, , ,

Whitehaven beach: The worlds finest?

This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Updated: 2nd September 2015

The Whitsundays are a slice of Australia’s beach paradise. Located off the coast of Queensland, they were one of my highlights while driving along the Bruce Highway from Brisbane to Cairns.

The famous image of Whitehaven Beach, which is regularly called the ‘world’s best beach,’ is one you can’t miss when planning a trip to the land down under. But does it live up to all the hype?


Getting to the Whitsundays

The main access point to the Whitsundays on the mainland is Airlie Beach. It’s a small town with a definite backpacker vibe. With plenty of bars, shops, and accommodation options, it’s a welcome relief from some of the smaller and lacking-in-facilities places you might have stopped off at on the road trip there.

With a well-cared-for swimming lagoon and the instant feeling that you need to relax, it’s a pretty good spot to chill out for a few days and explore the neighbouring islands.

If you are after good views and a bit more space, then the Waterview Airlie Apartment, where I spent two nights, is a great call. The team there are friendly and seriously helpful in finding and booking activities for you, often hunting around for the best prices before coming back to you.


The Whitsundays

The Whitsundays comprise 74 tropical islands, including the most well-known and air-accessible Hamilton Island. However, the most famous destination is sure to be Whitehaven Beach.

Hiring your own boat or jumping on a liveaboard are popular ways to explore all the islands that have to offer, and they are something I am keen to get back to one day. A boat over there from Shute Harbour or Airlie Veach isn’t the cheapest in the world, but ask around town, and you should be able to find which operators are offering deal prices at the time.

A small nature trail also takes you from the beach to a higher vantage point, which gives you awesome views of some of the neighbouring islands.

The white sands of the beach and the beautiful clear waters are stunning. I have got to say, though, that I am not sure it was worth the cost or time to get there just for a beach. You can’t really appreciate its beauty in all its glory from the ground level.


Flying above the Whitsundays

It wasn’t until I got a bird’s eye view of both the islands and the Great Barrier Reef that I literally had my breath taken away.

Flying a scenic flight above the islands is not cheap. I went with GSL Aviation, which operates from the airport just out of town. They also offer chartered transfers to other islands, such as Hamilton Island, which has its own runway airport.

Straight away, you can feel at ease. With an easy pick up and professional pilots, being sat in the front seat for once didn’t trigger my fear of flights, which I thought such a small plane would.


It goes without saying that this isn’t a cheap activity. It starts at A$99 for just the islands or A$199 to include the reef as well.

I wish I could describe how mind-blowingly beautiful the view is from altitude. You can’t appreciate the ‘swirls’ of White Haven Beach from below, but above, it is a treat for the eyes.

The famous ‘Heart Reef’ also is on route over the islands, again, this certainly did meet the hype. The sheer size of the reef, which stretches all the way up to Cairns, is certainly better grasped when taking a flight.

I would even go as far as saying that if I had to choose between playing in the sand and cruising above, the flight would win my money every time.

3 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *