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Is There A Ferry To Whitehaven Beach?

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Gabby Boucher
Updated Thu 06 Jul 2023

For those wondering if there is a ferry to Whitehaven Beach, there are lots of day trips by boat that stop at Whitehaven Beach but there is no public ferry. When people talk about a ferry to Whitehaven Beach, they are referring to a day tour that travels to and from the beach. You can only book with private boat companies, as there is no public ferry terminal on Whitsunday Island

This article will explore the different options for catching a boat ride over to Whitehaven Beach! Ferries to Whitehaven Beach depart daily with numerous different tour boat companies, and they leave from either Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island

aerial view of Whitehaven Beach

Is There A Ferry To Whitehaven Beach?

There is no public ferry to Whitehaven Beach, but there are numerous day trips with various boat companies that head to and from this picturesque spot every day. Although Whitehaven Beach is one of Australia’s most famous travel destinations, it is still very remote. There are no facilities there besides public toilets, and there is no ferry terminal. 

Whitehaven Beach is also part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which is a World Heritage Site. That means the area is protected, and developments are kept to a minimum in order to preserve the nature and wildlife. So the only way to get to Whitehaven Beach is by visiting with a licensed local tour company or chartering your own boat

There are lots of local tour boats that bring passengers to and from Whitehaven Beach daily. Most tours will pick you up in Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island, bring you over to Whitehaven Beach for snorkeling, hiking to Hill Inlet Lookout, and relaxing on the beach, and then return you to your original destination at the end of the day. Or you can join an overnight sailing tour that includes Whitehaven in its jam-packed itinerary of 2 or 3 days. 

Here are a handful of our most popular Whitehaven Beach tours!

people walking on beach

Airlie Beach To Whitehaven Beach Ferry

The most common way to get to Whitehaven Beach is by booking a boat tour from Airlie Beach. This charming town on the Australian mainland is just 30km away from the dazzling white silica sands of Whitehaven Beach.

The easiest way to get to Whitehaven Beach is by flying into Proserpine Airport, taking a bus or taxi to Airlie Beach, and then boarding a boat from either Coral Sea Marina, Shute Harbor, or Port of Airlie. Here are the most popular boats you can take from Airlie Beach to Whitehaven Beach

people at hill inlet lookout

Whitsunday Bullet

Whitsunday Bullet is one of the fastest ways to get to Whitehaven Beach. The boat departs from the Coral Sea Marina at 8:30 am and returns at 4:30 pm. This high-speed catamaran glides smoothly over the ocean and brings you to the iconic beach in no time. Snorkel gear, paddleboards, and lunch are all included so you can enjoy an epic day on Whitehaven Beach!

two people on a paddleboard

Whitehaven Xpress

Whitehaven Xpress departs the Coral Sea Marina at 8:45 am daily and returns at 5 pm. You can spend 3 full hours exploring Whitehaven Beach and go on guided bushwalks up to Hill Inlet Lookout and Whitehaven Beach Lookout. A classic Aussie BBQ lunch is included!

boat on the water

Sealink: Big Island Day Trip or Purely Whitehaven 

Another one of the top-rated boats to Whitehaven Beach is Sealink. The Big Island Day Trip departs from Shute Harbor at 9 am and embarks on a leisurely sail around the Whitsundays. This is a great way to see the glorious sights of the islands before stopping at Whitehaven. Sealink also offers a Purely Whitehaven half-day trip that departs from Shute Harbor at 12:30 pm. This is the best option for travellers who are short on time and just want to see Whitehaven Beach quickly!

family on the beach

Ocean Rafting: Southern Lights or Northern Exposure

Ocean Rafting is another comfortable and fun boat that travels daily from Airlie Beach to Whitehaven Beach. Southern Lights departs from Coral Sea Marina at 10 am and provides you with an amazing day of exploring at Whitehaven Beach. Northern Exposure departs at 8:45 am and stops at some extra snorkeling locations

ocean rafting tour in the ocean

Hamilton Island To Whitehaven Beach Ferry

Travelers can also book a boat from Hamilton Island to Whitehaven Beach. Hamilton Island is one of the most visited islands in the Whitsundays, and it is well-developed so it has its own ferry terminal and airport. You can get an easy ferry from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island as well. 

The easiest and quickest Hamilton Island to Whitehaven Beach ferry is either the half-day morning tour or the half-day afternoon tour with Cruise Whitsundays. Both options can get you from Hamilton Island to Whitehaven Beach in 30 minutes! Then you can enjoy 1.5-2 hours exploring the beach at your leisure. 

If you want a longer visit to Whitehaven Beach, you can book the Whitehaven Beach Chill and Grill with Cruise Whitsundays. This tour departs Hamilton Island at 8:30 and returns at 5 pm, so you have up to 6 hours to soak in the beauty of Whitehaven Beach!

boat in a ferry terminal

Ready to book your day trip to Whitehaven Beach? Call us on +61 7 4914 2425 or chat with us online with any questions!

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