Great Barrier Reef Australia - Whitsundays Sailing Adventures
Whitsunday Adventures
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Only show testimonials for this vessel:

Summertime Aug 2017

Great crew, very friendly and professional.  Daniel had a great sense of humour.  Amanda a very good cook, excellent meals.  Jessie full of information and a great captain.  Love the whole trip, perfect weather, highlights snorkelling and kayaking.
Jill and Tom Burton, Australia

Summertime Jul 2017

Excellent work, hard at work to provide a 'family' feeling.  Liked the enthusiastic gesticulation of Lucas.  Group gam initiation by Jesse and great how Amanda cooked up such nice fresh tucka!
Tom, UK

Kiana Apr 2017

Our trip on MS Kiana was amazing and certainly one of the the major highlights of our once-in-a-lifetime month holiday in Australia. We would not hesitate to recommend this 3 day/2 night trip to anyone who wants to combine some diving and snorkelling on the far side of the Great Barrier Reef with a visit to Whitehaven Beach and some fabulous sailing in the Whitsundays. In the blink of an eye we would sail with Kiana and her brilliant crew again!

We found Kiana as the result of lots of on-line research prior to our trip and knew this was the only boat trip (April 24-26) we wanted to do; the only trip that offered the combination of all the things we were looking for. However, Cyclone Debbie hit Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays in March 2017 and caused devastation. Watching the news on TV from the comfort of home in the UK, we could not begin to imagine the extent of the damage to the underwater world in the Whitsundays and the GBR,  and how it might impact on the snorkelling and diving just one month later. Time and Mother Nature will heal the damage - but not soon enough for us!

There were 14 travellers and we all met up with Adam (dive master on our trip) at the marina at 8 in the morning. Once on board we were greeted by the owner Greg (who then departed), introduced to Roland (also a dive master but chef on our trip), and given a safety briefing by Brent (the captain). It was clear right from the start that he had years of experience, ran a tight ship and certain rules had to be followed. This instilled a sense of confidence and you felt that this was clearly a professional team who knew what they were doing and would keep you safe.

We were given a quick guided tour of the boat - beds and bathrooms to the fore and aft which were clean and tidy if a bit small. And also given instructions on the two minute water limit in the shower, and what not to do with the toilets!! There is also a communal sitting area downstairs but we never used it, preferring to either sit upstairs  in the shaded area at the back or lie on the deck in the sun at the front.

There was no hanging about and by 9 we were sailing towards Whitsunday Island to go ashore in the tender and visit Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach for a few hours. At the time we were there the waters were not crystal clear as a result of Debbie damage, but it was still stunningly beautiful. By the time the sun set we had moored up in a quiet bay off Hayman Island for the first night, and after dinner at 7 and drinks under the stars we were lulled to sleep by the gentle movement of the waves. 

Next morning we were up for breakfast at 6 and afterwards we dived in Blue Pearl Bay, but with visibility at just 2m it was disappointing, and we sailed on accepting that things would have been very different in these islands pre Debbie - and soon would be again - and hoping for better on the Reef.

By 9 we had left our peaceful mooring and set sail for the 3 hour journey to the Great Barrier Reef. This was a rough ride for a few of those on board at 20 knots with 1.5 metre waves. No one wanted to venture below but most were fine up in the fresh air.  Not everyone was ready for lunch though when we reached our destination and moored up - but most recovered quickly when food was served! Must mention here how tasty, varied and plentiful the food was on board; Roland looked after us well.

We were moored up in a quiet lagoon on Bait Reef and this was our base for snorkelling and diving until we started the long and peaceful journey home the following day; the sea was flat as a millpond on our return and we saw dolphins along the way.

On arrival at the Reef we had our first dive. It was an experience and there was plenty to see, but with visibility at just 7m it was not the dive in crystal clear water on the GBR that we had dreamed of. However Adam was an enthusiastic and attentive dive master who made sure that the diving was a positive experience for everyone who participated. On our trip 6 of us were certified divers, and 6 were try-divers and there was the chance for each of the groups to dive 3 times. There was also lots of opportunity to snorkel which was lovely with plenty to see close to the surface and easy access to the boat.

Just want to say how grateful I was to both Adam and Brent for the extra help they gave me. Although I am a certified diver and had passed the necessary pre-holiday medical required due to age and stage, at 64 and with RA, I am not as physically strong as I once was. Exiting the water and getting back onto the boat with tanks etc was a challenge too far! However, with their assistance I was able to tick 'diving on the GBR' off the bucket list!

Our second night was spent moored up on Bait Reef, miles from land and far from any light pollution. And wow ........ the night sky was just miraculous. Lying on our backs on the deck in total darkness, the skies were beyond beautiful.

