Tongue Bay

aerial image of Tongue Bay and Hill Inlet, on Whitsunday Island

Tongue Bay is the anchorage which provides access to the stunning rainforest walking track, leading to the viewing platform overlooking Hill Inlet and the iconic swirling sands of the Whitsundays. The beach access at Tongue Bay is best accessed on a rising tide, as you can easily spend a few hours exploring the walking tracks and the beautiful Betty's Beach at the other side of the headland. Tongue Bay is a popular anchorage with day visitors, so choose your time to visit carefully. Early morning or late afternoon will avoid the crowds. Part of the Ngaro Sea Trial the walking track is scattered with interpretive information about the traditional owners of the Whitsundays.


South Hayman Cruise Ship Anchorage

view from South Hayman Island beach looking out to Hook Island with palm trees

Sitting south of Hayman Island and north of Langford island, this cruise ship anchorage provides a deep water anchorage with tender access to Black Island (Bali Hai), Langford island and it's sand spit and fringing reef, Stonehaven anchorage and Hayman Island Resort.  

Latitude: 20° 04.20´ S
Longitude: 148° 53.40´ E

Turtle Bay Cruise Ship Anchorage

Large school of fish underwater

Located in the deep channel off from Turtle Bay, this anchorage gives tender access to Turtle Bay, Torres Herald Bay, Crayfish Bay and Chance Bay, which all offers a nice secluded beach and some snorkeling opportunities along the fringing reef at a high tide. Avoid these anchorages in a southerly as they can become quite exposed and choppy.

Latitude: 20° 19.50´ S
Longitude: 149° 01.00´ E

Fitzalan Passage Cruise Ship Anchorage

Aerial of Fitzalan Passage, Hamilton Island and Catseye Beach

Located in the deep water in Fitzalan Passage between Henning Island and the adjacent anchorages of Gulnare Inlet and Beach 25, this anchorage provides tender access to Hamilton Island. Henning Island has a beautiful sandy beach on itself northern point and Beach 25 offers a secluded beach perfect for a lunch time picnic.

Latitude: 20º 18.89' S
Longitude: 148º 56.52' E

Cid Harbour Cruise Ship Anchorage

sunset view over Whitsunday islands from Cid Harbour

Located in the deep natural harbour between Cid and Whitsunday Islands, Cid Harbour Cruise Ship Anchorage was used by the Australian Navy in WWII as safe anchorage in inclement weather during the battle of the coral sea. Tender access to the adjacent Saw Mill beach or Dugong Inlet and take the walking track to Whitsunday Peak (437m) which provides incredible 360 degree views over the Whitsunday islands.

Latitude: 20° 14.30´ S
Longitude: 148° 56.00´ E

Port Molle Cruise Ship Anchorage

aerial of Molle Group of Islands

Sitting between Long Island and the Molle group of islands in the deep water, this anchorage provides tender access to the national park walking tracks on South Molle Island and the newly renovated resort of Daydream Island.

Latitude: 148° 50.10´ E
Longitude: 20° 19.00´ S

Funnel Bay Cruise Ship Anchorage

Superyacht at Funnel Bay at sunset

Located just off the mainland Funnel Bay provides a deep anchorage for the first or last night of any charter before returning to Coral Sea Marina. A popular anchorage with visiting cruise ships due to the distance from the mainland and shore-access.

Latitude: 20° 13.20´ S
Longitude: 148° 44.75´ E

Woodwark Bay

aerial of Grimston Point and Woodwark Bay in the Whitsundays

Woodwark Bay is a short journey from Coral Sea Marina and provides a nice secluded anchorage for the first night of any itinerary. Woodwark is large anchorage with a vast area for exploring. There are some great fishing spots amongst the mangroves which line the bay and a nice beach at the head of the bay with a walking track through the bush to the headland with views back over the water. If you are heading north to Gloucester or Grassy Islands, Woodwark makes for the perfect lunchtime anchorage.

Latitude: 20° 11.187’S
Longitude: 148° 39.939’E

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island

Superyacht, MV Glaze, anchored at Whitehaven Beach

The jewel in the Whitsunday crown is the iconic Whitehaven Beach. This 7km stretch of pure white silica sand has consistently been voted best beach in Australia for years. Relax with a picnic on the powder sand, swim in the azure waters of the Whitsundays or stroll along the expansive beach at sunset – not matter what time of the day or evening this beach is a truly unforgettable experience and a must-do on your Whitsunday itinerary.

Latitude: 20° 16.699’S
Longitude: 149° 03.195’E

Turtle Bay, Whitsunday Island

A Turtle in the Whitsundays

Turtle bay consists of a beautiful series of bays just east of Fitzalan Passage. There is some good snorkeling on the reef to the north of the western side of the anchorage and visibility is best in neap tides and if the wind has been northerly for most of the day. The white sandy beaches scattered throughout the anchorage are all worth a visit at any time of the day. Perfect in a northerly, this bay is a great spot for spotting marine life, particularly turtles!

