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Old 09-06-2010, 10:01   #1
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I'm going to be in Cairn Aus. for a conference at the end of July. I've decided that since the plane ticket is paid for, I might as well take advantage and stay there for some vacation time. So I'm going to charter a boat with some friends in the Whitsundays for 10 days.

Does anyone have any suggestions of place to go/avoid?? We would like to do some diving while there also, so if anyone has some suggestions in for places to dive and also places to rent dive gear...

Thanks.. Paul

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Old 09-06-2010, 11:35   #2
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Blue Perl Bay is great for snorkeling when its calm.
All the whitsundays are great when the trade winds drop.
If you charter from hamilton Island bring all you luxury food from home - steak, wine, cheese etc othewise you will fall over with a heart attack at the supermarket costs.

if chartering from Arlie Beach stay in a hotel for a day and stock up at the supermarket in cannonvale.

hamilton Island is better because you are quicker to the islands.

nara inlet is good right at the end of the bay where theres a waterfall.
whithaven beach is good before and after the tourists boats each day. Butterfly bay is OK by Blue Perl bay better.
Cid harbour is good but better for long staying cruisiners than 1 week charterers.


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Old 09-06-2010, 12:45   #3
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Blue Pearl bay is excellent, lots of Manta rays, but my vote would be for the top hook island Maureen,s cove, Manta Ray bay and Luncheon bay are the best other than the outer reef (they will not let you take a bareboat to the outer reef, but you can get a day trip from Hamilton Island, or the mainland). Border island can also be good, but visability can be variable.
Dive gear is difficult to stow and very difficult to get refills. A better option is to dinghy over to one of the dive boats and ask to join them for a dive.
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Old 15-06-2010, 05:21   #4
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Hamilton Island is EXPENSIVE. Sunsail run their operation out of there but you pay through the nose.

Airlie is much homier. There is a dive shop right at the Abel Point Marina, as well as a bottelshop. Coles is just a short drive away.

There are a number of charter boat operators in Airlie, but IMHO Whitsunday Private Yacht Charters is the best.... mainly because they are managing my boat. (XTsea... Seawind 1160 catamaran). They even run three day hires which not many operations allow, and they have a web-based booking service so you can see what boats are available at what time. Good rates too!

Plenty of spots to dive... visibility can vary though. It's always a long way to an air refill too.
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