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Which boat trips to take to get the most out of our visit?

Chesterfield...
Level Contributor
118 posts
9 reviews
Which boat trips to take to get the most out of our visit?

Please could someone advise which are the best boat trips to take from Hamilton island? We would like to take the opportunity to see Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet Lookout, but would also like to see the best of the GBR in that area too (snorkelling not scuba diving). I'm not sure the pontoon at Hardy Reef would suit us due to the large numbers of people there, however, if this is the best place to see the Reef then we'd do it! We're staying on Hamilton Island between Nov 6-9th 2018 and I doubt we will be able to afford to visit again, so want to make the most of our visit by doing the best activities/seeing the best it has to offer this time. Happy to take two trips if necessary.

All advice and suggestions welcome!

11 replies to this topic
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
11,947 posts
17 reviews
1. Re: Which boat trips to take to get the most out of our visit?

Are you going anywhere else in Queensland on your trip?

TBH , the Whitsundays are fabulous for lazying around on a yacht sailing past islands; it’s not really ideal for the GBR. If you have other places planned, then maybe it could be better to do your GBR experience there instead.

Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
22 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: Which boat trips to take to get the most out of our visit?

Interesting as I also thought it would be easiest to fly into HI from Sydney and then explore GBR from there..I was left feeling like Cairns or Port Douglas might be less charming and larger area to navigate than HI...I was aware it would require a boat trip From HI but is that a logistical challenge? We love sound of white beaches and assume we are close to Whitsunday as well? Sorry tto jump on this question but seems we are looking for similar pursuits..

Oz
Level Contributor
14,984 posts
50 reviews
3. Re: Which boat trips to take to get the most out of our visit?

Hi,

There are thousands of beaches on the east coast that are at least as nice as Whitehaven, many much nicer IMHO.

The Whitsundays are for bareboat charters/sailing or lazing on a resort island (Hamilton).

To easily visit the Great Barrier Reef you need to be north at Cairns or Port Douglas and take a tour to the outer reef or in summer visit the southern reef/Bunker Island Group.

https:/…

Cheers,

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
4,981 posts
207 reviews
4. Re: Which boat trips to take to get the most out of our visit?

I’ll just echo what others have said, the Whitsundays are not a good base for exploring the reef (it’s 80km off the mainland there) and Reefworld is really the only show in town. Hill Inlet and Whitehaven are nice enough but better from the air IMO and not actually in the GBR. Port Douglas is the best base for visiting the reef and natural wonders on land and about as charming as it gets. Whoever is marketing the Whits as a great base for reef exploration overseas is doing a really good job. If you want to laze around on a beautiful island and do a sailing trip, then Hamilton Island and the Whits are for you. One of my favourite resort destinations anywhere but I certainly won’t bother with Reefworld again at $300 a throw, $900 if you take the helicopter option.

All the best

Chesterfield...
Level Contributor
118 posts
9 reviews
5. Re: Which boat trips to take to get the most out of our visit?

Thank you all for your really helpful info. We are in Port Douglas before going to HI and planning to go the the outer GBR while there, so you've helped me decide not to bother with the outer reef while on IH. I think the trip by air over Whitehaven is beyond our budget, so I think we'll go for a full day cruise/snorkelling option. Any suggestions which one to go for from anyone would be helpful. We like the sound of the Ricochet one due to its itinerary and small numbers, but again this is very expensive....but perhaps worth it???

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
4,981 posts
207 reviews
6. Re: Which boat trips to take to get the most out of our visit?

Worth it is entirely up to you, it costs what it costs. I personally don’t think a boat trip to Whitehaven is worth it, I’ll certainly never bother again, but that’s me. I go to HI to go to HI. Ricochet is a sailing boat if I remember correctly and a sailing trip is definately worth it although I prefer 3 days or more.

All the best.

Greater Hobart...
Level Contributor
2 posts
6 reviews
7. Re: Which boat trips to take to get the most out of our visit?

I'm going pn Ricochet late August, so I'll let you know as ive also done the speedboat option last year.

Chesterfield...
Level Contributor
118 posts
9 reviews
8. Re: Which boat trips to take to get the most out of our visit?

That would be great. Thanks

Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
234 posts
117 reviews
9. Re: Which boat trips to take to get the most out of our visit?

Hi!

I have been researching and you can get a good GBR experience from HI.

I don't know why so many folks on the platform try and convince visitors otherwise.

There are a few companies but Cruise Whitsunday seems to have a monopoly from what I found,

They have a reef sleep option that after the day guest go home you have the reef to your self.

I am heading there in Jan because I wanted the combo of GBR and Whithaven beach.

I found this in my research...hope it helps!

https:/…

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
4,981 posts
207 reviews
10. Re: Which boat trips to take to get the most out of our visit?

Jen, people on the platform say that Hamilton Island is not a good base for visiting the GBR because they’ve been to several parts of the GBR so can compare. Plus there’s really only 1 option from HI and that’s reefworld unless you do an extended live aboard trip. 3 or 4 of those things mentioned on the blog are all talking about experiences done from/on Reefworld.

Research is great and can reveal a lot about a destination but it can’t compare to actual experience.

All the best.

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