Booking and Travel Information

Booking and Travel Information



Our Whitsundays base is located in Shute Harbour, which is situated on the mainland of Australia, ten minutes drive from the main township of Airlie Beach and provides close access to the beautiful and iconic Whitsunday Islands.  

Physical address: 6 Bay Terrace Shute Harbour, QLD, 4802

Postal address: PO Box 357, Airlie Beach, QLD, 4802

Base facilities 

Our Whitsunday facility base includes showers, toilets, electricity, wireless internet access, air conditioned reception lounge.  Additional facilities in Airlie Beach include overnight accommodation, restaurants, bars, a selection of shops, banks, post office, laundry, marinas and ferry terminals.

Arrival and departure


Proserpine Airport (Whitsunday Coast Airport) is located just 49km from Shute Harbour.  The Proserpine airport has flight connections daily from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and is a modern comfortable terminal with a kiosk for food and beverages.


Whitsunday Coast Airport

Whitsundays to Everywhere or Heart of the Reef Shuttles

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island operates a resort link transfer service, which will bring you to the marina and meets every flight.


Pre-provisioning before you arrive in the Whitsundays will allow a stress free arrival and check-in process.

Place a vessel on hold

On request, we can place your chosen vessel on hold for 48 hours while you confirm your travel arrangements. We will require a contact telephone number so we can offer you first refusal on that vessel if there is another interested party, in lieu of a booking deposit.


To secure your vessel, we require a $750 booking deposit via credit card or direct deposit. Once your deposit has been received, we'll email confirmation of your charter details.

Charter Fees

To be paid in full 70 days prior to departure.

Travel Insurance and Cancellation

Travel insurance makes sense. A small, additional investment when you book ensures you are protected should your holiday be interrupted by illness, a family emergency or severe tropical weather.

While late summer is a great time to visit the Whitsundays, conditions can vary. If you are holidaying during this period, travel insurance – including cyclone cover – is especially important. We also recommend Bareboat Charterers' Liability Insurance through Oceanic Marine Risks, or our reservations staff can help.

Refunds and Cancellations

You or any member of your party may cancel your booking at any time providing that the cancellation is made by the lead name in writing. Notice of cancellation will be effective upon receipt by us of your written communication.  As we start to incur costs from the time of your booking is confirmed, cancellation fees will be applied towards refunds, which vary depending on how much notice is provided (per our terms & conditions)

Island Relocation

Start and finish your charter from Sunsail Whitsundays base in Shute Harbour, or your vessel can be delivered to Hamilton Island for the start and finish of your charter on request and subject to availability and relocation fees. (On special request other locations may be available).

Additional Fees

The following additional fees are applicable to each charter:

Marine Park Fee

A Great Barrier Reef Marine Park fee plus associated charges are applicable to all charters and payable in full prior to departure. The fee includes an Environmental Management Charge of $3.50 per person per night for three nights ($10.50) plus administration charge ($14.50). Total cost per person is $30.

Yacht Damage Waiver options

All Sunsail Whitsundays charters include either a Yacht Damage Waiver daily fee plus a small security deposit, or a one-off larger security deposit payment. This is to cover damages or loss caused to the vessel during your charter.
The Yacht Damage Waiver options vary in prices depending on the size of the vessel.

Option 1: Yacht Damage Waiver Daily Rate


Up to 40ft: $59.00 per day including a small security deposit of $900.00
41ft - 52ft: $64.00 per day including a small security deposit of $1,350.00


Up to 40ft: $50.00 per day including a small security deposit of $900.00

41ft - 49ft: $53.00 per day including a small security deposit of $1,350.00

Option 2: One off Security Deposit

Catamaran & Monohull:

Up to 40ft: $3,650.00
41ft - 52ft: $5,250.00


Fuel/Outboard/Gas is a pre loaded daily rate added to all charters. This will vary in price depending on vessel type and size. The fee covers all fuel used for your outboard, tender and also the LPG (gas) used for the stove & barbeque.


