Cruise Whitsunday Reef Sleep


Cruise Whitsundays Reef Sleep 

The high light of our Australia road trip was the Reef Sleep with Cruise Whitsundays.  Sleeping under gazillion stars on a pontoon right on the Great barrier reef. A true bucket list check!
There is so much to do on the pontoon: snorkeling, scuba diving, semi-submarine tour, helicopter flights etc.

Words can’t express how incredible this experience was. I hope you will have the chance to experience this too!

It wasn’t even something we had planned beforehand, because I didn’t even know of its existence. I saw many cruises at Whitsundays, but the Reef Sleep is definitely a unique experience that I can’t recommend enough and I'm going to share my experience here with you.

Reef Sleep

Company : Cruise Whitsundays

Duration : 2 days, one night

Price : From AUD499 - AUD675
Minimum of 2 guests

+61 7 4846 7000

Cruise whitsundays pontoon Australia

About the Reef Sleep

The Reef Sleep does have a price tag, but I think it’s worth every penny. You feel a little bit more special when you do the reef sleep. If you choose for the reef sleep it includes:

- 2x lunch buffet
- 1x dinner
- sunset nibbles
- boat ride
- sleeping in a swag
- snorkel gear

There is no wifi on board. The pontoon foresees with clean toilettes and bathrooms. Their enthusiastic knowledgeable staff makes the experience even more fun. You get to learn so much about the underwater world. For example, after dinner we we went into the underwater observatory to see how the underwater world changes at night.

  • During dusk and dawn, watch for turtles nibbling the seaweed growing on the sides of the pontoon
  • Watch a (romantic) sunset over the reef with a drink
  • The staff will set up the swags on the deck for you. Gaze up at a gazillion stars from your comfy swag and fall asleep with the tranquility sound of the ocean.

You start the day with lots of other day guests. You travel together on their high-speed vessel on the “VIP deck” to Hardy Reef. When you arrive, it’s a little bit chaotic, as everyone wants to do as much as possible before they have to head back. I would suggest to take your time here and have your lunch at the buffet (if you’re not diving) before everyone else goes to do their activities.  

Once the day guests go home around 3PM, you will have the whole pontoon to yourself with a small group of reef-sleepers (about 15 guests). It’s AMAZING I can tell you. You can go snorkeling, or relaxing on the deck enjoying the view in the middle of the ocean, while your swag for the night will be set up.


There are so many activities that you can do, it's impossible to get bored on the pontoon.

Go snorkeling with a large diversity of big and small fish, huge corals and an occasional turtle.

Even in all quietness, staring over the reef and sunset with my music on by my self was such a beautiful unreal experience. 

We spotted sea turtles, sea snake, but if you're lucky you can even spot whales, dolphins, manta rays.

Optional extra's - dives, scenic helicopter flight

submarine, underwater sightings during whitsundays cruise experience

Swag life

Fancy camping I call it. You don't have to lift a finger! The crew will set up the swags before dinner, all you need to do is pick one once it's done. 

view of the sunset from whitsundays cruise

Romantic sunset


Star gazing

The day will have an even more epic ending, which is sleeping under a gazillion stars. If you wait long enough you might see the Milky Way. Thanks to the open swag, you can fall asleep while counting the stars with a soothing background sound of the ocean waves.
I expected to be cold at night, but a thin vest was warm enough. 



Nibbles and drinks will be served while enjoying the sunset over the reef. Before the trip, you already make your choice of dinner, which will be prepared on board. It looks and tastes really good!

desserts served at the whitsundays cruise

Good morning

Waking up with the sunrise at your foot end is another reason why you book this stay. This is when you realize that your whole adventure on the pontoon wasn't a dream. Our stay here was the most incredible, I would say the high light of my Australia trip that I will cherish forever!