Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays

Whether you’re flying above its turquoise waters or picnicking in pure-white sand, Whitehaven Beach is a sight to behold. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays
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Discover the beauty of Whitehaven Beach

Whether you’re flying above its turquoise waters or picnicking in pure-white sand, Whitehaven Beach is a sight to behold.


The sand on Whitehaven Beach is among the whitest anywhere on earth. Composed of 98 per cent silica, the sand on Whitehaven doesn't retain heat and has a fine, powder-like consistency. This means that even in the hottest part of the day, visitors can comfortably walk along its seven kilometres (4.5 miles) of sand beside the crystal clear Coral Sea.

Hill Inlet, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland

Visiting Whitehaven Beach requires a boat ride or a short flight in a helicopter or seaplane. Most visitors only make it to Whitehaven’s southern or northern ends but with a little planning and a dash of adventure, the rest of the beach — the six kilometres in the middle — can be all yours to explore. 

The ends of the beach, however, are well worth giving up a bit of solitude for, especially Hill Inlet at Whitehaven’s northern end. Here you can look out over an inland river system that flows across broad white sands and to distant peaks on the horizon.

If you have the good fortune to sail here, and anchor off the beach overnight, you’ll notice just how mountainous the island is. There are tree-covered mountains with sheer rock escarpments and in the late afternoon, the sun sets against the 407-metre-high (quarter mile) Whitsunday Peak. With all the attention Whitehaven Beach receives, it’s often easy to overlook the beauty of the island itself.

Arriving by sea gives you the added advantage of getting the beach to yourself once the seaplanes and helicopters take off in the evening. Whichever mode of travel you choose, Whitehaven Beach is easily accessible.

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland

Arriving by air

From Hamilton Island, Air Whitsunday helicopter tours take in the surrounding Whitsunday Islands and fly the length of Whitehaven Beach before setting down for a swim or walk along the sand.

Should you wish to arrive at Whitehaven by sea-plane, Air Whitsunday can fly you there over the Molle group of islands and Whitsunday Island. When you arrive, you’ll enjoy two-and-a-half hours of swimming and lazing on the sand with complimentary snacks and sparkling wine.

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland

Arriving by sea

For those who prefer to arrive by sea, a Cruise Whitsundays full-day tour to Whitehaven Beach gives you plenty of time to explore the beach and hear about the history of the traditional owners, the Ngaro people. You’ll also enjoy a barbecue lunch and, weather permitting, a trip to nearby Esk Island.

You can also sail aboard a catamaran to Whitsunday Island from Airlie Beach, stopping off at Hill Inlet for a barbecue lunch with time to explore and swim at both the lagoon and the beach.

The quickest way to get to Whitehaven Beach by sea is onboard a super-fast semi-rigid inflatable motor boat on one of two Ocean Rafting day tours from the Airlie Beach township that include visits to Whitehaven Beach. The tours allow plenty of time for snorkelling and hiking with a picnic lunch on Whitehaven Beach.

For those wishing to stay at Whitehaven Beach overnight, the only way is to charter your own yacht or catamaran with operators like Sunsail and Whitsunday Escape and chart your own path through some of the 74 islands of the Whitsundays, taking as much time as you’d like to explore every kilometre of Whitehaven Beach. And remember, when the day tours go home, the beach is all yours.

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