Ocean Rafting - Southern Lights

5.0 (102 Reviews)

Select Date and Passengers

Child (2-14 years)
Child All-Inclusive (2-14 years)
Adult All-Inclusive
Family (2A+2C)
Family All-Inclusive (2A+2C)
Infant (6 - 23 months)
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Snorkel Gear Included

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Group Leader

Experienced Local Guide

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Explore Whitehaven Beach

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Visit Two Reef Sites

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Marine Life

Find Sea Creatures

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Hill Inlet Lookout Hike

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Tropical Islands + Reefs

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Lunch Pack Available


For the perfect day exploring the natural beauty of Whitehaven Beach, check out Ocean Rafting Southern Lights! Spend hours soaking in the sun, relaxing on the soft, white silica sands, and splashing around in the turquoise waters. Whitehaven Beach is the crown jewel of the Whitsundays, and this is one of the top-rated day tours where you can visit this stunning beach!

On this epic day tour, you'll get to visit both the northern and southern ends of Whitehaven Beach. You'll also get to hike up to Hill Inlet Lookout for dazzling views, and you'll have the chance to go snorkeling at an exclusive reef location nearby. From the fringing reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, to the iconic Whitehaven Beach, this day tour encompasses the best of the Whitsundays!

  • An epic day tour to Whitehaven Beach, one of Australia's most gorgeous beaches!
  • Visit both north and south Whitehaven Beach
  • Guided bushwalk up to Hill Inlet Lookout on Whitsunday Island
  • Go snorkeling in the fringing reefs of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Your Sample Itinerary

Ocean rafting boats

Ocean Rafting Tour

Departing from the Coral Sea Marina at 10 am, this day tour is perfect for travelers who love a bit of a sleep-in. After jumping on board a vibrant yellow Ocean Rafting boat, let the warm tropical breeze caress your skin as you sail through the Coral Sea towards Whitsunday Island! These stable and speedy vessels are a blast to travel in, so enjoy the ride! The experienced local guides will answer any of your questions and make you feel comfortable during your tour. Snacks and drinks are available for purchase as well, so bring some cash! 

people holding silica sand

Whitehaven Beach

Head straight over to one of the world's most beautiful beaches: Whitehaven Beach! With sparkling white sands made of 98% pure silica and vibrant blue waters, this beach is a tropical paradise. You'll have plenty of free time to stroll, sunbathe, swim, and admire the views. You'll also have the opportunity to visit both north and south Whitehaven Beach, which offer different perspectives. With around 2 hours to enjoy the beach, you can take your time and snap some photos without rushing!

Hill Inlet Lookout

Hill Inlet Lookout

While you're at North Whitehaven Beach, your guides will lead you on an enjoyable bushwalk up through the rainforest. After about 30 minutes, marvel at the panoramic views of Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet, and the surrounding Whitsunday Islands. Look for lemon sharks and stingrays in the water below, and make sure you get that perfect Instagram shot! Ocean Rafting is also the only tour boat that is allowed access to Hill Inlet itself, so you'll have the exclusive opportunity to enter the swirling sands of the famous inlet!

two people snorkeling


After ample time on Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet Lookout, hit the water for some snorkeling! Your experienced local guides will determine your snorkeling location on the day of the tour based on tides and weather conditions. But you will most likely visit a stunning reef site at Border Island or Dumbell Island. Either way, you'll have around an hour to frolic underwater with the tropical fish and colorful reefs of the fringing Great Barrier Reef! Be on the lookout for sea turtles, and maybe you'll see whales during the winter months!

Ocean Rafting

What To Bring

For your adventurous day tour onboard Ocean Rafting, bring a beach bag with a towel, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and sandals. Wear your bathing suit, and bring a light jacket in the winter months because it can get cool! Definitely bring a camera but ensure it is safely stored somewhere where it won't get wet, such as in a waterproof case or plastic container. You can choose to add a lunch package, otherwise, bring your own lunch!

What's Included?

  • Ocean Rafting day tour to Whitehaven Beach
  • Marine park fees
  • Local guides
  • Guided walks in national parks
  • Snorkelling gear (mask, snorkel, and fins)
  • Courtesy transfers to/from select local accommodations

What's Extra?

*The "All-Inclusive" ticket includes lunch and sunsuit/wetsuit hire. 

