Sailing The Whitsunday Islands With Cruise Whitsundays: A Day On The Camira

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands - incredible Whitehaven Beach

Just like diving the Great Barrier Reef, sailing the Whitsundays had been a bucket list item for years. So when we finally made it to Australia, there was no question about it, we would explore the fabled Whitsunday Islands…

About the Whitsunday Islands

The Whitsundays are a cluster of no less than 74 islands, most of them are uninhabited. These pristine islands are covered in tropical rainforest and fringed by gorgeous white sand beaches.

Below the surface you’ll find coral, colorful fish and turtles. Sounds like paradise? Yes, it pretty much is!

A slice of paradise the Whitsunday Islands

To protect the islands and preserve their beauty, a National Park was established in 1944. You can read more about the park and it’s conservation on this website.

The waters around the Whitsunday Islands are inhabited by many underwater creatures. For example, if you are visiting between June and October, you may see migrating humpback whales! And between November and February you might see a turtle nesting on the beach…

Whitehaven Beach the most beautiful beach in the world

Bottom line: the Whitsunday Islands are a treasure and must be treated as such. If you are visiting the Islands, please don’t leave any trash. Don’t take anything from the Islands either. Don’t step on the coral. Keep this place as beautiful as it is now…

You may also be interested in my other Australia posts:

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands: our day program

We got to spend an amazing day aboard the Camira catamaran, owned and operated by Cruise Whitsundays. Our day started at 7.30am and we were back in the Port of Airlie around 5.30pm.

This is the approximate day schedule, keep in mind the Camira is a sailing boat and times are dependent on the weather:

  • 7.30: check-in at terminal building in Airlie Port
  • 7.45: boarding
  • 8.00: departure
  • 8.00-10.30: sailing to Whitsunday Island
  • 10.30-11.15: Hill Inlet Lookout
  • 11.15-12.45: Whitehaven Beach
  • 12.45-13.45: lunch
  • 14.00-15.00: snorkeling
  • 15.00-17.30: sailing to Airlie Beach

A day in the Whitsunday Islands National Park Australia

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands: what to bring

The Camira is a big boat and there is enough storage space for your belongings. That being said, you don’t really need that much. I brought:

  • Hat ⇒ preferably one that has a strap or sits snugly on your head. It’s windy on the water!
  • Sunglasses ⇒ the sun is bright on the sparkling water so make sure to bring a good pair of polarized sunglasses.
  • Sunscreen ⇒ though this is also provided on board it’s always good to bring your own.
  • Bottle of water ⇒ you can refill this during the entire day.
  • Hoodie ⇒ I easily get cold and when it’s cloudy or a windy day, it can get cold on the boat.
  • Camera ⇒ you’ll want to take plenty of snaps of this pretty place!
  • Towel ⇒ keep an eye on this item as it easily gets blown off the boat.
  • Optional: a book ⇒ I didn’t bring one, nor did I feel the need to. I spent the entire day gazing over the water and admiring the views.

Hill Inlet Lookout the most beautiful view in the Whitsunday Islands Australia

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands: aboard the Camira

About the Camira

The purple Camira is one of the world’s fastest commercial sailing catamarans, not surprising since she was previously used as a racing boat!

The Camira is 26 meters long and offers plenty of seating space, both inside as well as outside. My favorite spot was at the front of the boat, on the bow net.

Camira catamaran the best Whitsunday sailing experience

The Camira can reach speeds up to 30 knots (55 kilometers per hour) but rest assured, that’s not the speed you’ll be sailing at during your day in the Whitsundays;-).

There are two toilets on board and storage room for bags. Inside you can find shade, but the views outside are unbeatable…

Cruise the Whistunday Islands on the Camira Catamaran

Food and drinks

The food aboard the Camira was topnotch. When we boarded the vessel coffee, tea and biscuits were available. After an hour of sailing fresh fruits and cakes were served, the perfect mid-morning snacks!

Food and drinks aboard the Camira sailing catamaran Whitsunday Islands Fresh fruits aboard the Camira sailing catamaran Whitsunday Islands

When we got back from our Whitsunday Island exploration, we were pretty hungry and very happy to discover an extensive BBQ lunch had been prepared during our time on the beach!