Latitude: 20° 18.933’S
Longitude: 148° 59.631’E

Thomas Island

Thomas island at sunset on the beach

Thomas Island feels like the remote centre of the Whitsundays and is likely to afford more solitude than some of the central island anchorages. Sea Eagle Beach and Naked Lady Beach both provide stunning sandy beaches reminiscent of the movie South Pacific. If you are looking for true tropical escapism, then look no further than the anchorages on Thomas Island. Lush rainforest covers the island giving it that true tropical island feel.

Latitude: 20° 33.236’S
Longitude: 149° 07.446’E

Stonehaven, Hook Island

Secluded beach and blue ocean with Whitsunday Islands

Unquestionably one of the best locations from which to experience a Whitsunday sunset, Stonehaven anchorage provides a good solid anchorage for overnight after spending some time snorkeling/ diving at the top of Hook and Hayman Islands. With its westerly aspect looking back over Langford and Hayman Islands, cocktails on the deck at sunset are certainly the other of the day in this popular anchorage. A short distance from Langford Island, the sand spit is accessible via tender to experience.

Latitude: 20° 05.507’S
Longitude: 148° 53.644’E

Scrub Hen Beach, Whitsunday Island

Image of a yacht motoring through Hook Passage taken from the top of the mast

Located in Hook Passage, Scrub Hen Beach provides an interesting anchorage with some great snorkeling opportunities. Hook Passage provides a good daytime anchorage option, but due to the changing currents the anchor might not be a preference for overnight. There is some good fringing reef accessible from the beach, but the best coral is along the reef shelf accessible from the boat itself.

Latitude: 20° 10.251’S
Longitude: 148° 57.066’E

Roberta Bay, Shaw Island

Kangaroos and Wallabies on the beach at sunset at Roberta Bay on Shaw Island

Another secluded anchorage on Shaw Island is Roberta Bay, which is the perfectly anchorage to hide from a northerly wind. A quiet and quaint bay with a nice sandy beach, perfect for relaxing and watching the rock wallabies skit across the rocks in the bushland behind. As with most of the anchorages in the southern group of islands you will likely have the anchorage to yourself as you relax and enjoy the serenity from the deck

Latitude: 20° 29.507’S
Longitude: 149° 05.375’E

Neck Bay, Shaw Island

aerial of Neck Bay on Shaw Island

Neck Bay has a beautiful sandy beach and a large expanse of coral which extends a long way out from the beach, however the water is usually milky here due to strong tidal currents, so it’s not ideal visibility for snorkeling. You can walk over the neck of the island (hence the name) to the beach on the eastern side if you are wishing to explore. If you go ashore for a walk/ BBQ anchor the dinghy well out and watch the tide.

Latitude: 20° 27.501’S
Longitude: 149° 04.529’E

Macona Inlet, Hook Island

Nara Inlet still calm waters on Hook Island in the Whitsundays

With a similar topography to neighbouring Nara inlet, Macona is a fiord-like inlet with the mountain sides awash with lush rainforest and hoop pines. The inlet is vast with plenty of small sandy beaches to explore at low tide. Exercise caution when entering the inlet, as Proud Rock extends out on the eastern side. Neighbouring Nara inlet can be accessed via tender to visit the Ngaro Cultural site and cave paintings, whilst those looking for snorkeling can access some good coral at Raven’s Cove in between Nara and Macona.

Latitude: 20° 09.323’S
Longitude: 148° 55.574’E

Luncheon Bay, Hook Island

giant maori wrasse at luncheon bay on Hook Island in the Whitsundays

This bay has some good snorkeling and a is a great stop for lunch, hence the name. The giant moari wrasse who lives in this bay is likely to pay a visit on the edge of the fringing reef, where the best coral is. Popular with the day boats we would recommend a visit early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds. Occasionally you will see wild goats roaming the hillside and during the summer months the bay is awash with butterflies. The bird life too at this anchorage is interesting with majestic sea eagles and brahmany kites a regular sight. There is a nice coral beach, so make sure you are wearing shoes when you go ashore.

Latitude: 20° 03.670’S
Longitude: 148° 56.025’E

Henning and Whitsunday Island Passage

Cruise Ship located off Henning Island in the Whitsunday Island Group

The passage between Henning Island and Whitsunday Island provides a great deep-water anchorage, often used by cruise ships passing through the area. Accessible by tender is the stunning beach at Henning Island, which is located on the southern tip of the island. There is some fringing reef off the beach, which is worth a snorkel and the marine life around this beach is always abundant with turtles, dolphins and during winter humpback whales.

