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Located on the south side of Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays group, it is 7kms of pure white, silica sand - so white it makes you squint (take your sunglasses!). In 2017, it was rated the No 1 beach in the South Pacific in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.
When the queen of daytime TV Oprah Winfrey visited, after flying into Hamilton Island on her private jet, she said: “I will be telling everybody that it is better than anything in a book or a magazine”. Whitehaven Beach is “open” all year round and there’s no time like the present to see one of nature’s truly spectacular natural wonders.
The sand on Whitehaven Beach consists of 98% silica, which is almost pure quartz - it is still a mystery as to how it got there. Quartz is found in rocks like granite and sandstone, which gives the beach a luminescent look and feel, making it outstandingly beautiful. There is a local rumour that the sand of Whitehaven Beach is so pure, NASA used it to create the glass for the Hubble Telescope in the 1970s. It’s never been confirmed but NASA did say it was “possible” due to the unique nature of the beach’s quartz crystals, so that’s good enough for us!
There are many different ways to get to Whitehaven Beach, so have a chat to our friendly team, who are all Whitsundays Holiday Specialists and can give you the ins and outs of each option, which range from half-day and full-day trips to overnight sailing tours. Boats are an obvious choice to get to Whitehaven Beach but which boat? Day tours that visit Whitehaven Beach range from sailing catamarans, sailing maxi-yachts (ex-racers), traditional tall ship sailing, powered catamarans and speedboats. Depending on the boat, the trip time there and back will vary greatly, so chat this through with one of our team members. Want to know which tours will take you to Whitehaven Beach? Check out our Day Tours and our Overnight Sailing Tours.
You can also fly to Whitehaven Beach, by either helicopter, seaplane or fixed-wing aircraft – trip times vary from 30 minutes to half-a-day, so there’s an option to suit everyone’s travel plans. Make sure you are landing if that’s important to you – some trips are scenic fly-overs. There is also a full-day flight option that takes in Whitehaven Beach, the Great Barrier Reef and Heart Reef. For a really special experience you can land on a secluded part of the beach in a helicopter or seaplane, where it’s just you and your pilot, or why not take a scenic flight along the 7kms of white sand for a perfect ‘postcard’ view of Hill Inlet’s swirling sands. Find out more about visiting Whitehaven Beach with our Scenic Flights, Helicopter and Seaplane Tours
Whitehaven Beach is 7kms long, so there is plenty of space to enjoy yourself. Go for a long walk - the ‘Solway Circuit’ bush walk at the southern end of the beach leads to picturesque Chance Bay - have a picnic and top up your sun tan!
You can also swim and snorkel - Whitehaven Beach’s marine life is spectacular – and make sure you wear a sun suit when in the water to protect you. Keep an eye out for turtles - in the Whitsundays it’s always turtle season, so you have a chance of seeing them when snorkelling in the shallows.
Pop up to the Whitehaven Beach lookout for the best view – and awesome photos - of Whitehaven Beach. And while there, why not check out Hill Inlet as well, one of nature’s wonders located on the north end of the beach. Many tours include the short walk up to Hill Inlet Lookout for magical views of the swirling blue-green water and white sand, as the changing tides form patterns in the inlet. Not all tours visit Hill Inlet Lookout, so check with our team if this is something you fancy doing.
What to take with you:
The Whitsunday Islands are National Parks and are therefore protected by the government. Whitehaven boasts a pure and pristine environment, with the Australian bush coming right down to the beach, and beautiful, clear water lapping the sand (which is so soft it squeaks underfoot!). Because of this, it is important to ‘take only photos and leave only footprints’. In other words, don’t take anything you shouldn’t and don’t leave any rubbish on the beach.
Please respect our natural wonder and help us to keep this beach and the surrounding waters in pristine condition