VMR Whitesunday

About VMR Whitsunday

The Whitsundays are the common name for the Cumberland and Northumberland Island Groups. They form the largest offshore island chain on Australia’s east coast. There are generally 74 islands included in the group. But the figure is arbitary. There are without doubt over 300 named bays and inlets for vessels to visit. The unit covers an area of some 5,000 square miles that includes inshore and offshore waters of the Great Barrier Reef.  The whole area is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the uninhabited islands are mostly controlled by the Qld National Parks and Wildlife Service. This tropical sub-rainforest region is about 1,125 kms north of Brisbane, and 725 kms south of Cairns.  Each year over half a million people visit the Whitsundays. They are the “Mecca” for boating enthusiasts from all over Australia, and at any one time there can be 3,000 to 4,000 people on the water overnight, making it one of the most popular destinations in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

VMR Whitsunday operates from Gloucester Island / Passage, North west to Cape Conway / Shaw Island in the South (Out from Midge Point and Repulse Bay). The area south is covered by VMR Midge Point and VMR Mackay. VMR Whitsunday has a manned radio base most weekends and Public holidays.  Our call sign is VMR 442. When not manned, there are many Commercial Operators and VMR home bases in the area who will pass on details in an EMERGENCY. Please note non-urgent general information calls may not be answered during weekdays. If you need VMR urgently, please state this when calling on the radio. VMR Whitsunday uses 2 talk through repeaters and monitors VHF Channels 16,81 and 82. Channel 81 in the Whitsunday islands and central area, Channel 82 in the Hayman Island area, north to Hook Island. Weather forecasts are broadcast by commercial stations at 0800 and 1600 hours daily. Due to the large number of vessels and therefore communications in the Whitsundays, we are unable to offer any form of vessel tracking.  Visiting yachts may log on with us upon arrival and we will record your vessel details, but it is not necessary to log on each time you move within the area.

Operational Information

The VMR Whitsunday Rescue vessel is ready to operate 24/7 and is manned by a minimum of 4 crew, including Commercially qualified, trained and licenced skippers.


To join VMR Whitsunday, membership can be processed online on the Whitsunday VMR website under the “Join” tab. Please complete all details and 24-hour payment can be made by PayPal, or credit card electronic transfer. Membership cost is $70 per year and offers one Free assist per year for your vessel if you run into trouble on the water in the Whitsundays. Subject to conditions.