Learn more by browsing our frequently asked questions.
If you have a question that is not answered here please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help and want to ensure your dream escape comes to life!
Bareboat Charter FAQ
You do not need any formal qualifications to charter we us. Just some previous boating experience and if intending to sail, some previous sailing experience is all it takes. We brief you on the vessels operations, charter area and safety procedures before you head off to enjoy a safe charter.
Yes, we have a 3 night minimum in regular season and a 5 night minimum during peak season. Please see more details on our rates page here.
Our charter area encompasses the smooth and partially smooth water of the Great Sandy Strait and Platypus Bay. Sailing outside this area is prohibited. For more information about the charter area, including popular anchorages, please click here.
Unfortunately we are not offering regular extended cruises (outside our regular charter area) at this time. However, if you were interested in visiting Lady Musgrave and Lady Elliot, please contact us to register your interest as we are working on having this available for certain periods of the year.
The sailing conditions on the Fraser Coast are easy, with short sailing distances and
protected waters. The trade winds are south-easterly most of the year, with averages of 10- 15 knots. In Spring, the winds tend from northerly to westerly.
You can find the Hervey Bay waters Forecast on the Bureau of Meteorology website.
Kingfisher Bay resort is the only place on the Island to buy some more supplies. Options are limited as there is only a small convenience store and various restaurants. Please note that filling the water tanks is not an option here and there is a small walk to the convenience store.
We have the one all-inclusive fee called the operational service fee which is invoice after your charter and is based on engine hours used whilst on charter. The fee includes the consumables used whilst on charter such as fuel, gas, tender fuel, and linen. This is charged at $13 per hour, per engine.
All rates are in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST. Fleet/vessel details, conditions and prices are subject to change without notice. Please check our website for current package deals and special offers.
We require a 20% deposit to confirm your booking. The balance of your charter fee is required 60 days before departure for charters in regular and mid season, or 90 days before charters in mid & peak season.
In the event you cancel your charter and provide more than 90days notice prior to your charter start date, your deposit will be refunded less a service fee of $250. If you cancel within 90 days of the charter start date, the charter fee will remain payable and is non-refundable. If we are able to rebook for the same period, only a $250 fee will apply.
All cancellations must be received in writing.
Operational Service Fee
Operational Services Fee: $26 per average engine hour per hour ($13 per engine per hour)
Your boat is fully insured for loss or damage, however we require a security bond of $2500 to be authorised on your credit card prior to the commencement of our charter. This is a requirement of the boat owners insurance. The Security Bond will cover against loss or damage to the vessel but not charter negligence.
The bond will be released upon completion of your charter if no damage is reported by the de-briefer.
If some damage or loss occurs, the costs for the damage up to the Security Bond is deducted, and the balance refunded or returned.
Please note that the security bond is a condition of your charter and is not a type of travel insurance.
In the unlikely event that you need to cancel your booking, your charter fee is non-refundable so it is recommended that you consider Travel Insurance. When looking for Travel Insurance make sure that you a covered for events such as cancellation due to illness, injury, adverse weather, domestic flights, and security bond claims in case you damage the boat.
Our operational area limits for our bareboat charters include the smooth and partially smooth waters of the Great Sandy Strait and Platypus Bay. See our charter area here.
Briefings commence between 8.30- 9:30am at the on board the vessel at the Great Sandy Strait Marina. If having a ‘sleepover’ a 30min induction is done upon arrival (3.30-4.30pm) the afternoon prior to your charter commencing with the full briefing done the following morning. The briefing forms part of the departure procedure, so all guests must be on board and ready to depart before briefing commences. Your briefer will drive the vessel out of the marina and set you up on the leads before being retrieved by other staff member. Allow 3+ hours for the briefing.
Return procedure and disembarkation time
Your briefer will bring you back into the marina and berth the vessel. Return time is before 10am with complete disembarkation no later than 11am, unless organised earlier with base. The vessel is expected to be brought back clean and tidy.
No formal boating qualifications or licences are required to charter with Sweet Escape Yacht Charters. To ensure a safe and happy holiday you should have basic navigation knowledge, boat handling skills and if you are planning to sail, basic sailing experience.
The included briefing will cover vessel operations, safety and the charter area. It will not cover learning to sail or basic boating skills. If you have limited experience, management may require you to have a Guide onboard with you until we are confident in your ability to manage the vessel safely for the rest of your trip. The Guide fee is paid by the Charterer- please see information regarding Guide rates here.
The briefing is part of the departure procedure and your briefer will take you out of the marina and on return, bring you back into the marina to berth the vessel.
Boarding-Time is 9.00 am on your first day of charter (unless you have taken up the Sleepover option).
