Derwent Hunter Tall Ship Adventures

If you've ever dreamed of sailing in the Whitsundays to a tropical island for the day, or to discover the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, then the tall ship Derwent Hunter is a great way to do it.

This can be a hands on experience, or a chilled and relaxed day, it is all up to you. Your friendly bus driver will pick you up from your accommodation and see you safety to the fabulous Able Point Marina. 

All BIG4 Members will receive a $10.00 drinks voucher.. Enjoy your sail home with a nice chilled glass of bubbles or a refreshing cold beer. 

Your Day on Derwent Hunter:

Everything is included with your ticket prices except drinks. There is Beer , Wine and Soft drink available for purchase on-board. 

You will begin your sail at 8.00am and head out to your snorkeling destinations. A delicious morning tea is served to you on your journey out.  

Derwent Hunter has a private mooring at pristine Langford Reef, one of the best snorkeling spots in the Whitsundays. You will also enjoy a snorkel at Bali Hai Reef. 

An extensive Buffet lunch is served on-board the boat after your snorkeling adventure has come to an end. Laze around on the classic Derwent Hunter and admire its character, as well as the beauty that you will be surrounded by, which is the Whitsundays. 

During your sail back to Airlie Beach you can purchase a drink from the bar and enjoy some cheese and fruit platters as you watch paradise slide on by. Beer/wine available to purchase from $5, bottled water/soft drinks/chocolates $2.50.

A bit of history:

70 Years Working Under Sail, The Derwent Hunter was designed and built in 1945/46 by Walter Wilson, a second generation shipwright from the famous Wilson Brothers’ shipwrights of Port Cygnet, Southern Tasmania. She was built of blue gum, tasmanian oak, celery top pine and huon pine, which are regarded as some of the best ship building timbers in the world. Seventy years later, after numerous refits and refurbishments, the Derwent Hunter is still turning heads today, as she leaves many modern yachts in her wake.

The Derwent Hunter has been sailing the sheltered waters of the Whitsunday Islands for 25 years and is multi award winning for Adventure and Eco Tourism. The Derwent Hunter has been delighting guests by offering traditional sailing, snorkelling, eco interpretation, the sharing of knowledge about the Whitsundays’ original inhabitants, the Ngaro aboriginal people, the local ecology and geology. Through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, (GBRMPA), the vessel also participates in Marine Park research programs, ensuring that the reef and islands will be there to enjoy for years to come.

Derwent Hunter ’s history of marine research extends back 60 years when she was appointed Australia’s first oceanographic research vessel in the 1950s with the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation). During her 10 years with CSIRO, she worked under sail roving from Antartic waters in the Southern Ocean as far north as Noumea and the outer Pacific basin.

Highlights of her career included:

  • hydro graphic work including salinity tests used for plotting the East Coast current of Australia
  • Discovery of the Derwent Hunter Sea Mount and Sea trench (believed to be underwater volcanoes)
  • Research and establishment of fishery industries
  • Whale distribution and migration

In 2016, Derwent Hunter continues to assist with marine research, guests can get involved  and help crew collect data for the GBRMPA Eye on the Reef Program, testing water clarity, analysing areas of reef and completing sighting’s information crucial to maintaining our pristine Great Barrier Reef.

A Life in Film:

The eye catching lines of the Derwent Hunter brought her fame and fortune in 1969, when she was chosen by Panama studios to become the “Pacific Lady” in the hit family television series “The Rovers”. The crew on board the Pacific Lady filmed wildlife for a documentary, whilst having many adventures along the way.

Today the Derwent Hunter is still showcasing the wonders of nature in her ecotourism work in the Whitsunday islands of the Great Barrier Reef, and available for guests from all over the world to experience and enjoy.


For the latest prices and availability, Free Call 1800 653 445 or email


  • Terms and Conditions: Cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to departure will result in 100% cancellation fee, cancellations less than 48 hours will incur up to 25% cancellation fee.
  • In the interest of passenger safety departures, itineraries and activities are subject to sea and weather conditions. Should the company be forced to cancel or alter cruises our liability is limited to offering an alternative itinerary, alternate day of travel or appropriate refund no greater than the fare paid.
  • Guests should note that Adventure Travel includes risk. Whilst we make every effort to safeguard guests, the company shall not be held responsible for any property loss or damage and/or any claim resulting from personal injury or death whilst travelling with the company.
  • At certain times of the year jellyfish inhabit these waters and guests should take care for their own safety and enter the water at their own risk. To minimise this risk guests will be provided with full length protective “stinger suits” to wear whilst swimming and snorkelling during the cruise. No prior experience is required to partake in the cruise, although general good health, swimming ability and positive attitude are essential. We recommend that guests take out travel insurance.