Take an epic island tour with Red Cat Adventures for beach time at Whitehaven Beach and snorkeling in two spots on the fringe of the Great Barrier Reef. Our first adventure in Whitsundays was a super fun tour with Red Cat Adventures. We had such a good time with their crew and enjoyed the stops immensely.
Your day kicks off early when Red Cat Adventures picks you up from your hotel. Red Cat Adventures will pick you up from your hotel and return you back at the end of the day.
You check in at the marina and they issue you a stinger suit and if you want a life jacket. We always take life jackets. It was also during this time that they inquire about medical conditions. I noticed that many of the parents didn’t take a life jacket. Then when the kids got too tired to continue snorkeling they had to go back to the boat. If the kids had a life jacket they could have snorkeled the whole time.
We departed from the marina in Airlie Beach early in the morning and cruised down to Whitehaven Beach. I did keep track of time, but I know if took us over an hour to get to Whitehaven.
The best part of this excursion in my opinion was visiting Whitehaven Beach. It was breathtaking. And the four of us have never seen anything else like it. It is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen anywhere in the world, and we’ve been a few places.
Whitehaven beach is considered one of the best beaches in the world and I can easily say this was the best beach we’ve ever seen. Whitehaven Beach is a 7 km stretch along Whitsunday Island, Australia. The island is accessible by boat, seaplane & helicopter from Airlie Beach, as well as Hamilton Island. Even if you do not take this tour, figure out a way to get yourself out here. It’s too amazing not to see in person.
During this particular tour the boat drops you off on the opposite side of the island from the beach. We did see some tours that took you right to the beach.
Once you are dropped off the guide walks you up to a lookout point before you head down to the beach for a swim. From the lookout you can get epic photos. The hike up to the lookout was not easy. You climb up stairs and it’s hot. Take water with you for the hike and for your time down at the beach. There’s no shade on the beach.Your kids will not need life jackets to swim at this beach. The water is extremely shallow. On one side of the beach the water is extremely cold and on the other side there are waves, so you can experience both. Over on the shallow side the kids found a stingray or two.
After spending time at Whitehaven Beach we got back on board for a buffet lunch. To be perfectly honest the lunch is just okay. We found it to be rather tasteless, but we were hungry so it didn’t really matter. It was funny though, because our host went into detail on how flavorful and tasty everything was going to be. There was plenty of food on board for everyone. I recommend bringing a few snacks. I think fruit and water is best considering the heat.
After lunch we visited two different places to snorkel. Both were excellent and considered fringe reefs, so not the Great Barrier Reef, but pretty darn close. They provided all of the equipment needed to snorkel. They have snorkels that will fit basically anyone.
We felt extremely safe snorkeling with them. They keep a worker near you in a dingy at all times and will scoop you up out of the water if there’s a problem. As I’ve mentioned before, my oldest son has epilepsy, so I was unsure if he would snorkel until we got out there and were able to access the situation in person. The set up was so safe he was able to participate successfully.
On the way back the crew really showed us what the Thundercat can do. The boat was specifically designed for that area and it is highly capable. My kids loved the crazy turns and heart pumping speed.
There are a few important things you need to know before taking this tour.
1) They do not provide any complimentary drinks. None! You will need to bring your own. They do sell drinks for $2 Australian dollars only. They will not take any other form of currency included US money. They also will not take a credit card.
2) If it the weather is not great you may need a jacket.
3) Every person has a wet bag under their seat to protect things from getting wet. This was one of the things I was the most worried about. I was taking my drone out there with me and I did not want it to get wet. You can imagine my delight when I saw large bags under our seats.
What to pack for your Thundercat adventure or similar tour:
-Protective clothing like an SPF shirt
-Light jacket/sweater for windy or cool days
-Cash for optional purchases
-More Drinking Water
-Travel friendly Beach Blanket
Check out our vlog from this day!
Should You Get Travel Insurance?
Don’t forget travel insurance! I’m a fan of Travelex insurance, because of the variety of options. Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad. I have gotten extremely sick twice now out of the country and Noah has had seizures in other countries, so I always recommend getting some sort of coverage. Read more about why you should always carry travel insurance here.