  • Tropical Lunch Pack - $20
  • Sunsuit/Wetsuit Hire - $8
  • Prescription Mask Hire - $15
  • Water
  • Soft Drinks/Juice
  • Beer/Cider
  • Chocolate

Important Information

  • Queensland Public Holidays incur a public holiday surcharge of $20 per adult, $10 per child and $50 per family (2ad and 2ch).
  • Ocean Rafting may use photographs of clients in promotional material, including but not limited to social media. If you do not consent please advise Ocean Rafting.

Check out the Ocean Rafting Northern Exposure option for more snorkel time!

Terms and Conditions

Please read our terms and cancellations policy before booking!


Can I get a transfer to and from my accommodation?

Yes, courtesy transfers are available from select accommodations. Please ensure you request a transfer if you need one at the time of booking.

Where do I meet for the tour?

Meeting point will be at the Coral Sea Marina. You will need to check-in at the Ocean Rafting office located at the marina.

Can I bring my own alcohol?

No, as there is alcohol available on board to purchase. Just ensure you bring your card or cash as you will need to fix it up at the end of the tour.

Is there a toilet on board?

Yes, despite the boat being fairly small, there is in fact a toilet on board!

What is the difference between Ocean Rafting’s Southern and Northern tours?

On the Southern Lights tour, you will visit one snorkelling location, Hill Inlet lookout and both the north and south end of Whitehaven Beach. Whereas, the Northern Exposure tour will take you to two snorkelling locations, Hill Inlet and just the north end of Whitehaven Beach.

What is the minimum age for this tour?

The minimum age requirement for travelling on Ocean Rafting tours is 6 Months Old. 

Customer Reviews


Apr, 30 2024

I loved the layout of the tour, the team all seem to know each other and work very hard to create a fun experience ! The only thing I would change would be to get some food a little earlier in the day but otherwise 10/10

Cedric Beyel Djaga Minlam

Apr, 17 2024

I had an amazing time on the Riptide with Heath, Cel and Ruby. Heath really knew how to revv the boat and give us a rafting tour to remember, the island is amazing and definitely a must-do, when visiting Airlie Beach! My first time snorkeling was great,too,also thanks to the introduction of the team

John Gleeson

Apr, 13 2024

Had an awesome ???? day out. Worth every penny, 07/04/2024. Went out today and Captain Kate and first mate Heath were bloody brilliant. We was a group of 10, firstly went out on our walk, then the snorkeling followed by the beach. Made our day and especially Logan's. He hasn't stopped talking about it

Bart Goossens

Mar, 09 2024

We had a fantastic time. Like visiting paradise. Very kind crew. Kurt and Hailey are very nice people. Thank you so much for this wonderful day !!!

melissa Somerville

Feb, 10 2024

The best tour we did in Airlie Beach. The tour guides made sure we had fun the whole trip. We did the south tour, the walk to see the view from the hill was beautiful! Highly recommend this tour!

Maurice Chiarilli

Feb, 09 2024


Maurice Chiarilli

Feb, 09 2024

Amazing . The crew was great

Ben Wood

Jan, 11 2024

All staff from office to the hosts were absolutely lovely and very welcoming, our tour guides went over and above to make the experience as memorable as possible and were full of enthusiasm. Best trip I’ve been on in Australia!

India Rose Long

Nov, 23 2023

I HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE! Myself and my friend had the most amazing day! The food onboard was delicious and the trip was perfect in every way! Chris and Bernie were just incredible and the trip would not have been the same without them. They were both amazing with the kids on board and the non-confident swimmers. If you are even debating booking this trip.. you HAVE to do it! I can assure you, you will not regret it one bit! Thank you to the wonderful crew for making this a trip of a lifetime!

Tom Edwards

Oct, 30 2023

I couldn't have asked for a better tour.. J J was the best tour guide. He was full of knowledge growing up in the area and made everyone laugh the entire trip. Couldn't have had a better day out. Thanks guys

Mike Jones

Oct, 21 2023

Captain and deckhand ran tour really well and we all had a great day out. Will recommend Ocean rafting

Diana Rosmini

Oct, 17 2023

Loved our time on the Whitsundays so much we’re coming back next year.

Sheridan Carmichael

Oct, 03 2023

Excellent trip, great crew, helpful and knowledgeable. Activities well timed and not rushed. Would recommend highly, do again.

Sheridan Carmichael

Oct, 03 2023



Sep, 11 2023

Absolutely brilliant, five stars

East Coast Tours acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples.

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