfresco dining undercover at the large timber table and cocktail bar. The flybridge is an additional spacious all-weather entertaining area, with large gloss teak table, seating, lounges and bar.
Guests will feel totally at home in the luxurious cabins aboard SIMBA, comprising a full-beam master, a VIP double, and two twin bunk cabins, each with its own private ensuite.
MAKORO is a brand new 85ft Ocean Alexander, versatile and family-friendly. She is the ideal platform for entertaining, enjoying the views, fishing and swimming whilst cruising the Whitsundays.
MAKORO is a ground-breaking motor yacht with several leisure spaces on board and a New York loft-style interior design. Guests can enjoy views from every vantage point thanks to the open plan design, glass staircase and wraparound windshield; from the aft deck through the saloon, all the way to the bow. At the bow is a cosy lounge area with sunpads and a table. A bimini can be erected to shade the entire area and there’s plenty of room to convert this space into a “cinema under the stars” experience for guests.
Other notable design features include her large saloon windows and numerous seating areas for guests to recline, dine and socialise. The décor uses a sophisticated palette of white stone, mahogany and oak veneers in a nice mix of high gloss and satin, stainless steel and plenty of tinted glass which provides privacy and protection, without impeding sightlines through the vessel and to the seascapes beyond.
Central stairs lead to the guest accommodation for up to eight people in absolute comfort. The full-beam master cabin has supersized picture windows and boasts dual walk-in robes and full-beam master ensuite with frosted glass shower and heated marble floors!
THE COVE is a brand new 68ft Flybridge (20.8m) cruiser. Its unrivalled space for a yacht of this size, includes several deck areas for guests to enjoy to the fullest. Her large flybridge offers a generous dining space, bar and lounging area. It provides an alternative space for relaxing and entertaining, while the cockpit is truly exceptional, especially when the "beach mode" balconies either side are extended out over the water... sure to impress you and your guests and wow the neighbours!
Inside, the saloon comprises a lounge/dining area, adjacent to a bar and galley, with unimpeded views thanks to the extended sides of this exceptional model. The décor is ultra-modern, using wenge timber, mosaic ensuites, high quality linen, high ceilings and storage in every conceivable place.
When it comes to accommodation, THE COVE is all about guest privacy and comfort. There’s a private stairway leading to the forward VIP cabin. A further two cabins, including the spacious full-beam master, are accessed from another staircase in the saloon.
The ideal adventure vessel for exploring the Great Barrier Reef, FLYING FISH is a 108ft (32.9m) luxury charter yacht, custom-built by Warren Yachts, that comes complete with a jet tender, helipad, assortment of watertoys and accommodation for up to eight charter guests.
Over three decks, FLYING FISH offers spacious leisure areas, including a foredeck lounge for guests to enjoy panoramic views while cruising, sundeck with sun lounges, table and seating for meals alfresco, and a main aft deck with dining table for entertaining or watching all the on-water fun.
Inside, FLYING FISH features a large saloon with a lounge and separate formal dining area, and large windows for taking in the passing landscapes. Designed by Sam Sorigivani, the interiors are elegantly styled, with timber panelling in mahogany and Versace soft furnishings.
FLYING FISH can accommodate up to eight guests in four luxurious staterooms located on the lower deck: one master stateroom with king bed and ensuite with spa bath, one VIP stateroom with queen bed, and one twin room with two single beds.
A superb example of a British-built Sunseeker 115 Sport Yacht, SETTLEMENT is the ultimate luxury getaway yacht. Perfectly equipped for adventure charter in tropical island paradises, SETTLEMENT is a versatile vessel, self-contained for lavish entertaining, as a platform for surfing safaris, dive charters or mother-shipping additional fishing or dive vessels.
SETTLEMENT’S aft deck has banquette seating, table and chairs for comfortable alfresco dining while on the flybridge is the amazing jacuzzi with sunpads, seating and dining areas, bar and four helm seats for taking in the views while underway or at anchor.
Inside, SETTLEMENT is a tranquil haven, designed with casual elegance and featuring dark timber flooring with polished timber panelling, fresh, contemporary furnishings in white with navy accessories and masterful lighting to enhance the mood of every occasion.
SETTLEMENT has spacious accommodation for up to 10 guests in five cabins, consisting of a main-deck master suite with office, mini bar and ensuite featuring shower, spa bath and his and hers sinks.
The experienced Australian captain has detailed local knowledge of the points of interest, fishing and dive spots in each region and some of the fascinating ‘hidden gems’ of the Great Barrier Reef that will make your charter aboard SETTLEMENT a truly remarkable experience.
Ideal for off-the-beaten-track expeditions and superbly equipped for family-friendly charters for up to 10 guests, AKIKO, 112ft (34.2m) is a great platform for exploration, with opportunities to partner on ocean research and create once-in-a-lifetime “luxpeditions”. She is versatile enough to enter small bays, anchor behind coral atolls or for game fishing over submarine reefs. Her large beam of 7.8m offers expansive space unusual to a 35m superyacht, and great stability.
The décor is a sublime fusion of timbers, textures and ochre hues, along with large windows to capture the passing landscapes at every angle and LED lighting to set of her remarkable collection of art and sculptures collected from around the world.
Contrasting with her rugged exterior, AKIKO boasts ultra-luxurious accommodation for up to 10 guests including a full beam, master stateroom, VIP king-sized cabin, a second double cabin and 2 twin cabins each with a bunk bed and a single.
BELUGA , a 114ft (34.7m) Dutch-built explorer-style superyacht, was custom-built as a go-anywhere yacht with 4,000nm range and a wide beam which creates exceptional space onboard.
The sundeck with 4-person jacuzzi and undercover dining area is the ideal place for relaxing and socialising. Her bridge deck aft has a dining table, while the upper deck has an extensive dining and lounge area for meals and entertaining.
With interior design by Rene van der Velden Yacht Design, featuring a blend of exotic timbers and neutral palette, BELUGA has a warm and welcoming ambience, with marine-themed art and photographs. The bridge deck saloon comprises lounge and bar, while the main saloon boasts a massive lounge and separate dining area.
BELUGA provides accommodation for up to 10 guests in five staterooms, including a master suite, two double cabins, two twin cabins and two pullman beds. The full-beam master suite is on the main deck and includes a private office, large wardrobe and ensuite with bathtub, double shower and underfloor heating.
These are some of the world class charter yachts ready to take you on an adventure of a lifetime in the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef!
All yachts are subject to availability at time of booking. Terms and conditions may apply.
Email our Australian-based luxury charter expert, Rebecca Montgomery, or give her a call on +61(0)490 094 072.
PHOTO CREDIT: Queensland Destination photos: Tourism and Events Queensland