We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Reef and Whitehaven Beach tours - when to book & which one?

Which Hamilton Island hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Masterton, New...
Level Contributor
7 posts
36 reviews
Save Topic
Reef and Whitehaven Beach tours - when to book & which one?

We are a family of four adults (including 18 & 20 yr old daughters) staying at Hamilton Island April 20 til 26. Our Travel agent has advised us to book these tours early at home due to it being both NZ and some Aus school holidays. Is this necessary? Do they get booked out? We would rather book the day after we arrive so we can check out the weather forecast.

Also advice on the tours. Looking at full day reef - either H20Sportz $195 or Cruise Whitsunday $210. The first goes to Bait Reef - Is that far enough out? The Cruise Whitsunday I see has a pontoon - is that better? Prices aren't much different. Also looking at a full day Whitehaven Beach tour - Cruise Indigo $150 or Hamilton Island $165. Both look similar - lunch provided, snorkel gear provided etc. Again price similar. Anyone have any pro's or con's on any of these tours? Thanks very much

Airlie Beach...
Level Contributor
10 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Reef and Whitehaven Beach tours - when to book & which one?

In my opinion, Bait reef is a lot better. The pontoons are nice, but the volume of tourists visiting every day, the coral's not as nice as Bait. You'll have a great time regardless of what reef you go to, though,

Masterton, New...
Level Contributor
7 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Reef and Whitehaven Beach tours - when to book & which one?

Thanks for that. I had wondered about Bait Reef so is good to know. Am still leaning towards booking once we get there and hope no-one is booked out.

Australia
Level Contributor
1,474 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Reef and Whitehaven Beach tours - when to book & which one?

book when you are there, id hate to go out in awful weather....they have a board up in the main reception area of the weather conditions for a few days ahead. we find the pontoon handy when we've had enough time in the water for a bit of a break...

Edited: 16 March 2013, 21:09
Whitsundays
Level Contributor
528 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Reef and Whitehaven Beach tours - when to book & which one?

Hi,

All of those will be fantastic experiences, so go with your gut instincts.

With regard to booking in advance, it's a tough call. The Cruise Whitsundays boats are quite large, so it might be safe to say you can make the decision on arrival. Although, it might be prudent to book on arrival for a trip a few days ahead, to ensure you get to go. Leaving things till the very last minute is never recommended. Once you are there, you will also be able to see all the other options for other fun activities to do and plan accordingly.

We hope you have a fabulous time!

Masterton, New...
Level Contributor
7 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Reef and Whitehaven Beach tours - when to book & which one?

Thanks for the replies. We arrive on a Saturday afternoon so might check the weather and book that afternoon for sometime during the week. We are there for 5 full days so hopefully can organise 2 day trips during that time that aren't booked out. Am really looking forwards to our visit.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
128 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Reef and Whitehaven Beach tours - when to book & which one?

If it were me, I'd be waiting til I got there to book. Look at the forecast and pick a day that looks like it will be nice. Its a lot of money to spend if the day is dreary.

Level Contributor
2 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Reef and Whitehaven Beach tours - when to book & which one?

Book when you get there, book a nice day can get pretty rough out there, last time we went was nice day but once out to sea huge swells, 80% of the boat were being sick, take kwells regardless of weather, for best results take 2 before bed , 2 when you wake and before leaving pontoon, I get sea sick real bad but this works for me and my family!

Brisbane
Level Contributor
58 posts
170 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Reef and Whitehaven Beach tours - when to book & which one?

Hi Dew......

Got back from Hammo yesterday27 March., you are in for a treat, place is beautiful. However .............

.......................................................We booked a FULL day with REEF RYDER, to visit Whitehaven beach, the inlet hilltop walk to view the shifting sands and coloured waters, to snorkel at 2 places, etc etc . We booked and fully paid ($165 each) one month prior , we got a phone call at 7pm THE EVENING BEFORE the trip to inform us THE FULL DAY TRIP IS CANCELLED, because they did not have the necessary number of trippers to run the full day. Needless to say how disappointed we were!! Pretty poor customer service IMHO.

Ended up with the half day trip to Whitehaven and snorkel Charlies reef.

So despite fully planning our trip, we were let down, I hope you wont be. ............. I'd call/email them for number of places filled/available for your dates and if feasible, maybe book when you get there , you can then suss out who has the actual numbers to run the trip for definite and go with them.

If you are staying at the resorts hotels, their tour desk was pretty efficient at booking for you, we did this with the cruise indigo sunset sail booking as cruise indigo don't take bookings the month before, the desk just booked us on our requested day as soon as the trip dates were announced.

Whitehaven was spectacular, nothing to do except laze and swim.

Charlies reef disappointing, but that was due to the visibility of 2 metres, so nothing to see, not even the coral bed !! So keep an eye on their weather ......... it can take weeks for the waters to clear after storms, we were there 10 days after a storm and still couldn't see further than 2 metres.

Reef Ryder boat was fantastic, we left marina after the Edge catamaran, got to Whitehaven and had our time there and was zooming off just as they were anchoring up there!! ... So choose your day thinking about the speed of the craft available, you want your time spent AT the attraction ...... NOT getting there !!

Hope this helps ....... will be posting a few reviews on other Hammo pages, you may want to see.

Have a great & safe trip.

Brisbane
Level Contributor
58 posts
170 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Reef and Whitehaven Beach tours - when to book & which one?

Hey Dew....... forgot to recommend .............

................. That sunset sail trip on The Edge catamaran. .......... Truly spectacular, if you are lucky enough to get a sunset as outstanding as our one. We were so lucky to get one that even the crew said was pretty special.

They keep your glasses well charged throughout the cruise, decent drops of beer and red, white and sparkling, nibbles were OK, crackers, salami, cheese sticks, crudités and hummus.

Well worth the cost.

Masterton, New...
Level Contributor
7 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Reef and Whitehaven Beach tours - when to book & which one?

Thanks Gordon for your reply. Always good to hear from someone who has been there recently. Not too good with the cancellation. I would have been disappointed as well. Makes me wonder if I should just give Reef Ryder's Whitehaven tour the flick and not bother with them. Wouldn't want that to happen to us. Did you go on a Great Barrier Reef tour at all? Will have a look out for your other reviews. Thanks again.

Get answers to your questions about Hamilton Island