Whitsundays

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More information

The Whitsundays are situated in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef on the north-east coast of Australia. They consist of 74 tropical islands scattered amid coral reefs and deep waters. The islands, discovered by Captain Cook in 1770, make up the largest offshore island chain on Australia's east coast.

The beautiful waters provide excellent cruising grounds as they are protected by the natural barrier created by the Great Barrier Reef.

There are facilities, known as Reefworld, on the Outer Reef, which provide easy access for passengers to experience this World Heritage area.

Reefworld is Australia's most sophisticated, permanently anchored offshore platform, where guests can see and experience some of the most beautiful coral formations and spectacular marine life on the Queensland coast.

Cruise ships in the Whitsundays have the choice of anchoring at a number of designated anchorages. These anchorages are serviced by high-speed catamarans. This allows passengers access to a range of activities.

From the anchorage at Cid Harbour, passengers can access Hamilton Island or undertake other tours by catamaran.

It is possible to access both Reef World and Cid Harbour in the one day by anchoring at Reefworld in the morning and then proceeding to Cid Harbour. The destination has serviced many cruise ships including the QEII, Vistafjord, Nieuw Amsterdam, Royal Viking Sun, Sky Princess, and Crystal Symphony.

At Hardy Reef Anchorage, Reefworld features are:

  • two large, moored floating platforms, large enough to cater for up to 900 people in comfort at any one time
  • two underwater observatories with seating for 50 people in six semi-submerged snorkelling platforms for easy access to the water
  • two separate infants - swimming enclosures
  • fresh water showers, toilets and change room facilities
  • large, uncrowded open sundeck and extensive shaded areas
  • semi-submersible submarines for coral viewing
  • a retail and souvenir shop on the reef
  • snorkel equipment, including sealed snorkel mouthpiece for each guest is supplied
  • informative commentary and presentation by qualified marine biologists en route to the reef
  • information brochures are offered in six languages to service international guests
     

Optional activities at Reefworld

  • scuba diving - both introductory and certified dives are available with our skilled and experienced dive instructors
  • helicopter joy flights over the world famous Heart Reef
  • guided snorkel adventures with marine biologists
     

Reefworld and Cid Harbour

It is possible to visit both Reefworld and Cid Harbour in the one day by anchoring at Hardy Reef in the morning. Some passengers can then remain at Reefworld while the ship cruises to Cid Harbour. The passengers at Reefworld can rejoin the ship in Cid Harbour by fast catamaran.

Activities for Cruise Ships Anchoring at Cid Harbour

  • Great Barrier Reef Cruise to Reefworld - passengers can access Reefworld by high speed catamaran as a day trip.
  • Whitehaven Beach Cruise - this is the ultimate white sand beach, 14 kilometres of pure silica sand and truly one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. At Whitehaven you can join in the beach activities, take a walk along the beach, lay back with a good book, or just float around the beach in the crystal clear waters. There are no facilities or shade at Whitehaven Beach therefore we recommend no more than three hours at the beach.
  • 2-Island Cruise - Daydream Island and South Molle Island - cruise through the magnificent Whitsunday Islands to Daydream and South Molle Islands.
  • Daydream Island offers visitors a unique day in paradise, with a designated area catering especially for day guests. Here guests can enjoy a visit to the island bakery, shop for exclusive souvenirs and laze by the large free-form pool. South Molle Island Resort offers a range of things to do for the visitor. Enjoy playing golf, shopping, lazing by the pool or even a leisurely walk through the islandメs own rainforest.
  • Hamilton Island - is the most sophisticated island paradise in the South Pacific. An international hotel set in a tropical paradise with its own marina, jet airport and harbourside village. Every activity imaginable is available. You can hire a golf buggy and explore this paradise or take a bus tour, swim, sunbake or take a bushwalk. The following activities are available at a moderate charge: watersports, paraflying, mini-golf, gocarts, squash, tennis, dinghy hire and wire flyer. There are numerous shops to buy that perfect souvenir or that refreshing snack.
  • Banjo Paterson afternoon sail - possibly one of the best ways to explore the spectacular Whitsunday Islands is by sailing yacht. Sail to a fabulous tropical island with a deserted beach where guests can enjoy swimming, beach games and a beach barbecue.
  • Fishing - cruise to secret fishing areas. The wind, tide and skipper will dictate where the best fishing will be. All lines, bait and tackle are included along with a light lunch. Bring your catch back aboard your ship and have the chefs serve it for dinner.
     

