Whitehaven Beach is the renowned for being the most beautiful beach in Queensland, and certainly the most photographed. With crystal clear waters and pristine sand, Whitehaven Beach stretches over seven kilometres along Whitsunday Island – the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays.
Given it’s reputation the beach can be ‘busy’ with visiting yachts, backpacker day trips and the like but note that busy is a relative term – we’re not talking ‘busy’ like the UK’s Bournemouth beach on a sunny summer’s day, when every square inch of sand is crowded with towels, windbreaks and bodies. ‘Busy’ here means a few groups of 15-20 people and some smaller groups and couples, scattered along several kilometres of pristine National Park beach.
If you are up for a walk to Whitehaven, then the walk over from Chance Bay is a great option – just a few kilometres, gently undulating through eucalypt forest and emerging young rainforest plants. It’s enough to work up a sweat and look forward to a swim. There were no views en route – the payoff is all when you get there.
And what a payoff it is! Whitehaven really is beautiful – a huge arching beach, backed by unspoilt forest, with fine white sand and the most enticing clear turquoise waters. Swimming after even a short walk in tropical heat is a delicious experience.
Camping there would be a good way to hog its beauty to yourself for at least some of the time – the early mornings and early evenings when the daytrippers have gone would be pretty special. Even during the day, the campsite is right down at the southern end of the beach and a fair distance away from where most of the day trippers and overnighting yachts would likely be. There is space for approximately 30 campers, including a separate area for a large group. When purchasing your permit you could ask how many others have booked in, so at least you know what to expect. Note: sandflies can be prevalent at certain times of the year.
For a lot of people, Whitehaven might be one of the only places they visit in the Whitsundays, and whilst the aesthetics and the swimming were perfect, the vast expanse of beach doesn’t have quite the same charm as more secluded, smaller beachs such as Dugong Beach on the west side of Whitsunday Island.