Sailing, kayaking, cruising, SUP boarding: it’s all good. It’s even better when you’re doing it in the most picturesque setting possible. And the out of water temp is nice and warm. And you’re surrounded by a multitude of sea creatures. So yeah basically, you need to go to Queensland, as if you didn’t have enough reasons for a tropical weekend trip anyway.
Bur yourself some boat shoes and a captains hat, you’re going sailing. Or just wear normal clothes, but you’ll have missed a golden opportunity. Either way, a truly fun and unique way to experience the tropical paradise that is The Whitsundays is by hiring a boat and taking it for a cruise with your own crew, aka ‘bareboating’. Ocean exploration at your own pace? That’s a yes from me.
Of course, if you’re not keen on driving the boat yourself there’s a whole bunch of boat tours and kayak hire options around these beaut islands.
An easy 30-minute drive from Brisbane will take you to the relatively undiscovered peninsula of Redcliffe in Moreton Bay. It’s easy to hire a kayak here and explore the relaxed and beautiful beaches with your own paddle. If you prefer someone to guide you, you’ll find kayak tours through the internationally recognised waterbird habitat of Hays Inlet, where you also have a chance of spotting koalas and kangaroos along the banks.
If you’ve never been on a glass-bottom boat before it’s an experience you need in your life, particularly if snorkelling and diving aren’t particularly your jam but you don’t want to miss out on the wonders of the deep. One of the best places to do it, IMO, is in Cairns. More specifically, on a day trip from Cairns out to Green Island. Look through the bottom of your boat as you pass over the Great Barrier Reef.
The series of shipwrecks here known as Tangalooma Wrecks were sunk intentionally to create a safe place for boats to make port. Today, they’re teeming with underwater life. Both of these things make them a kayakers paradise. You could even get lucky enough to be paddling around wild dolphins, particularly if you’re paddling closer to dusk.
One of my favourite memories ever is hiring a boat with my extended family and getting out into Taylor’s Beach up north near Ingham. If you’re into fishing, this will be a particularly good time. You will almost certainly catch your dinner. But I had zero complaints about snoozing on the deck as we travelled over clear blue water with nary a tourist in sight.
I have one thing to say to you guys, whale watching. Hervey Bay is pretty damn famous for the Humpback whales who migrate through its calm waters each year from June to November. There are seemingly endless options when it comes to boat tours that’ll get out on the water to have a closer look at the mamas and their babies, from a responsible distance of course.
North Stradbroke Island
Another super easy trip from Brisbane, 45-minutes by ferry, in fact, is North Stradbroke Island and the setting of kayaking perfection. Hire your vessel and either take to the seas or stay inland in the natural tea tree lakes. A super cool kayak tour of the island is Straddie Adventures. They’re owned and operated by the Traditional Owners of the island, so you get an interesting look into the local indigenous culture as well as stunning views.