The boat was lovely, the 3 crew were brilliant and looked after us well, and our fellow travellers - of all ages and from all over the world - were great company. Our trip on MS Kiana was an awesome experience and we will always treasure the memories. Cannot recommend it highly enough.
Diana Hunt (nee Garretts), UK

Kiana Jan 2017

A big thank you to the team at Kiana for my wonderful trip over the weekend. It was great to get back out on the water. What an exclusive way to dive on the Great Barrier Reef, such a great key selling point for them. The trip was wonderful and the crew were fantastic. The skipper was very enthusiastic and I think that is so important for these kind of trips.
Emma, Australia

Whitsunday Getaway 3nt Oct 2016

Whitsunday Islands: The best cruising grounds found anywhere in Australia where almost all of the islands are national parks. Departing from Abel Point Marina on Getaway II, a 44 foot Lagoon catamaran, we enjoy a 14 nautical mile evening and sunset sail out to our Stonehaven Anchorage.  A majestic bay surrounded by lofty hills on the north side of Hook Island. It is such a delight to sit in shade of the upper deck with Chris, our Kiwi Skipper, who knows the history,  the reefs, the waters and a few hysterical local yarns. His hilarious story about tourists being advised to wear vegemite around all orifices when the kangawallapossums are in mating season to avoid attack from an amorous male was too funny!! Morgan, our host, settles us into our forward queen birth with private ensuite and treats us to gourmet appies and meals. Tonight we dine on grilled marinated chicken breast, sweet potato salad and baked zucchini followed by double chocolate cake. There are only 8 of us on board, a couple from Vancouver Island, four ladies from Brisbane celebrating milestone birthdays and us. We are all having difficulty wiping the smiles off our faces.

Morning Sail  at  7 knots around Hook Island  past Maureen's Bay, named after a scuba diving pioneer, to Mackerel Bay. We dawn our stinger suits and snorkel gear, pop in the water and swim 20 meters to pristine reef rarely seen by tourists. We snorkel among massive corals in shallow waters and the sea life that lives depends on them. Chis, a staunch advocate for respecting the natural balance of the reef, tells us when tour boats attract fish by feeding them the fish reproduce too rapidly which overwhelms the corals and sadly the reef dies. Next we sail to Tongue Bay on Whitsunday Island, every trip on Getaway is different depending on the winds and the tides. Chris takes us ashore and we hike across the island to a lookout platform where the amazing spectacle of Hill Inlet and Whitehaven beach unfolds! White silica sand beaches and sandbars against a background of azure seas on a crystal clear 29 degree afternoon. We arrive just as  the day cruisers are leaving and have this postcard like setting to ourselves. A three masted tall-ship under full sail majestically enters the bay. Surreal, we followed Captain Cook's route across the Pacific and now we are witnessing first hand what his arrival in Whitehaven must have looked like from shore. Overnight we anchor at Scrubhead beach off Whitsunday Island in Hook Passage another tranquil mooring where we are lulled to sleep by gentle seas thanks to our skipper's expertise.

Morning sail to Day Bay on Border Island where our snorkel is dominated by large plate coral 2 meters across. The current is strong and Chris tells us to swim ahead of the boat so the current will carry us along the coral shelf past the boat. No matter how hard I swim when I look up I am still in line with the boat, thank goodness for Chris and his tender!! A beautiful afternoon sail to Dumbell Island where we snorkel with Nimos, clown fish, living inside anemones among the fire coral. Tonight the ladies from Brisbane are in fine form drinking vodka, lime and soda after snorkelling is finished for the day and we join the celebration as we sail to our final moorage in Nara Inlet. Each evening Chris rolls out the navigational maps to show us where we have sailed and talks about the history, tides and reefs in fact there is no question he cannot answer. We are moored at the mouth of Refuge Bay on Nara Inlet a protected area sailers have brought their boats to ride out cyclones and home to an aboriginal tribe originating in Papua New Ginny. The Spanish Conquistadors sailed into this inlet in the 1700's, unfortunately the aboriginals rowing out to greet the ship were met with violence as this was taken as an act of aggression. The remaining aboriginals were hunted down before a ceremony for the spirits of dead was performed so they could be at peace. Chris has noted that Passengers have very vivid dreams overnight in this vivid dreams for me I did not sleep!!

Our day begins with Stand Up Paddle Boarding in the calm waters of Nara Inlet before we sail for port. With lots of encouragement we finally stand up and paddle away from the boat however going out is much easier than turning around and coming back. Champagne and a wonderful cheese tray beautifully presented by Morgan, compliments of the crew marks the end of our journey. This has not just been a 3 day 3 night sail this has been a life experience that will stay with us forever!!
Maureen and John Sanborn, England
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