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How To Get To Whitehaven Beach

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Gabby Boucher
Updated Wed 04 Oct 2023

Wondering how to get to Whitehaven Beach? You can get here by boat, seaplane, or helicopter, with guided tours being the most popular option. Airlie Beach is the best departure point from the Australian mainland for traveling to Whitehaven Beach. You can also reach Whitehaven Beach from Hamilton Island!

This article will discuss exactly how to get to Whitehaven Beach from various locations in the Whitsundays area. Hopefully, you will feel more prepared and confident when planning your visit to Whitehaven Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!

beach swing on whitehaven

Where Is Whitehaven Beach?

Before we dive into how to get to Whitehaven Beach, you should know where this spectacular tropical paradise is located. Whitehaven Beach is located on Whitsunday Island, which is part of the Whitsundays Island chain. There are 74 islands in the Whitsundays, with Whitsunday Island being the biggest one!

Whitehaven Beach is one of the most photographed beaches in the world, thanks to its vibrant turquoise water, sparkling white sands, and tropical surroundings. Hill Inlet is the most famous viewpoint, where the sea and the sand swirl together to create a breathtaking view. 

On either side of Hill Inlet, you will find North Whitehaven Beach and South Whitehaven Beach. North Whitehaven Beach is home to a secluded cove known as Betty’s Beach, as well as local stingrays, sharks, and other wildlife in the protected waters. South Whitehaven Beach is a 7km long strip of soft sand where the water is calm and perfect for paddleboarding!

people posing at hill inlet lookout

How To Get To Whitehaven Beach From Airlie Beach

If you’re wondering how to get to Whitehaven Beach from Airlie Beach, you can take a boat, seaplane, or helicopter. Airlie Beach is the most common departure point for a trip to Whitehaven Beach. Because it is on the Australian mainland, most travellers will fly into Proserpine Airport (also known as the Whitsunday Coast Airport) and then head to Airlie Beach by bus or taxi. 

Once you arrive in town, you can get to Whitehaven Beach from Airlie Beach by booking a tour of your choosing. The most popular and affordable way to get to Whitehaven Beach from Airlie is by boat. From Airlie Beach, a boat tour can take around 1-2 hours to reach Whitehaven Beach. Those looking for an upgraded experience can take a scenic flight or a helicopter tour. Seeing Whitehaven Beach from the air is one of the most amazing things to do in Australia!

aerial view of whitehaven beach

The Best Whitehaven Beach Tours From Airlie Beach

Now that you know how to get to Whitehaven Beach from Airlie Beach, here is a quick overview of some top-rated tours you can choose from. 

Whitsunday Bullet

A speedboat that gets you to Whitehaven Beach in an hour. Includes Hill Inlet, lunch, snorkeling, paddleboarding, and a speedy ride back to Airlie Beach at the end of the day.

person on paddleboard 

Purely Whitehaven with Sealink

This half-day tour gets you to and from Whitehaven Beach in just a few hours! Perfect for those who are short on time. It's also a family-friendly boat option!

family on the beach

Camira Whitsundays

This high-speed catamaran brings you on a day trip to Whitehaven Beach in style. This is one of the most popular tours, and they also have a sunset cruise option. 

people on boat at sunset

Air Whitsundays: Whitehaven by Seaplane

This is a top choice for a day trip to Whitehaven Beach by seaplane! Land on the beach and spend some time enjoying the scenery before flying back to Airlie Beach. 

seaplane on the beach

Fly & Raft: Southern Lights

Combine an Ocean Rafting day trip by boat with a scenic flight so you can see Whitehaven from the air and from the sea. 

ocean rafting boat tour with marine life

Whitehaven Beach Helicopter Tour

Fly to Whitehaven Beach by helicopter and get the absolute best views of Hill Inlet from the sky! Land on the beach and soak in the sun before flying back. 

aerial views of the Whitsundays

Solway Voyager

A 3 day, 2 night multi-day sailing cruise around the Whitsundays! Includes ample time at Whitehaven Beach and a fun, social atmosphere. 

boat on the whitsundays

How To Get To Whitehaven Beach From Hamilton Island

You can also get to Whitehaven Beach from Hamilton Island by boat, seaplane, or helicopter. Hamilton Island is another one of the top destinations in the Whitsundays, so it is well-connected with its own ferry terminal and airport. Whitsunday Island and Hamilton Island are right next to each other, so it’s only a quick, 30-minute boat ride or an even shorter flight!

boat in harbor on hamilton island

The Best Whitehaven Beach Tours From Hamilton Island

Whether you want to sail or fly to Whitehaven Beach from Hamilton Island, there are lots of incredible tour options. Choose from easy day trips to extravagant sailing packages!

Whitehaven Beach Chill & Grill is the most popular day trip from Hamilton Island. For those who are short on time, you can book the Whitehaven Beach Half Day Tour. Choose if you want to cruise to Whitehaven Beach in the morning or in the afternoon! Explore Whitehaven, Sail & Snorkel is an epic day trip from Hamilton Island that includes snorkeling at Chalkies Beach on the nearby Haslewood Island. 

Hamilton Island Air: Heart Reef & Whitehaven Express is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly over Whitehaven Beach, Heart Reef, and the surrounding islands of the Whitsundays in a seaplane. Or book a similar journey but via helicopter!

aerial view of whitehaven beach

What To Bring To Whitehaven Beach

Once you’ve figured out how to get to Whitehaven Beach, you can plan what to pack. You won’t need much for a visit to Whitehaven Beach, as most of the time you’ll just be soaking in the majestic views! But here are some things you should bring to Whitehaven Beach for a day trip. The only facilities on Whitehaven Beach are public toilets, so make sure you’re prepared!

What To Bring To Whitehaven Beach:

  • Water - There is no drinking water available on the beach. Bring enough to last all day!
  • Snacks - Make sure you bring your rubbish with you and keep the beach clean!
  • Swimsuit and Towel - You’ll be spending lots of time in the water!
  • Sun protection - Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, etc. 
  • Footwear - Thongs are ideal for the beach but you may want sneakers for the hike to Hill Inlet Lookout.
  • Stinger suit - Summer is stinger season in northern Queensland.
  • Snorkel gear - Most tours provide snorkel gear as well as paddleboards.
  • Camera - Bring a camera bag as well to keep it protected from all the sand!

people playing in the water

If you’re ready to book your visit to Whitehaven Beach, call us on +61 7 4914 2425 or chat with us online to discuss your options!

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