Guided Charter FAQ
Yes! You are the skipper and your sail guide is there to assist in a way that suits you. Depending on your level of sailing experience you can do as little, or as much as you like.
If you have minimal boating experience or if it’s been a while since you have been sailing, we highly recommended adding a sail guide for either the first day, or first night. A sailing guide can also benefit you if just want a little help and support with some of the more physical aspects of keeping a yacht moving under sail.
**Please note that sail guides are not cooks, cleaners, babysitters or maids and are not responsible for the vessel or your crew.
Providing food for the sail guide is expected, so when provisioning for food, be sure to include the sail guide in all meals. If eating out at a restaurant, it is up to you whether you invite the guide along or not. If there is enough food on the boat, the guide may wish to stay on board, or receive some money from you to buy their own meal ashore.
The sail guide must be allocated a cabin to themselves for the duration of their time on board. If the vessel has private ensuite options, the guide will be allocated this cabin. Variations to this normal arrangement can be discussed and agreed upon with discretion between you and your sail guide upon arrival.
While our sail guides are always friendly, professional and comfortable with mingling with the crew, every group is different and people have different needs. You may wish to invite your guide to be part of the fun, or just spend some quality time together.
Most certainly! Whilst it is not compulsory to tip, we encourage offering a gratuity when receiving good service and to thank your sail guide.
An experienced, qualified sailor with a wealth of local knowledge to share with you is very valuable. From showing you the best anchorages, fishing and snorkel spots, to providing tips and tricks on sailing and vessel operations, our sail guides make sure that your time with us exploring paradise is the best it can be. The information our sail guides provide, also help reduce the risk of accidents.
When you go to a new place for the first time, seeking out people that can share their knowledge and experience can provide you a deeper appreciation and understanding of the local area or activity. Also, when doing something for the first time, it is handy to have a teacher!
Charter Area FAQ
Our charter area, the western side of K’Gari (Fraser Island) is the leeward side of the Island, which makes for calm waters, perfect for safe swimming. Some popular spots are Pelican Bank, Moon Point, Arch Cliffs and off the shoreline at Rooneys Point. If you are more of a creek swimmer, Wathumba Creek, Woralie Creek (fresh) and Awinya Creek (fresh) are also very popular spots for a dip and/or snorkel.
*In previous years, at the height of summer, there have been reports of Irikanjdi sightings. Also, remember that if you are swimming, you share the waters with all marine life, so we suggest taking caution and practice safe swimming principles.
No licence is required to have a bareboat experience. We provide you a comprehensive briefing on the vessels operations, safety, and the charter area before you set sail.
We offer guidance for sailing if you are opting to have a Sail Guide accompany you for the first full or half day.
We do not provide accredited training.
It is not common for our waterways to have stingers, despite having had minimal cases of Irikanjdi at the height of summer in some years. If you are chartering the area during the summer, we suggest taking caution at this time and contacting Hervey Bay Lifesaving for up to date reports.
Hervey bay is part of the Fraser Coast region which is North of the Sunshine Coast and Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane. The Fraser Coast airport (HVB) has direct flights from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and there are plenty of public transport options including buses and trains. If driving, Hervey Bay is approximately 3.5 hours north from Brisbane.
The Fraser Coast is blessed with sub-tropical climate providing spectacular conditions suited to everyone’s unique preferences. Summer offers hot, humid breezy days with warm waters perfect for swimming with an average temperature of 30 degrees celsius. Winter provides drier weather with sunny days and balmy nights at an average temperature of 20 degrees. The best time to visit the Fraser Coast is between April to August.
Dingos are one of the unique natural aspects of K’gari (Fraser Island), with common sightings of single dingos strolling the shoreline on the western side. While it’s a rare treat to watch them in their natural habitat, it’s important to keep your distance from these wild animals.
Yes, forming a section of The Great Walk, you can start the trail from McKenzie Jetty, head inland and the next stop is Lake McKenzie. This renowned lake is the jewel in the island’s crown and the hike is a beautiful and rewarding one once you see the clear blue water for a welcomed dip. If interested in the hike, visit Parks website for more details.
*A responsible adult must stay onboard and be able to operate the vessel safely if required.
Absolutely! Anchoring just south of the Jetty at Kingfisher Bay Resort is a beautiful spot. Take the tender ashore and enjoy the sunset from the Jetty Hut, or visit the resorts day use area at the Sand Bar.
A variety of Northern and Southern species can be caught here on the Fraser Coast. You can expect some various Snapper, Mackerel, Tuna, Goldern Trevally, Marlin, Cod, Flathead, Bream and many more.