Access to Airlie Beach

Transfers by catamarans can be arranged from the anchorages to the mainland. The anchorage at Funnel Bay is the closest anchorage to the mainland and the resort town of Airlie Beach.

 

Working hours

Customs Officers 24 hours
Quarantine Officials 24 hours
Immigration Officials As for Customs

Customs and Immigration

Passenger Manifest Three copies at the first port of call with one copy to Immigration with the passengers card one copy to Customs and the third copy to remain on board the ship.
Embarking Passenger Manifest 3 copies - 1 to Customs 1 to Port 1 stays
Crew Manifest 2 - 1 at first port to Immigration 2nd stays.
Stores List 2 (Aust. Customs Service and Sydney Ports Corporation
Customs Declaration (Ship) 1 (Australian Customs Service)
Customs Declaration (Crew) 2 (Australian Customs Service)
Forms Comments All forms listed above are produced at the first Australian port of call and then one copy of each form travels on board the ship to be produced at subsequent ports.
Customs Declaration (Passengers) One at first Australian port of call only.

Port health

Health Declaration One (pratique) at first Australian port of call only

 

The following Ground Handlers are CDU members and supply superior ground handling services throughout Australia.

Anchorage Information

Note: Permits must be obtained from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) before anchoring in the Whitsundays and Outer Great Barrier Reef.

Access to the Whitsundays Area

Under the Whitsundays Plan of Management (in force since 27 October 1999) cruise ships may anchor anywhere in the Whitsundays Area more than 1500 metres from a reef, or closer at nine designated cruise ship anchorages, including weather alternatives. Ships may use Turtle Bay simultaneously during northerly winds and any of the other
six designated anchorages independently.

Only three cruise ship bookings a day are available in the Whitsundays area.

Since 27 October 1999, cruise ships have been required to carry a pilot when operating in the Whitsundays and ships' tenders may only be used for transferring passengers to port facilities or local tourism operations.

Booking arrangements

Booking arrangements have been introduced to manage access to designated cruise ship anchorages and bookings should be in writing and directed to:

Administrative Assistant, Tourism and Recreation
Telephone: +61 7 4750 0775
Facsimile: +61 7 4724 2264

Email: registry@gbrmpa.gov.au

Bookings are taken on a 'first come first served' basis and will not be confirmed until the appropriate Marine Parks permits have been issued. Any itinerary changes should be notified to the Authority as soon as possible, so bookings can be reconfirmed. Please note that it is an offence to use a designated anchorage without a valid booking.

The designated anchorages are:

Hardy Reef Cruise Ship Anchorage

At or about:
(a) the point of latitude 19o;44.45o; south, longitude 149o;08.40o; east; or
(a) No.2 beacon bearing 090o;, distance 1.10 nautical miles

Fitzalan Passage Anchorage

Approximately 20 degrees 19 minutes South, 148 degrees 56 minutes East, is located adjacent to Hamilton Island [ approx 1 n.m.] with easy access to a number of popular tourist destinations.

