Best beaches on the Whitsundays mainland

There are many well-known and well-loved beaches in the Whitsundays where people love to hang out, enjoy the sun and take in the stunning views.

Beaches are found on both the mainland and on the islands, giving you plenty of different options if you’re looking for a day of relaxing in the sand. To reach island beaches, you will need to join a chartered boat tour or rent a boat of our own to reach them, as none of the islands are accessible by car. However, there are plenty surrounding Airlie Beach which can be easily reached and enjoyed when staying on the mainland. We’ve listed a few of our favourite to make your upcoming beach day a walk in the park!

Boathaven Beach

Boathaven Beach is one of the few beaches in the Whitsundays that has a stinger net for safety and comfort. Also referred to as 'New Beach' by the locals, you can reach this beach by heading to Port of Airlie towards the peninsula known as The Beacons. The beach has 60,000 cubic metres of soft, white sand with plenty of space for relaxing! It’s one of the two beaches within easy walking distance of the town of Airlie Beach.

Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach, which the town is named after, is found right in the middle of the seaside village! It’s near the Esplanade, right next to the main street. You can reach it by walking along the bicentennial boardwalk and making your way to the water - this beach is hard to miss. It’s a small rocky beach, and while not great for swimming, it’s a nice place to have a picnic or to hang out. Also referred to as the Airlie Beach Foreshore, you will find tables and benches as well as a kid’s area for playing.

Cannonvale Beach

Cannonvale Beach is one of the other beaches in the Whitsundays that has a stinger net, making it an ideal swimming place! Found at the main beach in Cannonvale, the area also has BBQs, picnic tables, an outdoor gym and a kid’s playing area. It’s a great place to spend the entire day with your friends or family and is well off the beaten path so you will generally only find a few locals here. 

Coral Beach

Coral Beach is one of the more hidden beaches in the Whitsundays. You have to make your way through the bush to get to this beach! You start the walk from a parking lot in Shute Harbour and have to walk about 2km through the beautiful, lush rainforest. The beach is made up of broken coral (hence the name) and is fringed by forest and rock. It’s a popular spot for fishing and for locals to hang out.

Dingo Beach

If you’re looking something even more off the beaten path, Dingo Beach is the place to go! It’s about an hour outside of the main town of Airlie Beach and offers peace and quiet at the oceanside. This is also a great place to snorkel and enjoy the water to the fullest extent! Dingo Beach also has its own accommodation and camping area for those who would like to linger a little longer.

Hydeaway Bay

Hydeaway Bay is near Dingo Beach and offers another secluded place to relax. The beach here is about 1.5km long and has great views of the surrounding islands and the ocean. You can find restaurants at Cape Gloucester and Monte's Resort, as well as a small store at the caravan park. 

Click here to read more about the top beaches in the Whitsundays (including those on the islands).

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