I’m a person of romantic notions however sailing the Whitsundays isn’t something I see us doing. While Hubby and I would love the solitude, BJ would do a couple of laps of the yacht in his wheelchair and be looking for his next adventure. Therefore, the closest I feel I’ll get to that romantic notion is a dinghy trip around the Whitsundays.
While staying on Hamilton Island we hired a dinghy for the day and went exploring. Loving anything with a motor, BJ was happy with the fast pace which left him with the wind in his hair and a big smile on his face.
We had a fabulous day but I will start off by saying, a dinghy is tricky for anyone with mobility restrictions because the movement of the water underneath the boat makes it unstable for transferring. The guys at Hamilton Island Dinghy Hire were patient and helpful in assisting BJ into the boat. I think the main thing to remember in these situations is to visit in advance and see if the setup will work for you and also take your time working out a plan of action on the day.
While Hubby and BJ would have happily cruised around all day, AJ was keen to drop anchor on Henning Island to set up a picnic on Beautiful Beach. Something about the fresh air and activities seemed to make AJ and BJ hungry all the time.
At the suggestion of one of the Hamilton Island staff, we ordered a seafood and a fruit platter from Fishi Seafood (a seafood supplier on the island). As neither Hubby or I eat oysters our seafood platter had more bugs and prawns which were absolutely delicious.
Our seafood picnic on Beautiful Beach
It turns out BJ is a big fan of prawns and I shelled many a prawn before one actually made its way into my mouth, he couldn’t get them quick enough.
Although I felt like taking an afternoon siesta under the trees it was decided (not by me) that activity was needed. I have to admit it was hard to resist the colour of the water and the coolness a swim would offer.
It was lovely spending time swimming in the calm waters and admiring the beauty of the Whitsundays.
During the day several families anchored on the beach but this just added to the atmosphere. Everyone seemed under a Whitsunday spell of friendliness and happiness. As the tide started to beach everyone’s boats there was a collective effort to get them back where they should be. When the seafood platter beat us and we had leftovers we passed them around to our boating neighbours adding to the Gilligan’s Island feel.
Our day cruising was lots of fun. We chose a full day hire so we didn’t need to rush back and had time to picnic on Henning Island. There is a shorter half day hire which is 3 hours.
Whether you are hiring a dinghy on Hamilton Island or somewhere else, be aware that the tidal changes may mean that the ramp you use to get to the wharf becomes steeper at low tide.
The Hamilton Island dingys have a canopy which helps with the intense sun in summer.
You can choose from a standard dinghy with pull start and tiller steering or premium with key start and steering wheel. We went with a steering wheel which kept Hubby under the shade.
Take plenty of water, sunscreen and food.
BJ found that sitting in front of the steering wheel gave him a backrest making him more stable and comfortable for the boat trip.
A full day trip allows more time to swim, enjoy time on Beautiful Beach and explore the area.
There are picnic tables and toilets (not accessible) on Beautiful Beach.
Keep food covered and out of sight. We had a bird grab the small bit of a chip packet that was hanging out of the beach bag while we were in the water. We then watched as he flew away with a stream of chips behind him. Served him right that he lost them all.
Enjoy the beauty of the island and leave with any rubbish to ensure it stays just as untouched as when you arrived.
For prices and more information head to the Hamilton Island website here.
Although this day required more effort than others, we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Our dinghy hire was compliments of Hamilton Island. We paid in full for our delicious seafood and fruit platters.