The Whitsundays

4.3 from 20 Reviews


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Showing 1 to 5 of 20 reviews

Northern side of Hook Island

Reviewed Aug 2016
Aug 2016

With not the best weather we anchored at Stonehaven with a view to snorkell Blue Pearl bay and explore Black and Langford Islands. Stonehaven was a bit rolly but not too bad given the conditions in calmer conditions I think it would be well sheltered. Very pretty part of the Whitsundays. Taking the helm and cruising from Cid Harbour was a very wet experience with torrential rain at times coming from the South hiding the islands at times. With a report a few days ago of a boat hitting a whale I was looking out for these huge creatures. Nearing Stonehaven I felt a number of thumps on the hull, I instantly shut down the motors and copped a serve from the Captain with accusations of hitting something. I hadn't spotted any whales and was in 29 metres of water. We were all on deck checking everything and looking in the water, I checked the motors and we gingerly started up again. 20 minutes later we were anchored at Stonehaven, where we heard on the VHF that there had been an earthquake. We had copped the 5.8 magnitude earthquake north of Hayman Island. From the coordinates given we were 40.21 km South of the epicentre. We had a look online for info regarding Tsunamis with no warnings given and settled down for the night pondering the chances of aftershocks. With many aftershocks reported throughout the next few days I can't say I felt them or heard them with so many noises on a boat.
Beautiful spot, clear water. Good spot for a sunset!
The Captain was my wife!
Wasn't really keen on the earthquake!
14 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank Sheridan

Muddy Bay – Often crowded, but a great stop for provisioning

Petrea McCarthy
Deckee Pro  
Reviewed Jun 2016
Muddy Bay, off the little tourist town of Airlie Beach, offers secure anchorage in mud. Approaching from the east, either inside or north of Pioneer Rock, keep an eye out for squalls coming out of Funnel Bay. Otherwise the approach is clear from all directions.

The downside of this clear approach is that Muddy Bay is only sheltered from southerly component winds. It's wide open to the north, and not safe in anything more than a light breeze from that direction. The masses of yachts wrecked there in various storms were all victims of their owner's reluctance to move them to a safer anchorage when northerly winds arrived. However, in southeast tradewind weather - the prevailing winter winds - Muddy Bay is quite secure. It is often rolly, sometimes inexplicably, but comfortable enough to be a very popular anchorage.

As the only allowable place to beach a dinghy these days is in the little harbour at the sailing club, it makes sense to anchor off the club. There are many moored boats in the bay, and often a host of visitors, but it is usually possible to find a spot.

Once ashore you'll find Airlie is a backpacker haven, but there is a sprinkling of more sophisticated entertainment and eating places. For the visiting boatie, the Woolworths supermarket behind McDonalds is handy, as is the walking track to the shops at Cannonvale. Buses run to the shopping and industrial centres further back. Pretty much all services are available these days. Top off your shore excursions with a drink or meal at the Whitsunday Sailing Club, on the veranda with the best view in town.
Only sheltered from southerly component winds
5 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank Petrea McCarthy

Fun and an eye opener post cyclone Debbie.

Reviewed Oct 2017
It's a very different experience post cyclone Debbie. These reviews are from before that. We found a little bit of coral toward the back and right of Butterfly Bay, but none left along the Nth side of Hook island. We dived there for week or so. Same elsewhere. We heard that some other small patches escaped in other spots around the islands. We couldn't find any.

Still a lot of fish swimming among the slimy remains. Vegetation is trashed, but fascinating to see it sprouting back into life. Epicormic growth on all big trees. We cruised there for two months and having never been there before we had a great time checking it all out. Anchoring once with 40 other boats was actually just silly fun :) The water was 25C in July/Aug! Hill Inlet was lovely. We stayed there for week. Some good climbs/bush walks.

The mainland bays and beaches were fascinating and wild. I was bailed up by a huge pig.

We loved hanging in Airlie. The crazy vibrancy of international backpackers. Great for kids with all walking tracks and a free water park. Good to anchor near sailing club or up over near the VMR ramp. A sense of community.

Bowen was fascinating. About $70 a week to tie up to the piles in the Harbour.

If you are on your own boat i'd recommend cruising from Lady Eliot up to say Goldsmith Island.

Our travels can be found here:
4 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank surfarosa

Fishing in Airlie Beach

Al McGlashan  
Reviewed Nov 2016
Search for and cast at baitfish schools adjacent to the islands’ fringing reef flats around high tide, for queenfish and trevally. Troll deep divers hard against the fringing reef edges for mackerel. Cast soft plastics around the islands’ fringes for coral trout.
4 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank Al McGlashan

Northern Side of Hook Island

Jessica Watson
Reviewed Aug 2016
Pearl Bay, on the western side of Hayman Island, is a great place for snorkelling but is often packed with day visitors so I’d recommend heading to the bays (Butterfly, Manta Ray, Luncheon, Maureen and Pinnacle) on the northern side of Hook that also offer great coral and fish life for snorkelling. These bays are littered with bommies so take care, particularly when low sun or cloud cover reduces visibility. 
Great snorkeling and often less crowded than Pearl Bay
Watch out for the coral bommies in many bays
4 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank Jessica Watson

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