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The Whitsundays, Queensland.
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Worlds Best Beaches Whitehaven

Sink your toes into the white silica sands of the renowned and award-winning Whitehaven Beach. The soft, cool white sandy beach hugged by sparkling turquoise waters is famous the world over. The seven-kilometre stretch of white silica sands and crystal-clear waters is pristine and untouched by development, so it’s no surprise the beach continues to come out on top of world’s best beach rankings! The sand contains 98% silica meaning it is extremely fine and soft, with some comparing the consistency to that of baby powder. Because of the silica, the sand doesn’t retain heat and makes it a fantastic place to walk on barefoot, even on a hot day. Whitehaven Beach is genuinely famous and has been lauded with awards for the longest time (to see a list of the awards, please see the bottom of the page).

How to get to Whitehaven Beach

Travelling to Whitehaven Beach is an experience in itself. Whitehaven Beach is accessible from Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour and the island resorts, with people travelling to Whitehaven Beach for a few hours to relax and soak up the white silica sand. There is even the option of skippering your own boat, so you can experience the beauty of Whitehaven Beach in seclusion. Another option is to enjoy a crewed overnight sailing experience, as stopping and enjoying Whitehaven Beach is always a big drawcard. You can also enjoy the beauty of Whitehaven Beach from a bird’s eye view by taking a scenic flight over Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet. Very few experiences compare to taking in the azure waters from the air. Land on the beach in style and spend the rest of your time relaxing on the beach and swimming in the clear water. You can also get to Whitehaven Beach via a seaplane or helicopter, which are both jaw-dropping ways to take in the beauty of Whitehaven Beach. The time it takes to venture to Whitehaven Beach will differ depending on your mode of transportation and the location you are departing from. With so many options available, getting to Whitehaven Beach marks the beginning of a journey that will be unforgettable!

At Whitehaven Beach

So, what do you do after making it to Whitehaven Beach? While some operators can provide lunch, make sure you check in with your operator in advance. Otherwise, you can pack a delicious picnic to have on the beach. Some operators also provide beach games and shades for you to enjoy or you can simply relax at your own leisure. Swimming in the clear waters is simply an unforgettable experience. While you can’t access Hill Inlet from the southern end, just a short walk over to Hill Inlet lookout point will enable you to take in the brilliant swirling colours of sand and water. Check your tour visits both the northern and southern ends of Whitehaven Beach if Hill Inlet is also on your to do list!

All about Hill Inlet

Spend the day on the beach or explore the breathtaking beauty of Hill Inlet, a stunning cove at the northern end of the beach where the tide shifts the sand and water to create a swirling fusion of turquoise colours. For the best view, most tours journey to the lookout at Tongue Point on the Whitsunday Islands. Time your lookout experience on low tide to experience the beautiful swirling sands at their best. The journey to Tongue Point is memorable and is accessible via light a fairly non-strenuous hike. For bareboats, the best spot to anchor is in Tongue Bay. Tender into the beach to commence the short walk up the hill to the lookout point across Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach and back down the other side to the secluded beach at the tip of Hill Inlet. Taking a helicopter, seaplane or light aircraft over Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet promises amazing aerial views as the magical waters and sand dance together below. However you choose to explore Whitehaven Beach, it will be an experience you will remember for a lifetime.

Day Trips to Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach is accessible from Airlie Beach and the island resorts by water or air. It is located 30 minutes from Hamilton Island by high-speed catamaran. Travelling to the beach zipping through the azure waters or flying over the Great Barrier Reef on the way to the secluded beach makes it a thrilling experience and one you won’t forget in a hurry.
There are several ways to experience the beauty of Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet. Many companies offer day trips to Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet by boat, powerboat or luxury yacht. Most overnight sailing trips also stop here and cruising in style aboard a luxury boat is certainly a luxurious way to experience Whitehaven Beach.

Can you snorkel at Whitehaven Beach?

There is no fringing reef at Whitehaven Beach, so no snorkelling activities are conducted here. However, the water is so crystal clear that you can easily spot any moving creature in the water without wearing goggles. Also, on the way to or from Whitehaven Beach, most tour operators will stop by great spots where you can snorkel and look at the teeming marine life thriving under water. The Whitsundays boasts a brilliant, colourful marine life so it’s worth opting for the Whitehaven package that includes snorkelling as an experience.

Camp on Whitehaven Beach

Visiting Whitehaven Beach is a mind-blowing experience in itself. What’s even better is waking up to sparkling blue-green waters. Self-sufficient boaties and campers can anchor overnight off the beach, or book a national park campsite and camp on the southern end of the iconic Whitehaven Beach itself.

Where else to camp in the Whitsundays?

You can set up camp at the following campsites. Please note that you need to be self-sufficient to camp here. Basic facilities like tables and bathrooms may be available at the campsites. In order to camp here, you will need to carry food, fresh water, insect repellent, etc. Please be aware that no open fires are permitted on Whitehaven Beach.
The number of people that can camp at every campsite is capped to ensure that the experience is enjoyable for everyone. It’s important to make bookings in advance to ensure you have a spot during your visit. Take a look at all the campsites in the Whitsundays and book your favourite one.

  1. Whitehaven Beach
  2. Cairn Beach
  3. Maureen’s Cove
  4. Dugong
  5. Nari’s Beach
  6. Joe’s Beach
  7. Crayfish Beach
  8. Steens Beach
  9. Curlew Beach
  10. Northern Spit


Tourists, locals and travel experts unanimously love Whitehaven Beach. It’s an experience you simply cannot miss – as is said by almost everybody who has visited. Listed below are some of the awards under Whitehaven’s pretty belt:

  1. ‘#1 Beach in the South Pacific’ - 2017 TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards
  2. ‘Australia's Best Travel Experiences – Best Beach: Whitehaven Beach’ awarded by Australian Traveller
  3. 'Best Beach in the South Pacific' - 2016 TripAdvisor Traveller's Choice Awards
  4. 'Best beach in Australia' - 2016 TripAdvisor Traveller's Choice Awards
  5. In July 2010, Whitehaven Beach was named the top Eco Friendly Beach in the world by
  6. Queensland's Cleanest Beach - Keep Australia Beautiful's 2008 Clean Beach Challenge State Awards

360-degree View of Whitehaven Beach

Take a 360° tour of Whitehaven Beach. Click and drag the video screen and get a complete view of the beautiful beach and its stunning surroundings.

Fast Fact

Whitehaven Beach stretches along the southern side of Whitsunday Island, the largest island in the Whitsunday Group. Chalkies Beach, opposite Whitehaven Beach, has some great fringing coral for snorkelling.

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