Best Beaches in the Whitsunday Islands
Australia's Whitsunday Islands are home to some of the world's most spectacular beaches
Looking for the best beaches in Australia? You’ll want to head to the Whitsunday Islands.
The exclusive island chain – located off the coast of Queensland – are a favorite stopover on Australia yacht charters. Yet, the islands are also home to some of the country’s – if not the world’s – most spectacular beaches. From Whitehaven Beach, which consistently ranks as the No. 1 beach in Australia, to remote outposts like Butterfly Bay, when you visit the Whitsundays you’ll find immaculate beaches wherever you go.
Which beaches are must-sees? These are six of the best beaches in the Whitsunday Islands that are well worth the trip.
- Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island
This 7-kilometer stretch of coast is named Australia’s best beach year after year. And that makes sense. The beach is stunningly gorgeous, and it’s surrounded by a vast, uninhabited jungle.
Known for its soft, yellow silica dunes – that stretch for as far as the key can see – and sapphire waters, the beach is popular for relaxing and soaking up the sun. What’s more, the beach is the center of the Whitsundays. Nearby you’ll find access to every type of adventure imaginable, from sea plane tours, to deep sea fishing excursions.
Highlights: Head to the Tongue Point outlook for a short hike. At the top you’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views of the beach below. At Whitehaven, plan on a beach day. The water’s always warm, and thanks to the barrier reef, it’s perfect for water sports.
- Catseye Beach, Hamilton Island
Located a short trip from Whitehaven on nearby Hamilton Island, Catseye Beach is well-known for its palm-lined beachfront. The palms give this stretch of sand a more relaxed vibe. Beach shacks serving fruity cocktails are all nearby, and hammocks hang in the trees. That makes Catseye the perfect spot for some R&R.
Looking for a bit more adventure? Although the beach is known for its loungy vibe, it’s also a favorite destination for water sports. Many head to the well-shaded beach for paddleboarding, kayaking, and windsurfing.
Highlights: Catseye is a favorite spot for snorkelers too. The easy surf makes it perfect for lazy snorkeling sessions. The reef just offshore is home to tropical fish, sea turtles and more.
- Sunlovers Beach, Daydream Island
Sunlovers might just be the most perfect name for a beach. And this stretch of sand on Daydream Island earns its name. The tiny island is located near mainland Queensland, just 3 miles offshore. Yet, the island and beach have a remote feel, and the beach is a favorite for a quiet, relaxing adventure.
You’ll find great snorkeling, here, or and it’s also a spot for soaking up the sun. As its protected by the nearby South Molle Island, the waves at Sunlovers rarely get above 2 to 3 feet, and that makes it a perfect snorkel spot for the nearby corals.
Highlights: The corals near Sunlovers Beach are home to more than 40 marine fish species; snorkelers are rewarded with bright, showy displays. Plus, the Daydream Island Resort is your source for excellent cuisine and accommodations.
- Blue Pearl Bay, Hayman Island
Looking for a beach day full of adventure? Head to Blue Pearl Bay on Hayman Island. Known for its stunningly beautiful coral beaches – reachable only by private boat – the Bay is a snorkeler’s paradise. The coral gardens, located just offshore, are teeming with life and put on an amazing display of biodiversity. If you’d rather relax, a few sandy pockets back up to jungle, providing the perfect cover for working on your tan or an afternoon picnic. Plus, with numerous hidden outposts to explore, like nearby Dolphin Point, your afternoon on the Bay will be packed with exploration.
Highlights: Dolphin Point is a must-see. A short hike from Blue Pearl, the lookout provides all-star views of the immaculate coast and Great Barrier Reef. Be sure to bring snorkel gear too. The coral gardens are easily accessible, and offer adventure for snorkelers of all skill levels.
- Butterfly Bay, Hook Island
Butterfly Bay – aptly named for the thousands of butterflies that flock to the bay in winter – is home to some of the most secluded beaches in the Whitsundays. The bay is reachable only by boat, and the bay’s calm waters offers some of the best bareboat anchorage on Hook Island.
Many come for the seclusion. A few horseshoe-shaped pockets of sand dot the coastline, and provide perfect spots for afternoon lounging. Yet, the bay is also home to some beautiful coral gardens; you’ll find the best bommie in the center of the bay.
Highlights: Come in winter for the beautiful show of butterflies. Also, the bommie in the center of the bay is rich in biodiversity, making it one of the best snorkel spots on Hook Island.
- Chalkies Beach, Haselwood Island
Located near the popular Whitehaven Beach, just across Hill Inlet, Chalkies offers many of the same delights, without the crowds. This beach is a favorite of snorkelers. Coral gardens just off the beach are perfect for glimpsing Hawksbill and green turtle, both of which populate the waters nearby.
Plus, it’s the perfect destination for a sunset cocktail. The sun sets over adjacent Whitsunday Island, putting on a dazzling show. Chances are, you’ll be one of just a few there to witness it.
Highlights: If you want to see turtles while snorkeling in the Whitsundays, go to Chalkies Beach! The large turtle populations feed on the seagrass nearby. Also, it’s best for seclusion. If Whitehaven looks crowded, you’ll find tranquility here.
Visit all of these beautiful beaches during a yacht charter in the Whitsundays. Worldwide Boat offers a variety of Australian yacht charters across the Great Barrier Reef. Start planning your dream vacation today!