- Beaches, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Swimming/Pools Type
- 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Read about how we rank Things to Do.
It's the most photographed beach in all of Australia, and after one look at its white sands, you'll understand why. Stretching across more than 4 miles of Whitsunday Island's east coast, Whitehaven Beach is made up of 98 percent pure white silica. These alabaster sands prevent heat retention, meaning you won't feel like you're walking across a string of hot coals while wandering along the swirling azure shoreline.
When you're not diving or snorkeling in the stunning beryl-tinted waters, recent travelers recommend taking a short hike to the Hill Inlet lookout at Tongue Point for photo ops and panoramic vistas. But keep in mind, jellyfish are plentiful in Queensland in summer and fall, so you'll need to wear protective gear if you plan on swimming during these seasons. Past visitors also suggest using ample sunscreen with a high SPF to avoid getting burned.
The best way to get to Whitehaven Beach – which is free to visit 24 hours a day – is by boat. Power boats, luxury yachts and ferries by companies like Cruise Whitsundays and Grand Prix Yachting offer daytrips that depart daily from Shute Harbour (near Airlie Beach) or Hamilton Island. Many overnight sailing trips also make a stop at Whitehaven Beach. But if one afternoon along the ashy sands isn't enough, you can also set up camp in the eucalyptus woodland behind the beach. For more information about daytrip operators and tours, visit Tourism Whitsundays' Whitehaven Beach page.