Great Reef Census Experience in the Whitsundays

Sail the azure waters of the tropical Whitsundays aboard your own fully crewed ultra-luxurious superyacht and be part of an inspirational Citizen Science Initiative, the Great Reef Census.

Journey Overview

Sail the azure waters of the tropical Whitsundays aboard your own fully crewed ultra-luxurious superyacht and be part of an inspirational Citizen Science Initiative, the Great Reef Census. Meander through the crystal-clear waters, dropping in on pristine dive destinations where spectacular coral formations provide the perfect backdrop to hundreds of species of fish, turtles, manta rays and even visiting dolphins and whales. As a citizen scientist onboard you will be actively participating in a survey of the Great Barrier Reef helping to gather data that drives impactful on-the-ground projects, delivers vital insights for management and ultimately, advances conservation outcomes for the iconic reef.


Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Hamilton Island

Arrive into Hamilton Island and transfer to the marina where the crew of your superyacht awaits with a warm tropical welcome. Start your Whitsundays adventure with lunch at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club. Then take a short walk around the island before boarding your vessel. Alternatively, there is the option to cruise to Perseverance Reef or Dent Island (home of one of Australia's most prestigious golf courses) where you can take your first dip, snorkel in the heavenly blue ocean and end the day with sunset canapés in a sheltered bay.
Meals: D

Day 2: Hamilton Island – Neck Bay

Located in the Lindeman Group, Neck Bay is a Captain’s favourite and likely your first secluded experience of the Whitsundays. The snorkeling is renowned along this stretch between Shaw and Lindeman Island. Keep a look out for the myriad species of fish, hard coral, starfish, seabirds, dugongs and turtles.

When you step out of the warm water, wander across the bay and the "neck" from west to east and sprawl on a secluded beach covered by unusually polished shells and coral varieties. After a beach barbecue and natural sand body massages, you spend the night at anchor sheltered here in Neck Bay.
Meals: BLD

Day 3: The Narrows and Cid Island

Waking up to a magnificent tropical sunrise, you make your way west towards Long Island where bush cascades into the ocean creating the perfect colour palette. Continue onto Cid Island, where an afternoon kayaking through the mangrove is highly recommended. Katoomba Bank, on the north of the island, sets the scene for a jaw-dropping sunset, before anchoring in front of Hill Rock Reef or Cid Harbour for a quiet evening and overnight.
Meals: BLD

Day 4: Whitsunday and Hook Islands

Kick start your day with a 1.5 hour hike up the trail to the Whitsunday Peak for spectacular 360-degree views over Cid Harbour. Back on board, watersports enthusiasts can enjoy an afternoon of fun along the west coast of Whitsunday Island where jetskis and other motorised watercrafts are authorised. Continue cruising to Hook Island for your next overnight shelter. Separated from Whitsunday Island by a narrow, deep passage, Hook Island combines pristine wilderness with soul-refreshing forest walks, pure blue waters and white silica beaches. The faint Aboriginal rock art at Nara Inlet, created by the original Ngaro people, takes you back in time and through the history of the traditional owners.
Meals: BLD

Day 5: Hayman Island and the Outer Reef

Depart Hook Island towards Langford Island or Blue Pearl Bay on Hayman Island. The western area of Langford Island reveals a sandbank which appears at low tide, and is a great spot for a beach barbecue. This is also a helicopter landing spot should you wish to take to the air for a preview of your Great Barrier Reef experience. Blue Pearl Bay on the other hand will offer some of the area’s best swimming and snorkeling surrounded by rich coral life. After lunch, head back towards Hook Island to explore the Northern tip: Butterfly Bay’s underwater world is covered in coral outcrops and rubble with shallow walls, and populated by many small colourful reef fish species.  

An option this afternoon is to make your way towards the Outer Reef for your first night in the open ocean. Rendezvous diving is organised for the next morning, and your dive guide will recount reef stories over dinner that night. Arrive at Hardy Reef just before nightfall, where you will safely anchor.
Meals: BLD

Day 6: Hardy Reef & Hook Reef

Today you will have the opportunity to survey some key reefs, deemed important as a source for coral larvae, all identified by expert marine scientists and Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, as part of the Great Reef Census. Choose to dive or simply snorkel. The crew will equip you with GoPros and guide you in the tender to the designated area. The process is simple, each guest is required to take about 10 photos of the site, which are then uploaded to an online platform once back on board for future analysis by marine scientists. Some of the key identified sites include Barb Reef, Hook Reef, Hardy Reef, or Block Reef.  

You also have the opportunity of a helicopter or seaplane trip which will reveal the world-famous and much photographed Heart Reef. Experience vertical waterfalls on the yacht tenders, which appear when the tide lowers by 2 to 3 metres, or trawl for the day’s catch on the way from Hook Reef.
Meals: BLD

Days 7: Dumbell Island - Whitehaven Beach

Today’s cruising arrives at Dumbell Island, populated by a wide diversity of birds including sea eagles who can be fed off the aft deck. A little further south appear the first signs that world-famous Whitehaven Beach is approaching. Before reaching this unique and sought-after sight, take a hike up Hill Inlet and admire the astonishing views: the inlet below is a striking mix of aqua and white swirls as the island's famed sands shift through the waters, creating beautiful patterns. Your yacht will anchor, and let you experience the silica sand with its tenders. The fine sand particles are great for polishing jewellery! Anchor here for the evening.
Meals: BLD 

Day 8: Depart Hamilton Island

This morning the yacht returns to Hamilton Island where you disembark after your final breakfast on board.
Meals: B 


Please note this is a sample itinerary and can be customised to suit. Weather conditions may also impact the itinerary. A collection of nine superyachts are available to choose from depending on your group size and preferred dates, please click here to view. Contact an A&K Journey Designer to plan your perfect Whitsunday escape.

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Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

De Lisle III

Great Reef Census Experience in the Whitsundays

Crafted for comfort and positioned for pleasure; DE LISLE III is a world-class superyacht based in, but not limited to, the South Pacifi... Read more

​Masteka 2

Great Reef Census Experience in the Whitsundays

MASTEKA 2 is an elegant superyacht with expedition capabilities. Nominated for superyacht of the year in the 30-40m category 2009, her D... Read more


Great Reef Census Experience in the Whitsundays

Built-in Great Britain by the famous British yard Sunseeker International to RINA class LY3, SETTLEMENT was delivered in 2015 as one of t... Read more


Great Reef Census Experience in the Whitsundays

Launched in February 2018 ONEWORLD is proudly the newest superyacht on the Australian charter market. With a spacious modern interior and... Read more


Great Reef Census Experience in the Whitsundays

BELUGA is an explorer-style motor yacht, custom-built by Moonen in 2006 and last refitted 2011. She was built as a go-anywhere yacht with... Read more


Great Reef Census Experience in the Whitsundays

With her distinctive Italian styling, MOHASUWEI offers a luxurious and contemporary platform for your next luxury escape. After an extens... Read more


Great Reef Census Experience in the Whitsundays

Built-in steel and aluminium by Dutch yard Moonen to a design by Rene van der Velden, she was delivered in 2004 fully equipped for extend... Read more

Infinity Pacific

Great Reef Census Experience in the Whitsundays

One of the newest additions to the Australian charter market, INFINITY PACIFIC has already established a solid reputation and looks forw... Read more


Great Reef Census Experience in the Whitsundays

PERLE BLEUE set new standards of luxury, style and design when she was recognized in the Show Boats 2008 awards as the “best displacement... Read more

Journey Dates & Prices

Call for a quote.

Note: The Great Reef Census takes place between October – December 2021. Bookings are available between October – December 2021.


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