13 March

Sailing the Whitsundays with New Horizon


Sailing the Whitsundays with New Horizon

It’s the famous spot that cannot be missed on any East Coast Adventure. Clear blue ocean, glistening sand and a whole lot of fun & bants is what you’ll get from your trip on the Whitsundays with New Horizon!

What are the Whitsundays?

Right on the heart of the Great Barrier Reef lay the 74 famous Whitsunday islands. The beauty of this area is unreal and with most of the islands uninhabited it really is a untouched area of the world.

One of the most famous places within the Whitsundays is Whitehaven Beach. This iconic spot has pure white sand and crystal-clear water which makes Whitehaven Beach the ultimate spot to get THAT Whistundays Insta shot.

So, what does a two-night adventure on the Whitsundays with New Horizon involve? Well keep on reading about my adventure and I’ll fill you in on everything you need to know.

Pre-Whitsundays trip

The day before your Whitsundays trip is when you need to get yourself to Airlie beach - the gateway to the Whitsundays. The day before your trip you’ll need to check in for your boat at ABC Travel.

These guys will give you everything you need to know and will give you your boarding card which has the time you need to be at the dock the following day {New Horizon usually departs at around 1.45pm}.

RPT Tip: Don’t take your full backpack on the boat {its a boat after all - theres limited space!}. You’ll need to take your stuff with you in a drawstring bag, you can get one of these at ABC or from the supermarket or Magnums hostel for $1-$2!

What should I pack?

More aimed at the gals because we tend to always overpack but seriously you really do not need that much - bikinis all the way >> hold tight!

Here are the essentials I would pack:

  • Suncream/hat/sunglasses (maybe after sun too if you are prone to burning!!)
  • ALCOHOL (no glass or red wine, most people bought goon or beer)
  • A few pairs of swimwear as you’re in and out the water a lot
  • 2 pairs of shorts max
  • A couple of t-shirts
  • A few cover ups (more aimed at the ladies)
  • Toiletries (A lot of people didn’t bother showering but I for one was thankful for a quick shower when I was covered in sand!)
  • Towel
  • Water bottle that you can re-fill
  • Cash/card if you want to buy any beverages on board
  • Camera/Chargers – (yes there are power points on the boat, but no there isn’t wifi – talk to people!)
  • A jumper for the evening – it gets chilly in the evening you’ll appreciate a jumper trust me!

Don’t bother bringing hair straighteners, nice clothes or make-up because I can promise you now it will not get used. New Horizon is very chilled and casual save the bag space for more goon (you’ll thank me!).


RatPacker Hannahs New Horizon Diary!

Day 1

So today is the day, but wait what do I do with my big backpack? This couldn’t be easier, either your hostel or ABC travel will store your extra bags for the duration of your trip for $5, just make sure you get this done before your boat departs and you’re ready to rock and roll!

You can walk down to Abel Point Marina in about 15 minutes from Airlie centre and this is where you’ll meet the rest of your boat mates who’ll you’ll be spending the next 3 days with. A crew member will also meet you here and give you a little bit more information about the trip and what to expect and then, it’s time to board!

Once on the boat we were introduced to the other three crew members and set sail. With 32 people on the boat there were a lot of people to talk to and share experiences with which is what the first couple of hours consisted of (with also maybe just a little bit of goon). During this time the crew also sorted out our sleeping arrangements – I know what you’re thinking where the hell do we all sleep? – The set up for New Horizon is really quite deceiving! All the sleeping quarters are downstairs and there are 3 sections (one at the back and two at the front). There is a mix of both double and single beds but the first thing they did was make sure people who were in couples or friends already were put in the doubles and stayed together. Once they were all settled solo travellers like myself just plodded ourselves wherever was free! I really wouldn’t worry too much literally all you do down there is sleep.

After a few hours we set anchor for the night at the Nara inlet and this is where you could have your first swim if you wished. The crew put out a diving board where people dived, flipped, jumped and sometimes even belly flopped off! After building up an appetite and as the sun is setting you are served dinner. As a rule, on the boat ladies always get to go first because let’s face it, boys are greedy sods at times! However, you don’t need to worry as they provide more than enough food for everyone to have seconds, possibly even thirds! Our first night meal consisted of a piece of fish, mash potato, salad, coleslaw and a bread roll – if you selected vegetarian etc then they will cater to your needs so don’t worry. The food was delicious and even better? They clean everything up for you! Literally you can just sit back and relax.

After our delicious meal the evening was left to do as we wished. Being the first night on the boat most people had quite a few drinks and spent the evening getting to know each other with a few drinking games thrown in-between! We were also lucky enough to have a dolphin swimming around our boat for most of the evening which was just a bonus to a brilliant first day.

Day 2

Day 2 was an early wake up call to the sound of the classic Lion King ‘circle of life’. Wake up time was around 6-6.30am with breakfast ready and waiting! Breakfast both mornings was on a ‘help yourself’ basis and consisted of cereals, toast with spreads and some fruit along with tea and coffee. Once eaten and changed we headed off nice and early to the infamous Whitehaven Beach.

Getting to Whitehaven at around 8am the first place we made our way to was the Hill Inlet lookout where you can get that ultimate Instagram photo. This is one spot that will truly take your breath away.

After numerous photos had been taken we then walked down to the beach where you can experience the world-famous silica sand for yourself. We then had until 11am to swim, sunbathe, take photos and play games. It was such a beautiful spot I honestly could have stayed here all day.

Back onto the boat around 11am lunch was ready and waiting this consisted of wraps and rolls, salad, cold meat and pasta – a refuel for the rest of the day!

After lunch it’s a short sail to one of the Whitsundays best dive and snorkel spots. The crew provide you with snorkels and floaties if required. Diving is an optional extra and at $60 it’s a pretty decent deal! Not having tried diving before I decided to give it a go and was not disappointed. The on-board diving instructor was patient, reassuring and constantly made sure that I was ok throughout. We were underwater for about 20-25 minutes and saw an array of underwater wildlife.

Back onto the boat with some snacks in hand we made our way to our next overnight anchorage. Here we could have a bit more time to swim, use the diving board and the paddle boards.

As the sun was setting (and you’ll see some beautiful sunsets on the Whitsundays!) it was time for dinner and the second night was an absolute treat – Spaghetti bolognaise with garlic bread! This, of course went down well with everyone and most people went for second helpings.

Once we had filled ourselves to the brim, once again the evening was ours. Most people had a few drinks but in all honesty, we were all so tired nearly everyone was in bed by 10pm! However, this was just the vibe of the boat, it could be different for when you go but I for one was thankful for some much-needed rest after some jam-packed days.

Day 3

It’s another early wake up call on your final day with the boat heading to another spot for one last opportunity to go in the water. New Horizon really do save the best until last with the last day including an inflatable water slide off the side of the boat. If you want a great way to wake yourself up at 7am…. I’ll say no more! They also get out the floats, paddleboards and diving board so you can really go all out.

At about 10am its time to head back to Airlie beach with a whole new bunch of friends and a tonne of memories that’ll last you a lifetime. Make sure you’ve booked an extra night because that night is when the real party begins! Most of your boat will go out that evening in Airlie beach and if my night is anything to go by you’ll definitely have a good one.

I cannot recommend Whitsundays with New Horizon enough, from the staff to the people to the food everything was fantastic from start to finish and I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did.



Cheapskate survival kit


Personalised Travel Calendar