Ocean Rafting’s Whitsunday tours visit the “wild side” of the Whitsunday Islands, the uninhabited islands with beautiful natural scenery brimming with marine, bird and animal life. Ocean Rafting operates two exciting Whitsunday tours daily from Coral Sea Marina in Airlie Beach, the Northern Exposure and Southern Lights, carrying guests on an adventure to experience some of the Whitsundays’ most desirable destinations. Our guests experience Ocean Rafting’s signature adrenalin fuelled action while exploring the islands, inlets and beaches on custom built semi-rigid inflatable vessels, travelling at speeds of up to 35 knots (65 km/hour). Interestingly, the distance each Ocean Rafting vessel travels around the Whitsunday Islands every year is the equivalent of circumnavigating the globe at the equator!
Our Whitsunday tours …
The Northern Exposure and Southern Lights Whitsunday tours are both fully guided and include an exhilarating ride to Whitehaven Beach, pristine snorkelling reefs and guided Whitsunday Island National Parks walks, all in one day! Ocean Rafting has direct access to all areas of the stunning and iconic Hill Inlet Beach and special snorkel sites at Hook Island and Border Island ensure a memorable underwater experience.
Our crew …
The fabulous crew on our Whitsunday tours to Whitehaven Beach are well trained professionals and will ensure that your day with us is fun and memorable. Reef and island naturalist talks are offered by the Skipper and Eco Host with on board vessel commentary, guided walk information and snorkelling instruction. First time snorkellers….no problem! They have great local knowledge of the island’s flora, fauna and marine wildlife and informative talks include historical, geographical and ecological information of the Whitsunday area.
Our fleet …
Ocean Rafting has a fleet of seven boats operating daily Whitsunday tours, beginning with one vessel named ‘Jammin’ in 1997, followed shortly by ‘Wild Thing’ in 1998. The third vessel, ‘Thrilla’, joined the Whitsunday fleet in September 2004. In 2008, Ocean Rafting’s sister company, Ocean Safari, commenced operating tours to the Great Barrier Reef from Cape Tribulation. The fourth Whitsunday based vessel, ‘Thunderstruck’, arrived in December 2010, the fifth, ‘Joyride’ in March 2015 and the sixth, ‘Rip Tide’, in September 2016. Ocean Rafting’s most recent addition, ‘Black Betty’, arrived in this Whitsundays in June 2018, rounding the Whitsunday fleet out to seven vessels.
Our vessels …
All boats are up to 12 metre semi-rigid inflatable vessels, originally designed and built as rescue crafts and are driven by 500hp engines, allowing guests to experience a fun, high speed ride amongst the natural beauty of the Whitsundays. 70% of the vessel has shade, providing comfort from the tropical sun. The vessels take a maximum of 25 to 32 passengers, with small groups allowing guests to experience tropical paradise away from the crowds, while still having the ability to carry up to 206 guests per day on Whitsunday tours with seven vessels. The size of the boats also make them ideal for private charters for groups.
A special adventure …
Ocean Rafting is proud to have special permits allowing the vessels to visit protected areas of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and offers a highly unique experience, including access to Hill Inlet, one of the Whitsundays’ most famous icons, which is found on many postcards. A visit to Hill Inlet, Whitehaven Beach and snorkelling pristine coral reefs all in one day, along with the “ride of your life”, allows for a very special adventure!
Awards, Accreditations and Memberships …
Ocean Rafting is dedicated to both preserving the Great Barrier Reef and supporting our tourism industry and as a multi-award winner, actively participates and contributes as follows:
Ocean Rafting is proud to have won the following Whitsunday, Queensland and Australian tourism awards:
- Queensland Major Tour & Transport Operator Silver 2018
- Whitsunday Major Tour & Transport Operator Silver 2018
- Queensland Adventure Tourism Bronze 2018
- Whitsunday Adventure Tourism Silver 2018
- Australian Major Tour & Transport Operator Gold 2017
- Queensland Major Tour & Transport Operator Gold 2017
- Whitsunday Major Tour & Transport Operator Gold 2017
- Queensland Adventure Tourism Bronze 2017
- Whitsunday Adventure Tourism Bronze 2017
- Australian Major Tour & Transport Operator Gold 2016
- Queensland Major Tour & Transport Operator Gold 2016
- Whitsunday Major Tour & Transport Operator Gold 2016
- Queensland Major Tour & Transport Operator Silver 2015
- Queensland Adventure Tourism Bronze 2015
- Whitsunday Business of the Year Winner 2015
- Whitsunday People’s Choice Winner 2015
- Whitsunday Hall of Fame Winner 2014
- Whitsunday Tour and/or Transport Operator Winner 2014
- Queensland Tour and/or Transport Operator Winner 2013
- Queensland Adventure Tourism Silver 2013
- Whitsunday Tour and/or Transport Operator Winner 2013
- Whitsunday Adventure Tourism Winner 2013
- Australian Tour and/or Transport Operator Winner 2012
- Australian Adventure Tourism Bronze 2012
- Queensland Adventure Tourism Winner 2012
- Queensland Tour and/or Transport Operator Winner 2012
- Whitsunday Tour and/or Transport Operator Winner 2012
- Whitsunday Adventure Tourism Winner 2011
- Queensland Adventure Tourism Finalist 2011
- Queensland Tour and/or Transport Operator Finalist 2011
- Whitsunday Adventure Tourism “Hall of Fame” Award
- Whitsunday Adventure Tourism Winner 2008
- Queensland Adventure Tourism Finalist 2007
TripAdvisor: Ocean Rafting has a Certificate of Excellence 2019 for consistently achieving a ‘5 out of 5’ rating from guests on the daily Whitsunday tours and is proud to have received the prestigious Hall Of Fame recognition. In 2019, Ocean Rafting Tour was also announced as a Travelers’ Choice Award Winner, being in the top ten experiences in Australia! Travelers’ Choice awards are the highest honour TripAdvisor can give and is based on reviews and opinions from millions of travellers!
Experience Oz + NZ: Ocean Rafting was proudly voted #1 People’s Choice as “Best Experience in Australia” for the “Cruises (Other)” category.
Advanced Ecotourism Certification: Ocean Rafting has been certified for its Whitsunday tours since 1998 at the Advanced Ecotourism level, the highest level of ECO certification achievable.
Ocean Rafting has been entered into the coveted Ecotourism Australia Hall of Fame for being continuously certified for 20 years or longer. There are only 14 operators Australia-wide who have been acknowledged with this achievement, with Ocean Rafting being the only one in the Whitsundays.
Green Travel Leader: Ocean Rafting is acknowledged as a Green Travel Leader through Ecotourism Australia highlighting our extensive and ongoing commitment to conservation and sustainability.
Climate Change Business: Ocean Rafting is also certified as a Climate Action Innovator dedicated to reducing carbon emissions and commiting to sustainable practices related to addressing climate change.
GSTC Approved: Ocean Rafting is also Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) approved. GSTC are an independent body that establishes and manages global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism with the aim of increasing sustainable tourism knowledge and practices. The GSTC Approved tick means that our ECO certified products are certified under a certification program, namely Ecotourism Australia’s ECO certification, is using a Global Sustainable Tourism Council -recognised standard, is following processes and procedures that have been reviewed and approved by the GSTC, and that the certification procedures largely meet international standards for transparency, impartiality, and competence.