Islands, kayaks, turtles and dolphins — it’s a hard life but someone has to do it.

The Waters family has spent the past year sailing the east coast, exploring the Great Barrier Reef and coastal towns on the far side of Australia along the way.

The family of five from Paraburdoo packed it all in and purchased a sailboat to chase a simpler life, and one year later, they have no regrets.

Now at the end of their sailing adventure aboard Pacific High, the Waters clan are off to Bali for a 12-month stint before settling back into a normal life when school starts in 2019.

Kristy Waters said the trip had been a life-changing adventure for her family.

“We loved getting out to snorkel all along the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.

“We would just go out for days on end and see turtles, sharks and heaps of fish.”

Mrs Waters said her children had grown in confidence around the water, and become used to forgoing creature comforts. “At the start, we were nervous a little with the kids around water but now we are so casual,” she said.

“There was a TV on the boat that we couldn’t get working, but none of us missed it.

“At night, we’d play board games with the kids, which we never did at home.”

The year was not without its pitfalls. Trying to educate seven-year-old son Max, who Mrs Waters said wanted to get out in the water all the time, proved a challenge, and having a baby girl in tow was always going to come with risks.

Frankie is now 16 months old and learning to climb, meaning the move back to dry land has come at a good time.

For the most part however, the sea change proved to be everything the family had hoped for, according to Mrs Waters.

“I think, definitely, it is something we don’t regret doing,” she said. “We would do it again, probably when we are retired and don’t have the kids to worry about.

“I hope when the kids are a bit older, they look back on this fondly.”