The Great Barrier Reef, a beautiful World-Heritage area, and the Whitsundays which is made up of 74 gorgeous, mostly uninhabited islands, are the headline act for superyachts in Australia. Having experienced these dappled waters for herself, charter broker Gaye Joyeau-Bourgeois shares her views and insights of a trip to remember on board the yacht SILENTWORLD.
What style of group is the destination most suitable to?
This is chill out, tee-shirt and sandals type cruising, with touches of pure luxury here and there and, above all, a wealth of unique experiences for all the senses. In terms of activities, there is something for every taste and every generation.
Were there any particular highlights of the trip?
The ascension of Whitsunday Peak with a private guide was my best experience. Proud I made it! Start off from Sawmill Beach, then hike 1,500 metres through the tropical forest up to 407 metres elevation. You’ll need to be fit but the views are worth it!
Abell Point Marina is ideal for stretching one’s legs and it has a private helipad from which one can embark on an aerial tour. Flying over the world renowned Heart Island left me speechless! The grandeur of the reef is overwhelming and only this aerial view brings that home; an essential for every charterer.
What sort of water-based activities can be enjoyed?
The idyllic, calm waters here are virtually perfect for all types of watersports, especially non-motorised ones. Paddle boarding, snorkelling and kayaking are perfect ways to explore the many virgin beaches. Diving is also fantastic - the good conditions are ideal for taking one’s first dive certificate.
It’s common to see turtles and dolphins. Humpback whales can be spotted during the migration period of June through to October.
What land based-activities are of interest?
Young and old alike will enjoy the Australian Wildlife Park, a cosy zoo nestled in a wooded setting which features all of Australia’s iconic wildlife, including a good number of koalas.
A round of golf is possible on Dent Island. Warning though, the breath-taking views are bound to affect your drive.
For those looking to step ashore the resorts qualia (adults only) and One & Only (child friendly) both offer a number of dining opportunities, ranging from fine dining to traditional Aussie fare. Aptly named, the Latin meaning of qualia is “a collection of deeper sensory experiences”. The views from the restaurant here are fabulous. The food is outstanding, the wine cellar is impressive and the friendly service is intuitive.
Was there any favourite anchorage that stood out for you?
I would recommend Whitehaven Beach, one of the world’s very few and largest white silica sand beach. A postcard in the open air.
Would you recommend combining a yacht charter in the Whitsundays with a city break in Sydney or Cairns?
Definitively yes to both, but the following are my top choices, ideally preceding the charter: Silky Oaks Lodge, Mossman in the tropical tablelands for a true rainforest experience, and Bamurru Plains, Northern Territory, a unique Top End location for the discovery of Aboriginal culture and the Top End’s wilderness.
What are your impressions of SILENTWORLD?
The 39.6m (131ft) SILENTWORLD is not your average charter yacht. She is regularly used for maritime expeditions for the Owner’s foundation after which she is named. A true explorer vessel with a steel hull, SILENTWORLD is also capable of venturing further afield. She is equipped with highly effective zero speed stabilisers and the three generous decks offer several dining options. SILENTWORLD also carries a wide array of watersports equipment, including extensive dive and fishing equipment and the Captain is a dive master with a great deal of local knowledge.