You can stay on board your vessel the night prior to your charter. This allows you to settle in and become familiar with your vessel before your 8am briefing the morning your charter begins. To take the sleep-aboard option, you must be at our Shute Harbour jetty at 4pm to be shown on board. Due to limited availability, this option needs to be requested at the time of booking. Charges apply.

On Arrival 

Your vessel will be ready by 12 noon.  All vessels are prepared as per the booking for boarding time.  You will receive a boat and area briefing which can take between 3 – 4 hours depending on your experience level.  You are not permitted to leave without an adequate briefing.

Briefings are carried out individually for each vessel and are mandatory.  The chart brief describes the cruising area and any potential hazards.  The vessel briefing introduces you to your vessel and they systems.  It is important that all systems and equipment are fully understood.

Two adults must attend the briefing (the skipper and first mate, who must be onboard for the entire charter).

Out of hours arrival procedure

If you will be arriving late for your charter please contact our reservations staff for more information on +61 7 4948 8250 / 07) 4948 8250 or

On Departure

Your checkout time will be 10:00am.   Prior to departing your vessel you will need to complete a debrief.

Charterers' Terms and Conditions

We want you to enjoy every minute of your sailing adventure in our beautiful part of the world. Our terms and conditions have been designed to ensure you have a safe and relaxing holiday. (Download PDF).

Sailing Information

Sailing Experience: Level 1

Experience levels are based on sailing conditions and the length of passages within you chosen sailing area.

Sailing Licences

There are no sailing licenses required to sail in Australia.  We do however require you to have a minimum amount of experience. The minimum sailing experience required for your safety is two adults on board with previous sailing experience. The skipper needs to have at least five days sailing experience, not power, on a similar size vessel, and needs to have an understanding of anchoring, navigation and tides.

The second adult on board needs at least three days sailing experience and needs to know what to do in case of an emergency, eg work the VHF radio, turn the engine on and off and be able to take sails up or down. If you have not already done so then the skipper and first mate will be required to fill in a sailing resume at the base to confirm that you have the necessary skills for sailing in this region.

Night time sailing

You are not permitted to sail at night.

Bareboat cruising area limits

In the Whitsundays bareboat charterers can sail as far north as the northernmost tip of Hayman Island and the Southern tip of Shaw Island.  The outer limit is 5 nautical miles from the most eastern of the islands. 

Mooring, marina and fees and restaurants

There are two marinas in the Whitsunday cruising area, Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach.  You may also moor off many of the 74 islands within the region.

Resorts are situated on the following islands:

Daydream Island

Currently closed for refurbishment, due to reopen in April 2019

Hayman Island 

Currently closed for refurbishment 

Palm Bay Resort (Long Island)

Tel: 1300 655 123

Marina Locations:

Abell Point Marina 

Tel: 07) 4946 2400

VHF Chanel 9

*For current berthing rates, please contact the marina directly. All prices are subject to change.

Hamilton Island 

Tel: 07)4946 8353

VHF Chanel 68

*Sunsail charterers will pay directly to Sunsail Whitsundays for marina berthing, please contact reservations for current rates.

Charts and 100 Magic Miles book

All charts and a copy of the 100 Magic Miles book will be onboard your vessel.


Your vessel will be provided with a full tank of fuel at the beginning of your charter and you will required to pre-pay for your fuel along with your charter extras.  If extra fuel is required you can fuel up in Shute Harbour or Hamilton Island.

Hire a Sail Guide

You can add either a sail guide or host by contacting our base once you have booked your charter.  A cabin must be provided for them individually, please consider this when selecting your yacht.

Cool boxes/ Ice boxes

These are available complimentary from our base.

Ice is available for purchase at our Shute Harbour office, or at Hamilton Island Marina.

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Flotilla routes
Types of yachts
44 yrs
Creating vacations
4 hr
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