Whitsundays Weather – When to Charter

Relaxing in the Whitsunday Islands with Charter Yachts Australia

Our beautiful & tropical location in north Queensland provides us with balmy temps year-round and many glorious days on the water with protected winds.

But when should you visit? Each season has its benefits depending on the type of adventure you seek and the climates you feel most comfortable in. Here we break down the seasons into what you can expect and the advantages of each.

Summer in the Whitsundays

1. SUMMER (December to March)

Tropical paradise seekers apply here! The summer months in the Whitsundays are this exactly. Warm & humid with temps sitting around 30 degrees both in the air and in the water, with humidity on average at 80%. While this weather may seem intense, being on the boat at sea you are at the best advantage with the breeze taking the temp down a notch and making those ocean swims even more refreshing than startling – no bracing yourself before diving in! You will live in you bikini or boardies, get to enjoy the delicious tropical produce in season through summer like mangoes and bananas (Daiquiris on deck anyone?) and spent your days rolling yourself from deck to water.

Likelihood of rain is higher this time of year but will usually come later in the season and arrive in the form of an afternoon down pour offering a refreshing cool off from a warm day. We have included March in the Summer season as weather through this month tends to mirror January & February more so than Autumn months of April & May.

The winds through this time come in predominantly from the east with occasional northerlies. Generally nice & mellow at under 15 knots for most of the season (average is 11 Knots) this is great time to charter if you are seeking calm sailing conditions. Strong winds can occur occasionally as per any time of the year and despite the past years activity, cyclones developing are a rare occurrence and are more likely to take place at the end of summer/early autumn through February & March.

Charter in summer if you want:

  • Quintessential tropical weather
  • Calm winds
  • Great rates – Late January to Easter is our Low Season!
View Summer Specials
Autumn in the Whitsunday

2. Autumn (April to May)

Taking the edge of the heat as we slip into Autumn, this period is the Whitsundays best kept secret. Why? Because the weather is gorgeous & you won’t have the crowds due to the school year being in full swing! Enjoy exploring the islands & having them all to yourself. A time great for bush walking due to the cooling weather, finding secluding beaches and taking in the undersea world with less crowds.

 Average temps sit a 24 – 27 degrees but with the humidity still around 78% it will feel more like 29 degrees at its peak, meaning it’s going to feel like the perfect summer weather despite its Autumn timing. Likelihood of rain is decreasing as we head into our Dry Season. April does tend to have more rain days than May but has the added benefit of being slightly warmer to counter the occasional drizzle.

While April wind direction can be slightly unpredictable due to the cross over of seasons, coming in from the east then swinging to south/south easterlies as we go into May, you will still find speeds averaging 10 -15 knots to create moderate cruising conditions.

Charter in April May if you want:

  • Warm but not too hot weather
  • Moderate sailing conditions
  • To avoid the crowds
View Autumn Deals
Winter in the Whitsundays

3WINTER (June – August)

Whitsunday Winter is a bit of an oxymoron. The days are sunny and warm, with nights cool without the sharp coldness experience further south (no uggs required). Rain is pretty much non-existent as we sit in the middle of the Dry Season, with temps still hitting 23 degrees on average. Even the whales love this time of year! The Whitsundays is on the migration trial for the Humpback Whales & are regularly spotted by our charterers through these months. Visibility also increases as the rain and wind settle into a more regular pattern, so get your snorkel & fins ready!

The humidity significantly drops to create a great opportunity for winds to become more consistent from the south/south east and this provides the ideal conditions for the cruising season.  Average winds speed is between 10 -15 knots but coming from the south/south easterly direction creates nice flat water to sail on. Both Airlie Beach Race Week & Audi Hamilton Island race week are held in August each year for this very reason, therefore if you’re a keen sailor, this is your time to come shine & experience these premium conditions for yourself!

Charter in Winter if you want:

  • Endless mild sunny days and cool nights
  • Premium sailing conditions
  • See the Whales!
View Winter Specials
Spring in the Whitsundays

4. SPRING (September – November)

Spring A.K.A. Glamour Season. Combining all the pros of the other seasons – warm weather, sunny days, moderate humidity & wind, minimal rain, good visibility– and you have Spring in the Whitsundays. By far our most popular time to charter for these very reasons.  

Popular with families because of the weathers reliability to stay perfect, along with increased visibility under water drawing in divers and fisherman, and warmer cruising conditions appealing to sailors that like it warmer with slightly calmer winds – this is the quintessential perfect weather period to cater to everyone’s needs. If you don’t mind the buzz of the busy season, then this is the season to charter (don’t be put off! it can be great for creating a fantastic village atmosphere on the water and there are still plenty of spots to have all to yourself).

Charter in September/Oct/November

  • Summer light – high 20’s and low 30’s temperatures without intense humidity
  • Great visibility for diving, snorkelling and fishing
  • Reliable weather with moderate sailing conditions
View Spring Deals

*This weather statistics provided have been sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology. While we have tried to provided additional information based on our experience through the seasons, weather conditions can vary. Please talk to our experienced bareboat specialists should you wish for further information on most suitable times to charter.