BBQ lunch aboard the Camira sailing catamaran Whitsunday Islands Snacks aboard the Camira sailing catamaran Whitsunday Islands

During the entire day complimentary soft drinks, fresh water, tea and coffee are available. Beer and wine is also included, but don’t drink before snorkeling!

Best Whitsunday Islands Tour Cruise Whitsundays Camira Sailing day trip

After the snorkeling trip, a snack buffet was served so we didn’t need to go hungry at any point of the day!

About the crew

Every member of the crew was friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Throughout the day several briefings were given (boat safety, snorkeling instruction, preparation for Whitsunday Island, etc).

All briefings were clear and delivered from a spot where everybody could see and hear the crew member giving the instruction.

There is quite a lot of work to do on board for the crew, but they always made themselves available to answer any questions.

The awesome crew aboard the Camira Catamaran

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands: Hill Inlet Lookout

One of the highlights of the day was the Hill Inlet Lookout. A short walk (1.3 kilometer return) leads through the forest to the viewpoint where you will see that famous and fabled view over Whitsunday Island…

Visit the Hill Inlet Lookout for the best view of the Whitsunday Islands

The view from the Hill Inlet Lookout is truly one of the most beautiful things I have seen in my life and that says a lot!

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands: Whitehaven Beach

From the Hill Inlet Lookout we made our way down to Whitehaven Beach. This 7 kilometers long beach on the largest island of the Whitsunday group (Whitsunday Island) is famous for its pure white sand.

Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island - the whitest beach in the world

The sand on Whitehaven Beach is among the whitest anywhere on earth and is composed of 98% silica. Besides being very pretty, an added benefit of this type of sand is that it doesn’t retain heat, so your feet won’t get scorched! Not even on an inevitably hot day on this blissful island…

Fun ‘fact’: some say the pure sand of Whitehaven Beach was used to make glass for the lens of the Hubble Telescope, but nobody knows if this is true…

The white sands of Whitehaven beach in Australia a unique place in the world

We spent an hour and a half on this amazing beach, but I wouldn’t have minded to stay longer.

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands: snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef

The water around the Whitsunday Islands is clear, warm and relatively shallow, perfect for many types of coral to grow. So off course snorkeling was included in the program as well!

Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef with Cruise Whitsundays Camira day tour

As divers, we are a bit spoiled and it was not the best coral I’ve seen. Unfortunately several patches of coral were bleached or dead. Nevertheless, exploring the underwater world is always fun and we did see a couple of colorful parrotfish.

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands: a day to remember

Altogether we had an amazing day sailing around the Whitsunday Islands! I was reminded once again how much I love being on the water and what a beautiful world we live in…

For more information about this trip, check the Cruise Whitsundays website.

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands with Cruise Whitsundays is a dream come true: uninhabited islands, lush jungle, white-sand beaches & incredible views. The Whitsunday Islands are a National Park on the East Coast of Australia. Read how to spend a day on the water aboard the Camira catamaran. The program includes a visit to the Hill Inlet Lookout, Whitehaven Beach and snorkeling. Click through to read the whole post! #whitsundayislands #cruisewhitsundays #australia Sailing the Whitsunday Islands with Cruise Whitsundays is a dream come true: uninhabited islands, lush jungle, white-sand beaches & incredible views. The Whitsunday Islands are a National Park on the East Coast of Australia. Read how to spend a day on the water aboard the Camira catamaran. The program includes a visit to the Hill Inlet Lookout, Whitehaven Beach and snorkeling. Click through to read the whole post! #whitsundayislands #cruisewhitsundays #australia

Disclosure: I was hosted by Cruise Whitsundays. Nevertheless, all pictures and opinions are my own.



  1. December 5, 2017 / 9:57 pm

    How stunningly beautiful Lotte. This place reminds me so much of my trip to Fiji a few years back, for that clear, pristine and shallow water. Perfect for lazing in, or of course, snorkeling. I read a few posts breaking down the Whitsundays before. Tropical paradise indeed.


    • Lotte
      December 5, 2017 / 11:10 pm

      It was stunning indeed:-). Would love to visit Fiji as well, sounds like paradise too…

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