Latitude: 20° 18.515’S
Longitude: 148° 55.754’E

Grassy Island

Goanna on beach in Whitsundays

Grassy Island lies adjacent to the mainland and provides a secluded anchorage for superyachts. The island’s southern beach is a significant bird site and a 6kt speed limit is in place within 200 metres of the shore. There is a sand spit which extends for some distance off the south-western tip of the island which is accessible via tender and would make for the perfect secluded picnic location. You will often find a goanna lazing in the shade of a tree in the heat of the day. This often-unchartered island provides a very unique anchorage location.

Latitude: 20° 08.526’S
Longitude: 148° 35.807’E

Gap Beach, Lindeman Island

View from Lookout from Lindeman Island

Gap Beach is on the northern shore of Lindeman Island and is a good anchorage when the winds are light. The aspect offers great views northwards towards Pentecost Island and the islands of the Whitsunday group. Lindeman Island itself was purchased in 2012 by White Horse (Australia) Holdings Pty Ltd and plans are in place for the development of a luxury 5* resort in the future, which could provide a nice location for a day visit for visiting superyachts.

Latitude: 20° 25.685’S
Longitude: 149° 02.692’E

Chance Bay, Whitsunday Island

Chance Bay on Whitsunday Island

Chance Bay is a double bay with two sand beaches which are accessible via tender. The snorkeling around the reef areas to the west of the anchorage have some good coral and fish life. The anchorage is a great location in a northerly wind. Accessible from Chance Bay is the walking track to Whitehaven Beach which forms part of the Ngaro Sea Trial. It passes through some of the Whitsunday finest forest and woodland and joins the Solway walking circuit to Whitehaven Beach.

Latitude: 20° 18.832’S
Longitude: 149° 02.349’E

Cateran Bay, Border Island

Coral Reef on the fringing reef off the Whitsundays Islands

Cateran Bay provides a good daytime anchorage with access to some good fringing reef for snorkeling or diving best during a neap tide or in light southerly winds. There is a popular walking track leading to Mosstrooper Peak (214m) which if you set off early in the morning provides some exceptional 360 views of the islands as the sun rises. The track can be challenging so a certain level of fitness is required. Take plenty of water on the walk and don’t forget the camera to capture the hiking adventure.

Latitude: 20° 08.918’S
Longitude: 149° 01.806’E

Cape Conway/ Repulse Bay

Palm tree and white sand at Hydeaway Bay

Repulse Bay on the mainland coast, is a wide expanse of quite shallow water between Cape Conway and Midge Island. The bay was named by James Cook in 1770, because he was repulsed, that he was unable to find passage north where he had thought there was one. This gives some clue to the size of the bay and the expanse of the low-lying land at the head of it, where the O’Connell and Proserpine river catchments meet the sea.

Latitude: 20° 31.858’S
Longitude: 148° 52.728’E

Burning Point, Shaw Island

Local birds on the beach at Burning Point, Shaw Island

The beach at Burning Point is a significant bird site – a nesting beach for the threatened beach stone curlew. A 6kt speed limit applies within 200m of the beach from October to May. This anchorage has a small sandy beach and provides great protection in a southerly wind. Like many of the southern anchorages, they are often secluded and not used by local tourism operators, so there is a high chance you will have the anchorage to yourselves.

Latitude: 20° 30.033’S
Longitude: 149° 02.845’E

Border Island East

MY Spirit in the Whitsundays at sunset

A small remote island covered in hoop pines and grass trees similar to the adjacent Whitsunday Island in vegetation. There is some good coral on the southern side of the island. This anchorage is particularly secluded and provides a nice daytime stop-over in light winds, before heading over the Whitehaven Beach for overnight.

Latitude: 20° 09.916’S
Longitude: 149° 02.744’E

Bona Bay, Gloucester Island

A palm tree at Hideaway Bay, overlooking Shag Islet and Gloucester Island, at sunset with purple and pink sky

Bona Bay is popular with the cruising fraternity and has a lovely beach. Adjacent to Bona Bay on the mainland you will find the unique beach resorts of Monte’s Reef Resort and Cape Gloucester Eco Resorts, both serving lunch and dinner daily and provide a nice location for an afternoon of beach-combing and cocktails at sunset. During the week both resorts are relatively quiet. The area is popular for fishing – refer to your zoning charts.

Latitude: 20° 02.350’S
Longitude: 148° 26.252’E

Blue Pearl Bay, Hayman Island

aerial of small beach and blue water at Blue Pearl Bay on Hayman Island

Blue Pearl Bay is a magic expanse of beach located on the northern end of Hayman Island. The beach is made up of exquisite shells and coral, so shoes are recommended. Some good snorkeling can be accessed directly off the beach, but the best coral and abundant fish life is located on the edge of the fringing reef approximately 30 metres offshore. The best dive site is between Castle Rock and Dolphin Point, accessible via tender. Be mindful of the tide when diving.

Latitude: 20° 02.538’S
Longitude: 148° 52.476’E