The Whitsundays are a group of islands located at the heart of the Great Barrier Reef in the tropic waters off Australia. The 74 islands in the group are the mostly uninhabited National Parks although there are a few homes and resorts in the area. They are cooled by the trade winds for most of the year and have an excellent year-round climate. The waters are protected by the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef and most islands are surrounded by a fringing reef system. There is a great deal to explore here; the islands offer unsurpassed beauty it makes for a rich experience for the vacationing yacht charter.
The weather is almost perfect year around the typical sailing seasons here tend to be driven more by when the kids are in school than the traditional indicators of calendar. For sailors, that means that some of the best sailing and boating can be found in the off-peak periods. Summers are warm with frequent rain showers and winters are said by many to be the perfect climate; warm by day and cool by night.
The trade winds usually blow slightly stronger from May through August. July is the coolest time of year while January is the warmest. And cyclones, if they do occur, are most likely between February and March of any given year. But never fear as good anchorages are plentiful and varied throughout the islands.
A good way to think of the Whitsunday islands is through the seasons; either dry or wet.
- The wet season: January-March
- The windiest months: March-May
- The driest months: August-October
From mid-late September onward the trade winds abate and the best cruising weather in the Whitsundays is between August to early November. At any time of the year though, you can almost always be assured of having enough wind for a pleasant sail. The temperature is pleasant almost any time of the year in the Whitsundays, with temperatures seldom above 86 in summer or below 64 in winter. You can swim year-round in these gorgeous waters. The trade winds are reestablished after the summer monsoon in April-May, providing brisk sailing throughout the winter. The weather is generally more settled after June and the winds get progressively lighter after mid-September.