Whitehaven Beach is one of the most famous beaches, not only in Queensland and Australia, but in the world. Located on the largest island in The Whitsundays, Whitehaven Beach offers up to 7km of shore to discover with so many activities to enjoy including snorkelling, swimming, sunbathing, and hiking. The 1.3-kilometre return hike is through the forest to the Hill Inlet lookout and secret swimming spot. You can make your Whitehaven experience unforgettable with the hike to the amazing viewpoint over Hill Inlet at Whitehaven’s northern end, where you experience the perfect fusing of turquoise water and swirl of white sand to create a dazzling blend of colours.
There are several anchorages along the length of Whitehaven Beach where you can moor for the day or stay overnight to visit this famous beach and amazing lookout. The balmy tropical waters surrounding Whitehaven Beach remain at a constant 26-degree year-round temperature, which allows you to swim at Whitehaven all year. You have access to half day and full day tours to make the most of your experience on this beautiful beach.
How is the sand so white you may ask…well Whitehaven Beach’s sand is made from 98.9% pure silica, and this is what gives the sand its unique white colour and fine powdery grain. It is found nowhere else in the Whitsundays; the origin of this pure white sand does remain an unsolved mystery. While we know that silica comes from eroding quartz, there is no quartz to be found in the area. Many Geologists now agree that the quartz-rich sand of Whitehaven Beach is likely to have carried north along Queensland coast to the Whitsunday Islands. Beaches that only accumulated small amounts of sand gradually lost it with the tides but Whitehaven’s dunes were so deep that much of the quartz sand remained.
A must visit in the Whitsundays. Hill inlet is possibly the most photographed location in the Whitsundays where the waters of the inlet swirl out of the hills of Whitsunday Island at the northern end of Whitehaven beach in such a magnificent way. This location is one to visit if you can arrive early or late in the day, as it is very possible to have this lookout all to yourself. On the northern side of Hill Inlet is a series of lookouts between Tongue Bay and the beach on the inside of the inlet. As mentioned, it is about a return trip of 1.3 kilometres, a relatively easy and short walk to the top, to take in the stunning views and mesmerising colours. Scenic helicopter and seaplane flights over Hill Inlet promise amazing aerial views as the magical waters and sand dance below.
A secluded spot hidden behind the rocks on the northern end of Whitehaven Beach. At low tide the sands of Hill Inlet are uncovered, and these beaches can extend for what seem like miles away. These are the beaches you can see from the lookout at the top of Tongue Point.
The shallow waters are perfect for families, where the children can play, and float around in the warm sandbars. You may even spot some small stingrays and sea life! Betty’s Beach can be quite popular during the day with different visitor boats, but often early and late in the day this beach is empty and you can explore it all to yourself.
South Whitehaven Beach
The Southern end of Whitehaven beach is a suitable anchorage location and is popular for day boats but much quieter at night. The sand is so fine when you walk along the 7km long powdery white beach, it brings its tropical getaway charms the moment you step onto the beach.
DID YOU KNOW?
Whitehaven Beach was once known as the ‘Whispering Sands’ by the local Ngaro Indigenous Tribe. The name came from the noise the fine white sand makes under your feet as you walk. Whitehaven’s pure silica sand does not retain any heat. You can then walk across Whitehaven beach without burning your feet even on the most sizzling hot day!
There are two bush walks available for the explorers, one ending at Chance Bay on the other side of the Island and one loop circuit. You have the opportunity to camp at the southern end of the beach (book through national parks or through Scampers Island transfers). To have the opportunity to wake up have Whitehaven Beach all to yourself and walking along the white shoreline in the moonlight is a truly unforgettable experience.