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How to Get to Whitsunday Island | Whitehaven Beach

Updated Thu 19 Oct 2023

The home of Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet, Whitsunday Island is one of the most popular destinations in the Whitsundays. The largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsunday chain, Whitsunday Island offers pristine beaches, dazzling white sand, clear turquoise water, abundant marine life, several walking tracks and multiple camping areas.

Visit north or south Whitehaven Beach, Betty’s Beach, Chance Bay or the swirling sands of Hill Inlet - a trip to Whitsunday Island, part of the Whitsunday Islands National Park, is an experience you will never forget. Whether you plan on spending the day or staying overnight, there are plenty of ways to get to Whitsunday Island!

girl walking on the white sands of Whitehaven Beach


How To Get To Whitsunday Island

From scenic flights to private charters to the classic boat day trip, here are the top ways to get to Whitsunday Island. Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island are the two most popular departure points for a trip to the Whitsundays!


Day Tours to Whitsunday Island

The most popular way to get to Whitsunday Island is on a day tour by boat. Day tours that visit Whitsunday Island provide visitors with the chance to explore Whitehaven Beach, experience the breathtaking view from Hill Inlet Lookout, and enjoy some snorkelling, paddleboarding, or a picnic lunch on the beach. Every tour is different, but most of them prioritise time on the glorious Whitehaven Beach

Day tours primarily depart from the Coral Sea Marina in Airlie Beach. However there are also some tours that depart from the Port of Airlie, Hamilton Island, or Daydream Island. Choose the departure point that is best for you depending on where you are staying and how much time you would like to spend on the beach!

girls walking on whitehaven beach next to whitsunday bullet

Day Tours Departing Coral Sea Marina

Day Tours Departing Port of Airlie

Day Tours Departing Daydream Island

Day Tours Departing Hamilton Island Marina

girl looking at a tallship at sunset on Whitehaven Beach

Overnight Sailing Tours To Whitsunday Island

All overnight sailing tours in the Whitsundays include a visit to the beautiful Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet Lookout in their itineraries. You can find options for 2-days, 3-days, or more depending how long you want to spend at sea. All overnight tours include meals, action-packed itineraries with snorkelling and other adventures, and the chance to immerse yourself in the Whitsundays' natural beauty. 

You can find overnight tours to Whitsunday Island that are perfect for backpackers or families, and you can even find boats that have air conditioning. You can find adventurous tours and tours that include scuba diving. Most overnight boats depart from the Coral Sea Marina in Airlie Beach, though some also depart from Hamilton Island

Check out our top overnight tours to Whitsunday Island


Scenic Flights


Nothing can beat the spectacular view of Whitsunday Island from the air!
The stunning white silica sand of Whitehaven Beach stretches 7km down the coast and paired with the turquoise water of the Coral Sea that laps its shores the scene is nothing short of paradise. A scenic flight is always a great way to experience Whitehaven Beach. 

Get the best of both worlds with Ocean Rafting's fly and raft package so you can combine a classic boat tour with a scenic flight and see Whitehaven from all angles. Or take an aerobatic stunt plane flight that will fly you over Whitehaven for an ultimate adrenaline rush! There are also helicopter tours and scenic flights from Hamilton Island

Aerial view of Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays from a seaplane


Private Charters


Booking a private charter is one of the best ways to get to Whitsunday Island!
Private charters give you a more flexible, upscale experience that you just don't have in a shared tour boat. Chartering a private boat also means you are not locked into a pre-determined itinerary, so you can spend as long as you want on Whitsunday Island and uncover the hidden gems that many other people never get to see.

The Whitsundays are home to a number of private charters, from small powerboats to majestic sailing vessels to luxurious superyachts. You can choose between day charters or even overnight charters, and depart from either Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island. Whatever type of boat you choose, our expert staff will help you organise your perfect Whitsunday holiday. 

catamaran cruising on turquoise water next to Whitehaven Beach


Water Taxis


Whitsunday Water Taxi Transfers offers morning or afternoon departures to Whitehaven Beach or Chance Bay on Whitsunday Island.
Daily water taxis depart from Shute Harbour, Daydream Island, Hamilton Island and 4 other island destinations. There are even camping packages including all your equipment, food, and camping permits available for purchase if you choose to stay overnight on Whitsunday Island.

Scamper is another company that transfers campers to Whitehaven Beach, Carin Beach or Chance Bay on Whitsunday Island. The Scamper boat does not operate on a timetable so all transfers must be pre-booked and camping equipment is available for hire if you need it. Scamper even offers you the opportunity to hire a sea kayak to take with you so you can paddle between island campsites!

tents set up on the sand next to the forest on Whitsunday Island


There are many ways to get to Whitsunday Island and each is a unique adventure. Live chat with our local travel agents if you need any help planning your trip!

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