Dive back in for the best wildlife spots to visit on a luxury yacht
Contributed by: Jo Morgan
We recently brought you our top five wildlife destinations you can visit on a superyacht vacation. Join us in exploring the next best spots below.
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
This year, head Down Under and charter a private yacht to visit the Great Barrier Reef, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. So large you can see it from outer space, this coral reef is the world’ s largest living organism, stretching for a staggering 1600 miles up the northeast coast of Australia. Pull on your snorkel or scuba gear and dive off the yacht’s swim platform into a magical underwater world where colourful coral grows in fantastic shapes and vast schools of tropical fish flit and dart about in the warm, sunlit waters. Giant 300 pound groupers hide in the shadows, a reef shark cruises for food, and sea turtles move slowly through the endless blue.
The Great Barrier Reef must be on every wildlife-lover’s bucket list, but that’s not all this stunning tropical paradise has to offer. Back on the North Queensland mainland you can take an adrenaline-filled safari up the crocodile-infested Persopine River, see kangaroos and emus grazing on grassy mountainsides, and possums, cassowary birds and koalas in the forests. When you’ve seen enough of Australia’s bizarre creatures, you can hop back on your luxury yacht and cruise the mesmerizing beaches of the Whitsunday Islands, or cool off in a deep rainforest pool under a waterfall.
North Queensland offers a spectacular yacht charter experience for wildlife enthusiasts. However, the Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger from warming sea temperatures, so do yourself a favour and visit this region before this natural wonder of the world is lost to us forever.
Thailand is on a rapid rise as a superyacht destination, with new charter licenses and developing yacht marinas finally making the most of this spectacularly beautiful and exotic land.
Thailand offers the yacht charterer a wild and wonderful array of creatures: tigers and leopards and bears, monkeys, mongoose, rhinoceros, water buffalo-and of course, the mighty elephant. In the water you’ll find fabulous coral reefs that teem with life, you can even dive on a reef just off magnificent Ko Phi Phi island where the blockbuster movie The Beach was filmed. Other marine creatures in Thailand include otters, beaked whales and false killer whales, and all manner of turtles and dolphins. In the skies, meanwhile, you will find a thousand species of birds, this place is truly a twitcher’s delight. On your yacht charter in Thailand, cruise through the famous limestone outcrops of Krabi and Phuket, and drop anchor off perfect beaches and in deep blue lagoons. Enjoy the local cuisine of creamy coconut curries, chilli and lemongrass, and relax with a Thai massage in a bamboo hut overlooking the sparkling sea. Expect to hear a lot more in coming years about yacht charters in Thailand, or be some of the first to explore its wild treasures by yacht.
This tiny string of tropical islands far out in the Indian Ocean is heaven for divers- and easily one of the most unforgettable yacht charter destinations on earth. At anchor at night in the Maldives, you can hear the dolphins squeak and breathe heavily through their blowholes as they chase fish around the yacht. On the ocean floor, a huge carpet of corals and fans are home to schools of brightly coloured fish, small reef sharks, manta rays, barracuda, groupers, unicorn fish and whale sharks. If you don’t dive, never fear, the snorkelling is brilliant too. In fact you can climb out of your hammock on the beach, walk into the water and before long the sugar soft sands give way to the coral reefs that ring these remote islands. When you’ re done exploring for the day, perhaps it’s time to visit one of the luxury spas in huts built over the crystal clear water, or there’s the famous underwater restaurant where you can dine in absolute luxury while watching the action of the reef moving all around you.
Sadly, the Maldives will probably be lost in our lifetimes due to rising sea levels, so make sure you book a luxury yacht charter to this extraordinary place before it disappears beneath the waves.
This vast archipelago in South East Asia is another rising star on the superyacht scene, and its pristine ecosystem increasingly lures wildlife-spotting charters to its tropical shores. Indonesia boasts coral reefs beyond counting, and its waters hold the most biological diversity on earth. Migrating whales and prehistoric fossil fish are worth making the trip for alone, while on land you’ll find that 40% of the species aren’t found anywhere else in the world. Orangutans, giant Komodo lizards, Java Rhinos and dwarf buffalos make Indonesia a spectacular wildlife destination for your yacht charter.
Wherever you choose to cruise, don’t forget about the world beneath you and explore animals both above, and below the water’s surface.
Check out our podcast on Wildlife here!