Sail into the school holidays with these Queensland boat experiences

By Adam Bub | Posted 11 June, 2021

It may not be the European summer, but nothing could stop us from looking forward to the upcoming June-July winter school holidays around Australia.

It’s a chance to have a break, connect with our family and friends, and enjoy the local experiences our extraordinary country has to offer.

For many Aussie holidaymakers, Queensland is the go-to. Daily temps above 20 degrees Celsius? Tick. Ability to walk around in thongs in winter? Tick. Swimmable beaches where you won’t get frostbite just stepping in? Tick, tick, tick.

Whether you’re having a luxury getaway on Hamilton Island or celebrating a birthday in Brisbane, we can think of a few ways to make the most of your free time with Floatspace’s best boat hire experiences in Queensland.

Every boat has a captain and crew included – all you have to do is get on board. Call your friends, call your family, let’s float.

A Moreton Bay boat day

Within easy reach of Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, the Moreton Bay region is the place to go in winter for a relaxed, nature-filled family-friendly getaway. You could happily just eat fish and chips all day at Redcliffe, but we’d recommend sailing the clear waters of Pumicestone Passage, the 35km channel that touches Bribie Island, Caloundra and Deception Bay. Dolphins, dugongs and turtles live here – and it’s part of the ‘Humpback Highway’ during Queensland’s whale watching season.

Moreton Bay boat hire recommendation: We’d go with Moreton Magic (from $325 an hour, up to 12 guests), a catamaran with indoor and outdoor spaces for a fun group occasion.

Beers and cheers on the Brisbane River

Brisbane is making a serious play for Sydney and Melbourne’s reputations as the primary luxury and foodie experience hubs of Australia. Stay at a five-star hotel like Hotel X (which opened in February 2021), head to The Winter Village on The Brisbane River for ice skating, a magical igloo village and pop-up dining, and visit the European Masterpieces From The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York exhibition at Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). On the water, sail under the Story Bridge at sunset and watch the glittering city skyline from the comfort of a cosy motorboat or luxury yacht.

Brisbane boat hire recommendation: Cobia (from $487.50 an hour, up to 20 guests) is a fast, modern boat that hosts half-day and full-day brewery tours, as well as relaxing day cruises for group celebrations.

Cruise the canals and islands of The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast in winter means less queues at the theme parks, stunning hikes in the hinterland rainforests, and warm waters for swimming and snorkelling. What many visitors don’t know is just how much there is to see and do on the water.

Take selfies with the multimillion-dollar mansions of the Sovereign Islands, hire at jetski at Surfers Paradise, have a picnic on the tranquil beaches of South Stradbroke Island, or go snorkelling or paddle-boarding at Wave Break Island on the Gold Coast Broadwater (home to more than 50 different species of fish).

Gold Coast boat hire recommendations: Serrano (from $350 an hour, up to 20 guests) and Inspiration (from $600 an hour, up to 25 guests) are fantastic for relaxed boat parties, both with BBQs on board.

The natural wonder of the Fraser Coast

From July to October, Hervey Bay on Queensland’s Fraser Coast gives you a front row seat to some of the best whale watching in the world. Get up close to the humpback whales as they migrate to warmer waters for their annual fun – much like we do.

Across the bay is the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. With its white-sand beaches, dramatic cliffs, freshwater lakes and ancient rainforests, Fraser Island is filled with nature experiences that are just as beautiful in winter

Fraser Coast boat hire recommendation: Dream On (From $325 an hour, up to 20 guests) is a dreamy catamaran with room for up to six to sleep on board. With a BBQ, fully equipped kitchen and a tender for beach stopovers, it’s the ultimate adventure boat.

Sail The Whitsundays in winter

The Whitsundays records temperatures of around 22 to 23 degrees during July, making it warm enough to walk around in your thongs and have a swim in the waters (which, by the way, are around 25 degrees Celsius all year round). With little rainfall and only moderate humidity, this is a brilliant time of year to see bucket-list places like Airlie Beach, Whitehaven Beach and one of our planet’s greatest natural wonders, The Great Barrier Reef. You can snorkel without a wetsuit, as it’s outside of stinger season.

The Whitsundays boat hire recommendation: Have the classic private yacht experience on Wings (from $700 an hour, up to 40 guests). For the ultimate super yacht luxury, Alani (from $1800 an hour, up to 35 guests) is a 'wow' experience tailor made for special occasions.

Floatspace has boats for all occasions and budgets these school holidays. Search Floatspace's full fleet of boats in Queensland to find the right one for your event.