Get up to $15 cash back per person when you book with us
Choice of two tour options for more beach or snorkel time
Snorkel in pristine reefs
Explore uninhabited islands and soak up natural scenery
Enjoy guided Whitsunday Island National Parks walks
Visit famous Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet
Direct access to Hill Inlet beaches at Whitehaven
Learn about the area with reef and island naturalist talks
Eco hosts with over 20 years combined Whitsunday experience
Small groups of a maximum 32 people
Free courtesy bus pick up
Free use of snorkel equipment and personalised snorkel instruction
Cake for afternoon tea included
Why do we love this
What to Expect
This tour is multi-award-winning, and for good reason! Visit the 'wild side' of the Whitsunday Islands and explore uninhabited islands packed with beautiful natural scenery, marine, bird and animal life and stunning beaches.
Choose from two tour options to really get the most out of your experience. For those keen on getting as much snorkelling done as possible, the Northern Exposure trip offers extra water timeand fish spotting action! If you're more keen on soaking up the sun at the beach, the Southern Lights tour is for you. Both ocean rafting tours offer an itinerary jam-packed with activities. It will feel like three days in one!
On both tours, you'll be accompanied by a professional skipper and eco host, who will offer personalised service, snorkelling lessons, a guided Whitsunday Island walk and informative reef interpretations. This will ensure your tour is filled with fun and will leave you with an appreciation of the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands.
Option 1 - Northern Exposure
If you love snorkelling, this tour is for you. The only Whitsunday adventure to include two different snorkel destinations and is full of underwater actions. Discover the ocean paradise at Hook Island and Border Island, snorkel with turtles and tropical fish, explore the spectacular coral reefs and watch pods of dolphins and majestic Humpback Whales splash in the sea!
There'll also be the chance for you to check out the stunning beach at Hill Inlet, explore the north end of Whitehaven Beach and enjoy a guided National Park walk to a lookout! You'll also be able to explore the restricted area of beautiful Hill Inlet at Whitehaven Beach and enjoy the serene, untouched sand.
Option 2 - Southern Lights
This is a tour for the beach bums. You'll visit both the northern and southern ends of Whitehaven Beach and enjoy at least two hours relaxing on the world famous white sand. You'll also have the time to take a guided walk to Hill Inlet Lookout and experience the Southern Whitehaven Lookout. Take in breathtaking views of Pentecost Island and the tropical waters of the Whitsundays. On your hike keep your eyes out for interesting wildlife like goannas.
If you're keen on a bit of water action (who wouldn't be?), there'll also be the chance to snorkel at Border Island, Dumbell Island or a 'secret' snorkel spot!
Tours depart daily from Coral Sea Marina North, Airlie Beach (next to Sorrento Restaurant and Bar).
Northern Exposure Tour: Departs 8:45am and returns 3:30pm (Check in 7:45am)
Southern Lights Tour: Departs 10am and returns 4:30pm (Check in 9am)
Northern Exposure tour
Ocean Rafting's Northern Exposure tour offers three days in one, including an exhilarating ride to Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet, two pristine Whitsundays snorkelling reefs and guided Whitsunday Island National Parks walks.
Next available: Today
Southern Lights tour
Ride, beach, snorkel and bushwalk…all in one day! Ocean Rafting’s Southern Lights tour offers the perfect Whitehaven Beach tour, visiting both ends of the world famous beach, enjoying approximately two hours relaxing at south Whitehaven.
Next available: Today
Frequently Asked Questions
The main difference between the two tours is that the Northern Exposure tour has more snorkeling time and the Southern Lights tour offers more beach time.
*Please note: the tour itinerary is a guideline only and is subject to change depending on the tide, wind and other weather conditions.
Due to the open-style design and speed which our vessels travel, it is very rare for Ocean Rafters to experience sea-sickness on board, unlike slower vessels where you experience a slow-rocking motion that can cause sea sickness. The most common time for passengers to ever feel nauseous on the water would be when the vessel has stopped. We welcome anyone that is prone or worried about seasickness to take any necessary medication prior to travelling.
The longest part of the journey is just over an hour, which is the ride out to the Whitsunday Islands and the return journey back to the mainland. Between the other stops, the journey will be anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes, depending on where the skipper chooses next, given conditions on the day.
Ocean Rafting’s custom-built vessels travel up to speeds of 35 knots (65 km/hour) allowing you to experience a fun, high-speed ride whilst exploring the islands and beaches of the beautiful Whitsundays.
The Northern Exposure tour visits two snorkelling locations around Hook Island, each for approximately 45 minutes. The Southern Lights tour visits just one snorkelling location around either Border Island or Dumbell Island for approximately 1 hour.
*Please note: the tour itinerary is a guideline only and is subject to change depending on the tide, wind and other weather conditions. The sites that you will snorkel at are carefully selected by our highly trained skippers to ensure that you have the most memorable underwater experience possible for the conditions of the day.
The Northern Exposure tour spends between 1 – 1.5 hours at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet. The Southern Lights tour spends between 2 – 2.5 hours at the southern end of Whitehaven Beach. *These timings may change, subject to weather conditions.
Bring along a small bag of things that you would usually take to the beach i.e. a towel, swimmers, sunscreen and a hat. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended for the Hill Inlet tours and walk to the lookout. A jacket during the winter period is recommended to protect you from the wind and warmth after snorkelling. Cash for any drinks or snacks on board is recommended and if you haven’t chosen to purchase the buffet lunch, please ensure that you bring your own, as we do not visit any resorts or shops during the day.
Ocean Rafters do frequently bring along cameras or phones for the day. Although we do have dry boxes under the seats designed to keep your belongings safe, all electrical and personal belongings are brought at your own risk and is no responsibility of Ocean Rafting if these items are lost or damaged during the day.
At certain times of the day, there is very little/minimal shade coverage at Whitehaven Beach. Therefore, we strongly recommend a frequent application of sunblock to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
In the event a booking is cancelled, the following fees will apply:
Cancellations more than 12 hours before departure: No fee
Cancellations within 12 hours of departure: 100% of the cost
Terms and conditions
All fares are inclusive of Marine Park fees, National Park fees and GST. Sites are weather and tide permitting. Bookings must be reconfirmed 48 hours prior. Cancellations are accepted up until 7.00pm the night prior to the tour. The supplier reserves the right to charge our customers a fuel levy if fuel is over $1.50 per litre & the right to arrange alternative itinerary when necessary. Liability: Clients should note that adventure travel involves risk. Whilst the supplier makes every effort to safeguard its clients, the supplier cannot be held responsible for personal injury or loss due to the actions of the clients which are beyond the supplier control. A signed release will be required from all participants on departure. The supplier recommends you take out travel insurance. Fitness & Heath: Although good health and a positive attitude are essential, you do not need any prior experience to partake in any of the activities and tours.