Subtropical Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island is the most famous beach in Queensland and consistently ranks high among the most beautiful beaches in the world. Stroll along the beach, dive in for a swim and let the beauty of the beach rub off on you.
The pristine sands of Whitehaven Beach stretch undisturbed for nearly 5 miles (7 kilometers). It is part of Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays and a designated national park.
At low tide the beach expands and shows more of the fine, white sand it is so famous for. This almost pure silica sand doesn’t retain the heat, so take your shoes off and feel its cool, powdery sands under your toes. Dip your toes in the lapping water or wade in for a refreshing swim. Wear a full-body “stinger suit” in summer, provided by most tour operators, to protect yourself from harmful jelly fish.
For something more energetic, jog or walk the length of the beach to the Hill Inlet at its northern edge. From the lookout at Tongue Point, watch the swirling sands and waters below, a breathtaking fusion of white sands and emerald and turquoise currents. You may even see green sea turtles and brown stingrays swim by.
Arrange a guided bush walk to learn all about the unusual history, flora and fauna of Whitsunday Island. You may also camp on Whitehaven if you prebook this with an operator from Airlie Beach. Bring your own food and water supplies and repellent against sandflies.
To get to Whitehaven Beach, take the ferry across from the Port of Airlie or book a Whitsunday Cruise package tour to sail to Whitehaven Beach via Hamilton Island in one day, with lunch included. Upon arrival, little tender boats transport you safely to shore. To speed things up, you can also book a power boat from Airlie Beach or a half-day excursion from Hamilton Island, which has accommodations. For the ultimate views, explore the beach via a helicopter or book a seaplane. There are airports on Hamilton Island and in Proserpine on the mainland.
Whitehaven Beach has basic toilets and a picnic area on its southern end, where many boat tour operators drop off their passengers for a swimming break.