We visit the world-famous Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet lookout, then, it’s up north to sample all of the best snorkel and scuba dive (optional extra) the spots the Whitsunday’s have to offer.
The majestic New Horizon leaves the Marina at approximately 1.45pm and after an orientation briefing the sails are hoisted and look spectacular as we cruise across Whitsunday Passage past the Molle group of islands along the southern end of Hook Island to Nara inlet. This is a beautiful sheltered bay for a very protected, calm and stable night sleep.
Once at the overnight anchorage there is plenty of time to enjoy a swim in the warm, sun-drenched tropical ocean. The Horizon dive board and paddle boards are available for passengers use and passengers still trying to find their sea legs often provide hilarious photos as the topple off those paddle boards with a smile on their face. As the day moves through to night it is time to enjoy a beautiful steamed fish supper and relax with a few evening drinks on the gorgeous wooden decks.
The evening consists of relaxation, chat, games and on most trips Dolphins come to hunt and play under the Horizon’s fish spotlight. These majestic creatures are like unpaid crew members as they entertain everyone on board and normally stay beside the boat all night as they playfully chase other marine life as well as each other literally only a few feet from the euphoric passengers. It’s a very rare opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the most intelligent and beautiful creatures in the world. There is also other marine life that’s attracted to this fish light such as giant travelly, and other pelagic fish as well as white and black tip reef sharks. All this is enjoyed under a dazzling blanket of stars unspoilt by the white pollution of towns and cities on land.
The boat makes its way to Whitehaven beach at 6am and New Horizon guests are woken up at 6.30am. Passengers are greeted with a full continental breakfast including a delicious fresh fruit platter. The Horizon arrives to Whitehaven for just before 8am and an experienced tour guide takes the passengers to a lookout which is the 4th most photographed place in Australia and overlooks the pristine beauty of hill inlet on Whitehaven Beach.
The guide then takes the excited guests to north Whitehaven Beach and everyone can explore the strikingly white, soft, fine, pure silica sand first hand as well as soak up the sun or play beach games. The New Horizon also has a photographer who captures all those special memories and moments. The photos are edited, cropped and posted to our True Blue Sailing Facebook page. Just our way of saying thanks to our passengers for joining us on our Whitsunday’s adventure. The guests return to the vessel at 11am and after a relaxing, therapeutic, calm, sail and some lunch arrive to our snorkel and dive destination. The New Horizon has a superbly equipped dive operation and even has its own dive compressor meaning we can fill our own tanks and therefore diving is not restricted to how many full tanks we have on board. Whether it be snorkelling or scuba diving this underwater world lights up before your eyes and is the richest marine habitat in the world, the oldest ecosystem on Earth and one of the most beautiful and colourful habitats known.
Exploring the reef is obviously a huge highlight for most guests, not only in the trip but as a truly memorable life experience. After snorkelling and diving it’s time for more fun on the dive board and paddle boards. If time allows we cruise further around the north of Hook island and enjoy another snorkel at Maureen’s or Butterfly bay. After a busy day of activities, a shower and freshen up is in order while our chef prepares afternoon snacks and a warm beverage.
Our experienced crew once again hoist the sails to provide a picturesque sunset sail to the overnight anchorage. If time allows we try to watch the sunset on a beautiful sandy spit off an island called Langford which is nothing short of stunning! The day is capped off with an interactive, light hearted and informative chart read, which tells all the guests about where we have been what we have done as well as interesting facts about the forna and flora as well as the underwater life. After dinner, the guests can enjoy a few beers and reflect on their day in paradise. Once again, the blanket of stars and tropical marine life provide a spectacular backdrop for the evening of socialising and fun.
The final day begins at 6.30am. Our chef prepares breakfast as our guests enjoy the gorgeous Whitsundays sunrise then it’s time to explore the reef one more time scuba diving and snorkelling which gets underway at approximately 7.30am. This final location offers a discounted dive for second or third time divers and as well as being cheaper, it’s also a deeper, longer, more challenging dive. After this final goodbye to the coral reef there is plenty of time for more jumping off the dive platform and cruising around on our paddle boards. The anchor is raised at approximately 10am and then back to Airlie Beach for arrival at 12pm. The Whitsunday passage is a great open stretch of water to enjoy the eye-catching beauty of New Horizon’s sails.
That’s the end of the trip, but it’s not the end of the service we offer because in partnership with local businesses we also offer a free didgeridoo and indigenous culture lesson at ‘Opals’ in Airlie Beach. We also have an after party organised where our guests get fed and watered for $5. This rounds off the trip and sends off our passengers with a smile to their next destination.