Kayak on Whitehaven Beach

5 incredible ways to experience Australia’s best beach

With beaches like ours, we don’t like to pick favourites. But it’s hard to look past Whitehaven Beach when it comes to Queensland’s best swimming hole. The iconic Whitsundays stretch is a picturesque mass of alabaster sands, where crystalline waters lap up against the shore.

It’s not just locals like us who remain impressed by its sheer beauty. When Captain Cook first sailed the district back in 1770, he dubbed it holy, naming it Whitsunday in ode the seventh Sunday after Easter. And nothing’s changed; Whitehaven has officially been crowned the best beach in Australia, courtesy of its seven kilometres of snow white sand, and water that feels more like a bath at 26 degrees on average.

But Whitehaven isn’t one-dimensional. There’s a handful of different ways to experience this Whitsundays icon. Why don’t you…

Fly

Air Whitsundays | Whitehaven Beach Whitsundays

Gaze out over the Whitsundays courtesy of Air Whitsundays Seaplanes who will fly you from Airlie Beach to Whitehaven. This is one commute you won’t complain about; a half day moseying your way around the idyllic Whitsundays.

Operating for more than 45 years, the team know the Great Barrier Reef like the back of their hand. Take a front row seat, and ingest some of the best views of the district before landing in Whitehaven where you’ll be free to explore, and cool off with a dip in the azure waters.

Race

Oceanrafting

Image by @oceanrafting

Unleash your inner adrenaline junkie with a voyage via jet boat. Ocean Rafting will show you how it’s done; hop aboard one of the company’s fleet as you take on a high-speed chase across the sea. It’s not just the pace that’s the specialty here: expect to see a different side of the Whitsundays.

The multi-award-winning tour group prides itself on showcasing the untouched islands in the Whitsunday Group. Snorkel your way in the protected zones of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, culminating in a visit to Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet. Don’t like the idea of group expeditions? Don’t worry the numbers here are capped at 32.

Those who don’t have the patience for exploration can head straight to Red Cat Adventures. The touring group’s Thundercat is a 300-horsepower jet boat that wouldn’t be out of place on a race track.

Paddle

If you have a penchant for taking your time there’s no better way to traverse the Whitsundays than by kayak. Glide your way through the calm waters of the 70 islands in the Whitsunday Island group collection, the largest offshore island chain on the east coast of Australia.

Salty Dog Sea Kayaking will guide you on a six-day tour which explores the larger Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in detail. Departing from Airlie Beach, your adventure begins with a short water taxi ride to Whitehaven Beach, where you’ll spend the night. On daybreak you’ll begin your waterborne adventure, paddling the reef to your final destination of Langford Island.

Or you can choose to take things at your own pace. Salty Dog Sea Kayaking welcomes experienced kayakers to enjoy the freedom kayak rental. Double and single sea kayaks are available for hire, alongside camping and snorkelling gear. The team area also on hand to share their knowledge of the island.

Sail

Whitehaven Beach Whitsundays bareboat

If captaining your own ship to Whitehaven sounds up your alley, then sailing your way around the Whitsundays is the way to go. Perhaps you boast your own vessel, or if not collect yourself a crew (or hire them for the journey) to charter a course around the 73 Whitsunday islands, stopping for a breather on Whitehaven Beach.

Don’t let a lack of sailing license stop you. The Whitsundays is the only place in the world where you can rent a multi-million-dollar boat without one. Just don’t forget to do your research prior to hoisting the sails.

Cruise

Those feeling a little more indulgent can embrace a life of luxury with a cruise to Whitehaven Beach.

There’s little to regret about the many opulent options available with Cruise Whitsundays which will see you whisked off to the alabaster sands of Whitehaven Beach for a day to remember. Partner your commute to and from the beach with a glass of Champagne (or two), and prepare to be greeted on arrival by a picnic on those famous white sands.