10 stunning aerial photographs of the Whitsunday Islands

With 74 islands sitting pretty off the Queensland coast, the Whitsunday Islands are perfection for anyone looking to capture incredible aerial landscape photos.

Opting to take a helicopter or seaplane rather than a boat gives you a bird’s-eye view of the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands.

Words can’t describe the beauty of seeing the colours and patterns of the coral reef sparkle as the shades of blue graduate from shallow to deep water… and flying over Whitehaven Beach is a moment that takes your breath away. The sand formations and swirls of Hill Inlet are a once-in-a-lifetime view!

Take a peek at the Wandering Lens’ journey flying over the magical Whitsunday Islands! And if you’re a camera-wielding novice check out these handy tips to make the most of your aerial adventures.

1. Hill Inlet, Whitehaven Beach

Hill Inlet, Whitehaven Beach | Whitsunday Islands

Hill Inlet is a natural wonder of sand swirls and turquoise water.

2. Bali Hai (also known as Black Island)

Bali Hai Island and it's spectacular fringing reef is an ideal spot for snorkelling | Whitsunday IslandsThe spectacular ringing reef of Bali Hai is an ideal spot for snorkelling.

3. Hardy Reef

Hardy Reef | Whitsunday Islands

Hardy Reef is one sparkling sight from the air with coral outcrops appearing out of the deep blue sea.

4. Langford Island

Langford Reef | Whitsunday Islands

A dreamy paradise where sand meets the reef. Soak up the sunshine after a snorkel at Langford Island.

5. Tidal sand patterns

Hill Inlet | Whitsunday Islands

The tidal sand patterns of Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach are a stunning natural sight from the air.

6. Dumbell Island

Dumbell Island | Whitsunday Islands

Dumbell Island is a hidden gem that abounds with reef fish and hiking adventures just opposite Whitsunday Island.

7. Hook Island

Hook Island | Whitsunday Islands

Where the rainforest meets the reef, Hook Island is the second largest of the Whitsunday Group.

8. The Great Barrier Reef

Hardy Reef | Whitsunday Islands

The outer Great Barrier Reef is just a short 15-minute helicopter or seaplane flight from the Whitsunday Islands, and it’s definitely worth splurging to see this amazing natural wonder from the air once in your life!

9. Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach | Whitsunday Islands

Whitehaven Beach is always at the top of the world’s best beaches lists and it’s not hard to see why. White silica sand and gleaming clear water greets visitors arriving by boat or glamorously landing on the shores by helicopter or seaplane.

10. Heart Reef

Heart Reef | Whitsunday Islands

Few natural formations can compare to the beauty of Heart Reef. A hotspot for romance, this little gem sits amongst Hardy Reef and is best seen from the air!

PS. If you’re staying in Airlie Beach for your Whitsunday Islands adventure be sure to check out these great eats.

Are you keen to try your hand at aerial photography?

*This post was first published in 2015 and updated in August 2018.