• Menu
  • Menu
best whitsundays tours sailing day trip catamarans party boats airlie beach australia

The Best Whitsundays Tours – Which Should You Choose?!

Trying to figure out the best Whitsundays tours for your Oz trip? Here’s my guide to the best options – inc days trips and sailing tours!

Figuring out the best Whitsundays tours for your trip up the East Coast of Australia can be a bit of a tough decision – there are so many awesome options to choose from and as one of the top things to do in Australia you don’t want to mess it up!

From day trips to overnight sailing adventures – here’s my rundown of the best Whitsundays tours so you can choose the right one for you!

The Best Whitsundays Tours – Which Should You Choose?!

Day Tours

For those who are tight on time or don’t have a huge travel budget to play with a day trip is going to be the most appeal Whitsunday tour to go for.

And most Whitsundays day tours still take in the main things to see and do too – so you wont be missing out on anything major!

Ocean Rafting

  • Cost = from $169 (not including lunch)
  • Max capacity = 32

One of the most popular Whitsundays tours in terms of day trips is certainly Ocean Rafting – who I jumped on board with for my first trip to the Whitsundays!

Taking in all the highlights of the Whitsundays – including Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet. In fact they’re the only day trip provider who are allowed to moor up directly at Hill Inlet Beach.

Not only that but they offer 2 day trip options – the Northern Exposure and Southern Lights tour. Both include the same major highlights but the Northern Exposure trip includes more snorkelling time, whereas the Souther Lights has more beach time.

So take your pick!

The buffet lunch is an optional add on, but I’d highly recommend it as the food was pretty epic and more than enough to go around!

Click here for more info and to book


  • Cost = from $189
  • Max capacity = 32

Another day trip favourite is Thundercat – a custom built vessel designed to make your Whitsundays trip as smooth and comfortable as possible.

As with pretty much all the Whitsundays tour it takes in all the main highlights – including Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet Lookout – as well as a couple of awesome snorkelling spots too.

The trip is all inclusive – with lunch, snorkel gear and everything else all part of the package, so you can simply rock up (with your swimwear of course!) and enjoy an epic day out!

Click here for more info and to book


Party Boats

For a lot of backpackers travelling the East Coast a party boats is going to be the Whitsundays tour of choice. Load up the goon, set sail for a few days of party chaos and enjoy some rather drunken times with your new travel buddies!

The Atlantic Clipper

  • Cost = from $449
  • Max capacity = 53
  • Departs = 3 x weekly
  • Duration = 2 nights

Probably the most famous fo all the Whitsundays tours – or should I say infamous?! The Atlantic Clipper (aka the Clipper) has been providing backpackers with a boozy sailing option and has gained the reputation as the most party centric option in the Whitsundays!

With space for up to 53 customers it’s the biggest boat in the Whitsundays – super sociable and you’ll meet heaps of other travellers on board.

The 34m long Atlantic Clipper is geared up for all things party too – including on deck spa, awesome guides and even its own waterslide, so when you’re not exploring or snorkelling there’s plenty of things to keep you occupied.

If you want a break from partying (or something to do before you crack the first beer of the day!) they also offer scuba diving on board too, which is an epic way to explore the coral gardens around the Whitsundays

Click here for more info and to book

New Horizon

  • Cost = from $429
  • Max capacity = 32
  • Departs = 3 x weekly
  • Duration = 2 nights

The sister boat of the Atlantic Clipper, New Horizon is smaller, but still packs in heaps of awesome party vibes!

As with all the overnight sailing trips you’l check out all the top highlights of the Whitsundays, enjoy heaps of snorkelling and kick back amongst the stunning islands that dot the horizon.

It packs in heaps of party fun – with a diving board so you can walk the plank, jet boat/banana boat rides, SUPs and an inflatable waterslide, so there’s not excuse not to get involved in the chaos!

