Start planning your beach getaway now, because we’re heading to the Whitsunday Islands, a stone’s throw from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, where the stunning white sands of Whitehaven Beach make a picture-perfect paradise scene.
Where to find it
Considered one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Whitehaven Beach can be found in the Whitsunday Islands, off the north-west coast of Queensland, Australia, and are sheltered by the Great Barrier Reef. There are 74 islands in the Whitsundays archipelago, including Hamilton Island -- a popular destination for well-to-do tourists and Australian bachelor and bachelorette party getaways. Whitehaven Beach is on Whitsunday Island.
While each of the Whitsunday islands is as beautiful as the next, Whitehaven Beach stands out for its ultra-fine white silica sand. To touch, the sand has an almost flour-like consistency, while its cool temperature contrasts with the hot sun that beats down on this 7km (4.35-mile) stretch of paradise. The cherry on the cake is the crystal clear water, once again thanks to the snowy white sand.
How to get there
Tourists usually visit the Whitsunday Islands on a cruise, stopping off for a few hours at Whitehaven Beach. The site is protected by the Australian government. However, there are areas where camping is authorized. Those with time to kill often reach the campsites by boat. However, some forward planning is required, as travelers must bring water (at least five liters per person per day), as well as all their camping gear plus oil or gas for cooking (fires are not permitted).
Head to Hill Inlet, at the northern end of the beach, a stunning inlet that’s bordered by rainforest. This is a great spot for professional and amateur photographers to capture the pale sand and the blue hues of the sea. The lookout at Tongue Point also offers fantastic views.
Best beach activity
With such crystal clear water, snorkeling is the most highly recommended activity for visitors to Whitehaven Beach. Just beware of jellyfish season between November and May. In fact, it’s highly recommended to wear a wetsuit at all times of year.
The colours and beauty of Whitehaven Beach can also be enjoyed from the air with a flight over the archipelago. Several firms run trips by helicopter or seaplane, some of which also take in the Great Barrier Reef.