Whitsunday Islands Sailing - Hamilton Island - Hook Island Trip Notes

Whitsunday Islands Sailing - Hamilton Island - Hook Island

Last Modified: 30 Sep 2013
Whitsunday Islands Sailing - Hamilton Island - Hook Island
Trip code: PSSW
Validity: 01 Jan 2013 to 31 Dec 2013
There’s a reason why sailing is a favourite Australian pastime. Just ask anyone who has had the pleasure of spending a day sailing in the Whitsunday Islands - they’ll tell you that all of life’s troubles instantly become as insignificant as a ripple in an endless sea. So whether you find pure bliss in dipping your feet into warm azure waters, dropping anchor to dive off the boat and explore a colourful reef or falling asleep to the sound of waves lapping against the side of the hull – the Whitsunday Islands Sailing adventure is a chance to glide through this heavenly archipelago and wile away the hours in one of the worlds’ true paradises.
Table of Contents
StyleYour fellow travellersIssues on your trip
ThemesSingle travellersWhat to take
ItineraryAccommodationHealth
We also recommendMeals introductionSafety
Itinerary disclaimerMealsTravel insurance
Culture shock rating TransportResponsible Travel
Physical ratingGroup leaderA couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining point The Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyJoining point instructionsCarbon offset
TippingFinish point Feedback
Departure taxEmergency contact
Group sizeVisas
Style
Original
  • Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Themes
Sailing
Itinerary
Day 1 Hamilton Island Marina
G'Day. Welcome to the Whitsundays!
At 5PM make your way to the marina tavern to meet your skipper and fellow travellers. Also time to familiarise with the yacht, your new home afloat! Marina Tavern is located opposite the Sunsail base, and is easy to find, 10 minutes walk from the ferry terminal.
Accommodation
Overnight boat (1 nt)
Day 2 Tongue Bay
Sail to ‘Chalkies Beach’ on Haslewood Island, just across from Whitehaven Beach. This is a great place for both beginners and advanced Snorkelers. Here you can snorkel straight off its pure white silica sand beach or jump into deeper water straight from the boat and swim in to the reef.
After a spot of lunch, a leisurely sail will take you to Tongue Bay on the Northern end of Whitehaven Beach. From here you can take a guided walk through the rainforest to the lookout to admire the swirling splendour of the sand banks of ‘Hill Inlet’. Walk amongst the Soldier Crabs on the beach or take a swim in the pristine turquoise waters amongst the many Sting Rays and Turtles that inhabit the inlet. Its no wonder Whitehaven is amongst the ‘Top Ten’ beaches in the world.
Accommodation
Overnight boat (1 nt)
Day 3 Blue Pearl Bay
From the one of the best beaches in the world – to some of the best snorkelling you will ever do. Explore the northern Whitsundays. Swim with the gentle Hump-headed Maori Ras in Manta Ray Bay; explore the colourful coral in Butterfly Bay, you’ll be overwhelmed by the vibrant colours - of the many fish and the reef in Blue Pearl Bay, Langford Island or Black Island.
Accommodation
Overnight boat (1 nt)
Day 4 Hook Island
Your sailing adventure concludes here at Hook Island and you will be transported back to Hamilton Island Marina by speedboat (approx 45mins).
    We also recommend
    If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
    • Whitsunday Islands Sailing - 7 days (PSSYC)
    • Whitsunday Islands Sailing - Hook Island - Hamilton Island (PSSX)
    Itinerary disclaimer
    Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
    Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
    Culture shock rating

    This is the least confronting of Intrepid's product range. English is the native language and the food, customs and access to services will be similar to home.
    Physical rating

    These trips are a relaxing break. You don't have to worry about doing anything physically demanding unless you want to.
    Included activities
    Snorkelling equipment is available on board the boat at no extra cost. Wetsuits can be hired for an additional fee if required.
    Please note that some of our included activities are contingent on weather conditions. We'll arrange an alternative if an included activity is deemed unsafe.
    Spending money
    Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
    Tipping
    If you're happy with the service you receive, providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.
    Departure tax
    All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
    Group size
    Maximum of 8 travellers per group.
    Your fellow travellers
    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
    Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
    www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
    Single travellers
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
    Accommodation
    Overnight boat (3 nts)
    This trip is accommodated on board a catamaran boat. Our boats are equipped with twin-share cabins, and shared bathrooms (1-4) The average size of the boat is 53 feet. Fresh water is available for showers, and toilets are either electronic or the hand pump variety. The boat is equipped with a motor for times when the wind is not sufficient for sailing. Our boats are real yachts and this is a real sailing trip. Yachts are designed to keep sleeping areas to the absolute minimum of space, while maximising common areas as much as possible.
    The skipper will allocate the rooms on arrival to the boat and single travellers will be paired up with another passenger of the same sex, this may mean sharing a double mattress. The skipper will also be sharing the yacht's facilities and sleeping quarters.
    While some may find the living quarters quite close, those who are looking to revel in the adventure and exhilaration of an authentic sailing trip usually find any discomfort is more than made up for by the spirit of this sailing experience.
    Check out the below for a typical 8 berth catamaran floor plan. The bedding can be identified in blue. Note that this vessel floor plan is an indication only and can change dependant on the boat chartered per departure.

    Meals introduction
    For your convenience most meals on your Whitsunday sailing adventure are included. Food will be delivered to the boat, and travellers are expected to prepare their own meals. Where a meal is not included you will have the opportunity to disembark the boat and eat on the mainland.
    Meals
    3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 2 Dinners
    Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
    AUD 50.00
    Transport
    Boat
    This is a sailing adventure so our time is spent on board a catamaran yacht. We do not have one fixed vessel that we will use for every departure, but instead we choose from a pool of boats in our fleet dependant on the group size. ie. a small boat for a smaller group, and bigger boat for a bigger group.
    You may be asked to assist on-deck, particularly when coming into or leaving port. No experience is necessary, but getting to know some 'sailing language' might help to get you into the spirit of the adventure.
    Port - left
    Starboard - right
    Bow - front of the boat
    Stern - rear of the boat
    Deck - outside, upper area of the boat
    Hull - the main part or body of the boat
    Keel - part of the boat under water that keeps the boat stable and stops it capsizing
    Mainsail - the large sail attached to the mast and boom
    Mast - the big vertical pole that supports the mainsail
    Boom - the big horizontal pole attached to the mainsail, coming off the rear of the mast (swing from side to side)
    Jib, headsail, genoa, foresail - smaller sail near the front of the boat
    Sheet - ropes used to control the sails
    Booty - another word for pirate treasure
    Lines - other ropes on the boat (ropes are never called ropes on yachts)
    Spinnaker - large extra sail
    Trim the sails - adjust the position of the sails when the wind changes strength or direction
    Tiller or wheel or helm - used to steer the boat
    Helmsman - person steering the boat
    Running - sailing with the wind
    Tack - turning the bow of the boat when sailing through the wind
    Jibe - turning the stern of the boat when sailing through the wind
    Figure-eight knot - the stopper: often used at the end of lines to stop them getting away.
    Bowline (knot) - strong and dependable knot that is commonly used
    Clove Hitch (knot) - not as secure it is often used to attach an object to a line
    Group leader
    On your Whitsunday sailing trip you will be accompanied by a skipper. Your skipper's role involves taking charge of the sailing, organising the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics, safety of the vessel and safety for all passengers on board. All skippers have extensive sailing miles experience and hold a 'yacht master offshore license' or higher. They have been carefully selected and undergone intensive training of each itinerary they sail. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect your skipper to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
    Joining point
    Marina Tavern
    Hamilton Island Marina
    Hamilton Island
    Queensland
    AUSTRALIA
    Joining point instructions
    Arriving by plane:
    Hamilton Island Airport has direct flights daily from Cairns, Sydney and Brisbane. Melbourne also flies direct from Thursday through to Monday.
    If you are flying into Hamilton Island we offer a complimentary arrival transfer, that will bring you to the Sunsail Base.
    Please look for our representative who will be holding a "Sunsail" sign.
    Please advise Intrepid of your flight arrival details at least 1 week prior to your trip. We will require your flight number and flight arrival time.
    Arriving by Ferry:
    Ferries run from Shute Harbour and Able Point every few hours between 8am-5pm to Hamilton Island Marina 7 days a week. Able point Marina is only a 10 minute walk from the town centre of Airlie beach. There are a variety of transport options into Airlie Beach from the rest of Queensland and beyond.
    When you arrive at the Hamilton Island Marina It is only a 5 minute walk around the beautiful marina to the Sunsail base where you can leave your bags while you meet your group at the Marina Tavern only across the road.
    The Marina Tavern is located opposite the Sunsail base, and is easy to find, only 5 minutes walk from the Cruise Whitsunday Ferry terminal along the marina (front street), and from the airport is a 15 minute walk. The reception staff at the Sunsail base can store your luggage while you meet with your tour group until your board the boat.
    Finish point
    Marina Tavern
    Hamilton Island Marina
    Hamilton Island
    Queensland
    AUSTRALIA
    Emergency contact
    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Melbourne Office can be reached on Tel: +61 3 9473 2650. For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week. For further contact details please use the following page:
    Visas
    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
    We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
    Issues on your trip
    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
    We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
    You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
    What to take
    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
    Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
    You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
    Space on board the vessel is very limited - for your own comfort and safety, luggage should be kept to an absolute minimum. The use of a backpack, soft sports bag or duffel bag is recommended - NO hard suitcases will be permitted on board.
    Bring along a good-sized daypack as well as a light fleece and/or light windproof jacket. One towel is provided however you might like to consider bringing along an extra for swimming and outdoor use as towels are not changed during the trip. Sports shoes with light coloured soles or sports sandals are recommended while on board, while a pair of cycling gloves can be useful if you wish to participate in sailing. Snorkelling equipment is provided on board.
    If your trip includes hiking or trekking, please ensure you pack comfortable shoes (preferably not brand new, as this can lead to blisters) that are fully enclosed and are comfortable for you to walk in for an entire day. Sneakers or runners should be fine, as long as they are comfortable.
    While there should be electricity on board throughout your trip the voltage is likely to vary widely, from 12V to 220V, and when in port or moored we are dependent on the supply available. Please be aware that the supply may not be sufficient to power some electronic devices all the time and that you may need a voltage adapter or similar (such as portable inverter used in cars). On some trips it may be possible to charge devices ashore at restaurants or resorts, however this is not guaranteed.
    Health
    All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
    Safety
    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
    We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
    For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
    WATER SAFETY AT SEA:
    Travellers that are able and confident swimmers will be able to enjoy swimming & snorkelling off the boat, but please always note the skipper's advise and instructions on when and where to swim and what precautions to consider. Travellers that are not able to swim are certainly welcome on this trip, but you will be required to wear a life jacket when we are sailing.
    Travel insurance
    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
    When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
    If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
    Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
    Responsible Travel
    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
    A couple of rules
    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
    The Intrepid Foundation
    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
    Carbon offset
    Carbon Offset C02-e 39.00 kgs per pax.
    Feedback
    After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.