As with the Clipper you also have the option to add on a scuba dive – both certified dive or intro dive – so it’s the perfect opportunity to tick that off your bucket list too.

Click here for more info and to book




If you haven’t spent much time at sea or suffer from a bit of sea sickness then a Whitsundays catamaran trip is a great option – as this style of boat provides the most stability on the open ocean.

And luckily there are catamaran options for all styles and budgets too…


  • Cost = $499
  • Max capacity = 24
  • Departs = 3 x weekly
  • Duration = 2 nights

Out of all the Whitsunday tours I’ve tried out and recommended Tongarra is still my personal favourite – I had an absolute blast when I ran my Australia tour and everyone enjoyed our 2 night stay on this epic catamaran boat.

Great food, awesome crew and a itinerary packed with all the Whitsundays to dos made Tongarra a trip to remember.

As an 18-35 boat it is aimed at the backpacker and young traveller market but is certainly more mellow than the party boats!

One of the most unique things about Tongarra though has to be the sleeping arrangements. Instead of a cabin layout Tongarra has a custom built tent which covers the deck at the night – or if the weather is good you get to sleep under a blanket of stars. Sure that’s not going to be for everyone but if you’re up for adventure it’s well worth it.

Click here for more info and to book


  • Cost = from $479
  • Max capacity = 31
  • Departs = 6 x weekly
  • Duration = 2 nights

Love the idea of Tongarra but not so keen on the sleeping arrangements? Well Wings offers the perfect alternative!

A stable, catamaran style boat there’s actually 2 boats in this feels – Wings 1 and Wings 2 – which although slightly different in layout, both offer everything you’d want from a fun, sociable Whitsundays experience.

Whilst you sail around the islands top up your tan on the spacious nets at the front (including spray for a cool down!) and you can enjoy the onboard jacuzzi too, which is the perfect place for a sunset beer.

Depending on availability and of course your budget they offer 4 cabin types – private double, shared twin, shared cabin and saloon cabin. The Saloon option is the cheapest, but you need to be aware that during the day you’ll need to pack your bed away as it becomes part of the common area. So if you want a bit more personal space the cabin options are the best bet.

Click here for more info and to book


  • Cost = from $535
  • Max capacity = 18
  • Departs = 3 x weekly
  • Duration = 2 nights

If you’re looking for a smaller group, more flashpacker style Whitsundays tour then Powerplay is the best option.

This beautiful catamaran departs 3 times a week from Airlie Beach and soak up all the amazing sights, sounds and destinations the Whitsundays has to offer. 

With a maximum of 18 its perfect for those who want to kick back and chill out, as well as being a favourite with couples.

When you’re not sailing around the islands make full use of the SUPs, kayaks, snorkelling equipment and of the  onboard jacuzzi!

Click here for more info and to book



Island Stays

Got more time than just a day trip but dont fancy sleeping on a boat? Or simply want a bit more luxury and space on your Whitsundays tour? Well there is an awesome Whitsunday Island stay that won’t break the bank…

Ride To Paradise

  • Cost = from $599 (2 nights) or $299 (1 night)
  • Max capacity = 32
  • Departs = 3 x weekly (2 night option) every Friday (1 night option)
  • Duration = 2 or 1 night options

Given the luxurious options across the Whitsundays islands a lot of people think and island stay is well out of their price range – but the Ride To Paradise option is the perfect balance of adventure and comfort!

You’ll spend your days exploring the best of the Whitsundays (yes that includes Whitehaven and Hill Inlet!) and in the afternoon you’ll head to your island base at the stunning Paradise Cove Resort.

Enjoy access to all the Resorts facilities – including beach, pool, spa and hammocks amongst the palm trees!

For solo traveller the shared dorm offers the best value and social option whereas couples can opt for private rooms – including the spacious Dream Villa which wont disappoint!

Click here for more info and to book

Have you done an awesome Whitsunday tour?

Which did you go for?

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 comment