It is one of those unreal screensaver pictures you see on your old computer. You gaze at them and are sure, that they are too beautiful too be true. Well, let me tell you, there is a place in Queensland, Australia, that looks probably more beautiful than in your wildest imagination and exists in real life. It is called Whitehaven Beach. Australia’s most beautiful beach. Period.
How to get there:
Whether you are coming from Cairns, Northern Queensland, or from Brisbane in the south, to experience the Whitsunday Islands to the fullest, you’ll need to go to Airlie Beach. It is a small town, that has actually nothing to offer. The surrounding nature is the reason why anyone would come to Airlie. It is a 11 hours bus ride from Cairns that costs about 50 to 60 AUD. If you are coming from the south I definitely recommend flying into Mackay or Proserpine Airport, as one way tickets are really cheap. Bus rides will take anywhere from 15 to 48 hours, depending how south you are and will cost you around twice the money.
How to get the most out of the Islands:
There are different ways to experience Whitehaven Beach and the islands. First of all, there are day trips. Those trips have some sort of fast boats, that need 45-60min from Airlie Harbour to Whitehaven Beach, which is the only part you want to go to, if you’re on a day trip. If you book such a tour, make sure you’ll get a boat that leaves very early. Make sure the boat’s arrival is no later than 10 or 11am on Whitehaven Beach, because the tide’s going up very quickly and swallows all the sand banks in between. Plus, the later you arrive, the more people will be there already and that kind of sucks. You want to experience paradise with only a small amount of people, instead of hundreds of people. Prices for day trips vary from 90 to 150 AUD.
Then there are scenic flights. Helicopters and small airplanes start throughout the day and are your constant companion around Whitehaven. BUT, let me tell you, DO NOT do a scenic flight tour, if you haven’t been down there already. Because if you are up there in this plane or helicopter and see this amazing white beach, the turquoise waters with people laying in between and jumping around like fools, you’ll hate yourself for having a seatbelt fastened around you. Trust me on that one.
How I visited the Whitsundays, how I would recommend it to anyone and how I would definitely do it over and over again is a sailing cruise for 3 days and 2 nights. There are tons of companies in Airlie Beach offering different kind of tours. You could easily do a 2 days and 1 night tour to see the main areas of the Whitsundays, but to really dive into the beauty of the Whitsundays I highly recommend a 3 days and 2 nights cruise. You get to know the people on your boat a lot better, you get to snorkel or dive around nice spots and the most important part of your trip- you get to wake up with your boat anchored near to Whitehaven Beach.
Visiting Whitehaven Beach will be the first thing on your itinerary in the morning and you get to be there before everyone else. The tide’s pretty low, the sun is not as strong as it will become around noon and you’ll have tons of time to spend around Whitehaven Beach.
These longer trips can cost up to 400 AUD, but if you are lucky, some company is still looking for someone to fill up empty places on the boat and you’ll get prices around 250-300 AUD, which is a really good price. I recommend going into a travel agent’s office in Airlie and ask which company might has an offer less than usual at the moment. It will work wonders.
Enough talking now…. take a look below and see why you will want to spend your next vacation at the Whitsunday Islands!
When visiting Australia don’t even try to see it all on one trip. Everyone will tell you that. But when you do go to Australia make sure that the Whitsunday Islands are very high up on your to-do list! It’s Australia’s most beautiful beach, one of world’s finest beaches and you won’t be disappointed, if you take your time to go there. I consider this trip to the Whitsundays as one of the coolest travel experiences I ever had.