Cid Harbour Cruise Ship Anchorage

The area the boundary of which:
(a) commences at the point of latitude 20o;14.30o; south, longitude 148o;56.00o; east;

(b) then runs south-easterly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o ;15.00o; south, longitude 148o ;56.20o; east;

(c) then southerly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o;15.70o; south, longitude 148o;56.20o; east;

(d) then westerly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o;15.70o; south, longitude 148o;55.80o; east;

(a) then northerly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o ;14.30o; south, longitude 148o ;55.20o; east;

(f) then easterly along the geodesic to the point of Turtle Bay Cruise Ship Anchorage

The area the boundary of which:

(a) commences at the point of latitude 20o ;19.50o; south, longitude 149o ;01.00o; east;

(b) then southerly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o ;20.00o; south, longitude 149o ;01.00o; east;

(c) then westerly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o ;20.00o; south, longitude 148o ;59.50o; east;

(d) then northerly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o ;19.50o; south, longitude 148o ;59.50o; east;

(e) then easterly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

[Note: Turtle Bay is not surveyed to modern standards and uncharted dangers may exist. A survey of Turtle Bay will be conducted by mid 2000. In the interim, Turtle Bay is not recommended as a cruise ship anchorage.]

Funnel Bay Cruise Ship Anchorage

The area the boundary of which:
(a) commences at the point of latitude 20o ;13.20o; south, longitude 148o ;44.75o; east;

(b) then runs southerly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o ;14.60o; south, longitude 148o ;44.75o; east;

(c) then westerly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o ;14.60o; south, longitude 148o ;43.00o; east;

(d) then northerly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o ;13.20o; south, longitude 148o ;43.00o; east;

(e) then easterly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

Port Molle Cruise Ship Anchorage

The area the boundary of which:
(a) commences at the point of latitude 20o ;19.00o; south, longitude 148o ;50.10o; east;

(b) then runs southerly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o ;19.80o; south, longitude 148o ;50.60o; east;

(c) then westerly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o ;19.80o; south, longitude 148o ;50.00o; east;

(d) then northerly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o ;19.00o; south, longitude 148o ;49.50o; east;

(e) then easterly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

South East Hamilton Cruise Ship Anchorage

At or about the point of latitude 20o ;22.10o; south, longitude 148o ;59.25o; east

South Hayman Cruise Ship Anchorage

The area the boundary of which:
(a) commences at the point of latitude 20o ;04.20o; south, longitude 148o ;53.40o; east;

(b) then runs south-easterly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o ;04.70o; south, longitude 148o;53.20o; east;

(c) then south-westerly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o ;04.28o; south, longitude 148o ;52.27o; east;

(d) then north-westerly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 20o ;03.90o; south, longitude 148o ;52.51o; east;

(e) then north-easterly along the geodesic to the point of commencement.

PILOTAGE

Pilotage Name Australian Reef Pilots
Pilotage Address PO BOX 338 Albion Queensland 4010
Pilotage Phone No +61-7-3262-4600
Pilotage Fax No +61-7-3262-5633
Email amaffina_arp@bigpond.com
Website www.reefpilots.com.au
Is Pilotage Compulsory Yes
Position of Pilot Pickup At nearest port outside the Marine Park
Distance from Berth n/a
Pilot VHF Channel n/a
Description of Pilot Boat n/a
Pilot Hours n/a
Pilotage Fees n/a

 

Shipping Agents:

Shipping agents

The following CDU members offer superior service throughout the region.

Port Operations/Services

Barwil Agencies Oceania
Address 9/189 Kent Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Telephone +61 2 9439 7223
24 hour contact +61 416 189 760
Fax +61 2 9439 8587
Website www.barwil.com
Email sydney@barwil.com.au
Services Contact: Greg Coopman.
For details of services see the Barwil entry under Members and Contacts- then scroll down to Shipping Agents.
Beaufort Shipping Agency Company
Address Level 8, 120 Sussex Street, Sydney NSW 2000
  GPO Box 3988 Sydney NSW 2001
Telephone 61 2 9364 8960
24 hour contact +61 411 123 013
Fax +61 2 9364 8999
Website N/A
Email operations@beaufortshipping.com
Services Contact Ian McAllister
For details of services see the Beaufort entry under Members and Contacts- then scroll down to Shipping Agents.
Information on other Shipping Agents can be obtained from the Port Authority (see Port Operator).

 

Anchorages

Locations Refer back to Port

Approach and Pilotage

Details Refer back to Port

Nearest ports

Australia Townsville
Nearest Overseas Port n/a

 

Refer to Port Approach and Anchorage's page.