The Whitsundays & Hamilton Island RECOMMENDATIONS See all

Top Beaches in the Whitsundays

By Viator, March 2018

4.5 21 Reviews | Add your review

Forget Bondi, Manly or even the Gold Coast. The best beaches in Australia aren’t at these admittedly iconic sites. No, they’re further north, surrounded by turquoise waters and teeming reefs, on islands covered by rainforest. The Whitsunday Islands host some of the most beautiful beaches of the world, and these are some of their best:

Airlie Beach is the gateway to the Whitsundays. This is where you’ll drive, land or be dropped for you island adventures. Stop in Airlie Beach to join your sailing tour, peruse the yacht rentals for a more private adventure, or make your connection to one of the resort islands in the archipelago right offshore. Though the beach at Airlie is deceptively not great for swimming the man-made lagoon is beautifully landscaped and patrolled by lifeguards. Take a picnic down and swim for an afternoon, you won’t regret it. Taking a walk along the marina – the yachts lined up are an interesting sight.

If you haven’t heard of the Whitsunday Islands, odds are you’ve heard of, or at least seen, Whitehaven Beach. Whitehaven is the picture perfect postcard beach shot. Almost 5km of fine, white, powdery sand that disappears under crystal clear water that fades to deep aqua make Whitehaven Beach the most visited beach in the Whitsunday Islands group. It’s well worth joining a small tour to visit the beach, or charter a boat yourself, to be able to move away from the large tourist crowds. Even the hordes that can descend on the beach during peak season can’t detract from the beach’s beauty, but if they prove too much you can always hop on a helicopter tour and experience the beauty of Whitehaven Beach from the air.

Hamilton Island is the Whitsundays’ premier resort island, and Catseye Beach is the quintessential resort beach. With access to resort facilities, Catseye is only minutes from both creature comforts and the wild outdoors. Pool lounges are set up right on the sand, and a multitude of watersport equipment is available to hire, from snorkelling gear to paddle boards and even catamarans for a mini sailing experience.

The Whitsundays, aside from their resorts and accessibility, are known for their pockets of wilderness. Very few of the islands in the archipelago have developments on them, and by exploring them by boat – be it a tour or self-charter – opens up a world of private beaches and islands large to small. Pebble Beach on Hook Island is one of those beaches. The island itself is a rugged national park with spectacular lookouts and a small resort, and, like all the islands in the Whitsundays, surrounded by reef. Pebble Beach is just one of the beaches on Hook Island but offers the best snorkelling of the surrounding reef.

Tours & Tickets

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Whitehaven Beach Half-Day Cruises, The Whitsundays & Hamilton Island, null
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Whitehaven Beach Half-Day Cruises

4.5 star rating: Recommended 37 Reviews

Enjoy relaxing on the pure white sand of Whitehaven Beach. You can walk along the seven kilometer stretch of natural silica sand, swim in crystal clear water ...  Read more

Location: Whitsundays, Australia
Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $85.11
Whitehaven Beach and Hamilton Island Cruise, Airlie Beach, Day Cruises
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Whitehaven Beach and Hamilton Island Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 33 Reviews

The only way to experience one of the world's best beaches and the Whitsundays largest resort island is in style and comfort aboard a large, high-speed and ...  Read more

Location: Whitsundays, Airlie Beach, Australia
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $144.46
Whitsunday Islands Sailing Adventure, The Whitsundays & Hamilton Island, Day Cruises
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Whitsunday Islands Sailing Adventure

4.5 star rating: Recommended 28 Reviews

Sail through the Whitsunday Islands and explore magnificent Whitehaven Beach, voted one of the world's best beaches on this full-day sailing adventure from ...  Read more

Location: Whitsundays, Australia
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $155.39
Whitehaven Beach Cruise Including Hill Inlet Walk, The Whitsundays & Hamilton Island, Sailing ... 
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Whitehaven Beach Cruise Including Hill Inlet Walk

4.5 star rating: Recommended 32 Reviews

Spend a full day exploring Whitehaven beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Whitsunday Islands. You’ll enjoy a guided hike to Solway Circuit Lookout ...  Read more

Location: Whitsundays, Australia
Duration: 11 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $178.82
Whitsundays Seaplane Tours, The Whitsundays & Hamilton Island, Day Cruises
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Whitsundays Seaplane Tours

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 14 Reviews

Take in remarkable views of the Whitsunday Islands on a scenic flight by seaplane. Choose from five flight options to fly over this stunning part of the Great ...  Read more

Location: Whitsundays, Australia
Duration: Varies

From USD $230.36
Whitehaven Beach: Barbecue, Hill Inlet Lookout Bushwalk, Snorkeling, The Whitsundays & Hamilton ... 
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Whitehaven Beach: Barbecue, Hill Inlet Lookout Bushwalk, Snorkeling

4.5 star rating: Recommended 10 Reviews

Join a Whitehaven Beach day trip with Whitehaven Xpress, a family operated full day trip with snorkeling, swimming, bush-walking and Whitehaven Beach BBQ. ...  Read more

Location: Airlie Beach, Australia
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $144.46
Whitsundays Jet Ski Tour, The Whitsundays & Hamilton Island, Snorkeling
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Whitsundays Jet Ski Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 11 Reviews

Take a guided Jet Ski tour of the gorgeous Whitsunday Islands, departing from mainland Airlie Beach! Choose a shorter morning or afternoon tour around Pioneer ...  Read more

Location: Whitsundays, Australia
Duration: Varies

From USD $74.18
Whitehaven Beach Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise, The Whitsundays & Hamilton Island, Waterskiing ... 
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Whitehaven Beach Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

Sail the Whitsundays in a 62-ft gaff rigged schooner. Help out with the sails or chill on deck as the sails fill in the breeze. Head for the Whitsundays' ...  Read more

Location: Airlie Beach, Australia
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $131.97
Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet Lookout Full-Day Snorkeling Cruise by High-Speed Catamaran, The ... 
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Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet Lookout Full-Day Snorkeling Cruise by High-Speed Catamaran

4.5 star rating: Recommended 9 Reviews

Take an exhilarating cruise in the Whitsundays on board an amazing high-speed ocean-going catamaran. The vessel is designed for stability and speed and ensures ...  Read more

Location: Whitsundays, Australia
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $139.78
Tallship Sailing and Snorkeling Adventure from the Whitsundays, The Whitsundays & Hamilton ... 
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Tallship Sailing and Snorkeling Adventure from the Whitsundays

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

Spend the day at sea, sailing, snorkeling, beachcombing and enjoying the Whitsunday Islands' spectacular natural beauty. Go snorkeling at a protected beach and ...  Read more

Location: Whitsundays, Australia
Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $152.27

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