You’re traveling through Australia and know that you can’t miss a trip to the Whitsunday islands. You find yourself researching the options online and realize you are overwhelmed with the options that are available.
There are several options available for your time in the Whitsundays and each one is different. They range from simple day tours to Whitehaven Beach all the way to multi-day boat trips that include the outer Great Barrier Reef.
We weren’t sure how to approach it at first but after taking some time to talk it over with a local travel agency, we decided that the best fit for us would be on the Anaconda III. This boat combined a visit to the Whitsunday Islands with opportunities to dive on the Great Barrier Reef over the course of 3 days and 3 nights.
The Anaconda III is a mega-yacht that measures 101 feet and holds 3 large sails on its deck. The boat boasts 13 air-conditioned cabins, all with private ensuite bathrooms, 2 air-conditioned saloons and a huge deck area.
If it is diving you seek, the boat has a built in 20CFM air compressor and all the dive equipment you could need. Snorkel gear is also included and the boat tows 2 inflatable dinghies to get you to the best diving and snorkeling spots on offer.
So, how was our experience? It was wonderful and we are happy to report that the boat lives up to all that it boasts. The day we boarded the boat we were introduced to the crew and shown to our cabin. We had signed up for a private cabin and we were located in the center of the boat.
The boat was kept tidy which made our time on the boat enjoyable. In addition, we were served 3 freshly prepared meals a day and afternoon snacks. The on board bar offered wine, beer and mixed drinks if you wanted to indulge a little.
Our 3 days spent with them was very relaxed and well organized. After sailing out in the evening, we awoke early to arrive at Whitehaven Beach before the crowds. Once here, we were all given the opportunity to participate in a free introductory to scuba diving class off the beach.
We spent around 4 hours at Whitehaven Beach, which was beautiful but the one thing we missed out on was a visit to the Hill Inlet lookout. This boat visits the far end of the beach in an effort to avoid the masses. The only downside is you do not get an opportunity to see the iconic view of the white sand swirls against the turquoise water.
In the afternoon we made our way to Hook Island where we anchored for an afternoon of snorkeling and diving. This was the location of our first scuba dive where I faced my fears of the water and after the days excitement the evening was spent doing flips off the boat and listening to music while the boats around us slowly left.
Day two found us crossing the open Ocean for a day of snorkeling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef. This boat visits a place called Bait Reef that is known for some great diving at the famous Stepping Stones. With the exception of one other boat, we had the entire reef to ourselves.
In the evening we set sail back to the safety of the Whitsunday Islands and anchored at Blue Pearl Bay for the night. This was convenient as we were able to wake up early and get in the water before other boats arrived for the day. Another location we had all to ourselves.
With as crowded as some of these locations can be, it was very nice to have a schedule that freed up locations to just our boat. We were able to relax when exploring and really enjoy the underwater world that exists in these beautiful places.
If you are looking for a boat that takes you to beautiful places and has a strong focus on getting you in the water to explore, this is definitely the boat for you. The crew is wonderful and will be delighted to show you the wonders beneath the water while sailing you on a seriously awesome mega-yacht on the ocean.
Disclosure: A special thank you to Indie Travel for hosting our trip with Anaconda III. All opinions are 100% mine. All photos created by Divergent Travelers.