Although it doesn’t have any resort or hotel accommodation, Whitsunday Island is hugely popular with day visitors due partly to having the best beach of all the Whitsunday Islands – the truly gorgeous Whitehaven Beach.
Believe the hype: Whitehaven Beach is an absolute stunner with more than six kilometres of bright white silica sand, and in 2010 CNN declared it the top Eco Friendly Beach too. It’s clear to see why it is a popular choice for wedding ceremonies too.
The largest island of all the Whitsundays with a mass of just over 275 km2, Whitsunday Island is easy to get to as part of the boat tours that visit a number of islands in one day, from Hamilton Island and from Shute Harbour on the mainland.
Apart from the beach there are some very rewarding walks to be enjoyed, and there are also some ok spots for snorkeling and diving as well. The picturesque Cid Harbour is a particularly popular place to visit, and you are reasonably fit a trek to the top of Whitsunday Peak will reward you with spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding Whitsundays. If you don’t take a camera you will kick yourself.
Camping is possible in six locations on Whitsunday Island including Dugong Beach, Joe’s Beach and Chance Bay. The campgrounds vary in capacity and facilities, and are all regulated by the Queensland Government National Parks office.
Camping permits are required and fees are payable: you can get more information on camping at the official Queensland government website here.
You can visit Whitehaven Beach from Airlie Beach as a half day or full day trip. If you opt for the full day, your tour will usually involve a visit to another of the Whitsundays: depending on the company you use it may be Hamilton Island or even Hook Island.
Whitehaven Beach has won numerous “best kept”/”most beautiful” beach awards and it is important for visitors to help preserve it’s beauty by taking any rubbish with them when they leave, and also by not keeping any mementos like shells or stones.