This post may contain compensated links. Please read our disclaimer for additional information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

(This post about our Whitehaven Beach Day Trip was updated in March 2019)

 

Paradise. That one word sums up our Whitehaven Beach Day Trip with Cruise Whitsundays. 

Consistently named as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world Whitehaven Beach with its pure white sand and stunning location is a must-visit destination for people in Australia and across the world.

Whitehaven Beach is found in the Whitsunday Islands,  a group of 74 tropical islands off the Queensland Coast in Australia.

After looking at various Whitehaven beach tours from Airlie Beach we decided to take a half-day trip with Cruise Whitsundays. This option suited us as we were restricted by other commitments. A day trip to Whitehaven beach was all we could manage to fit in but we were still eager to visit.

If you are considering which day cruise to take out to the beach this guide will give you an idea of what to expect from the Cruise Whitsundays half-day tour as well as tips to ensure you make the most of your day.

 

 


CHECK – IN AT 6.30 AM


Check-in is at the Cruise Whitsundays Maritime Terminal. For the half-day morning cruise check-in is at 6.30 am (there is an afternoon Whitehaven beach tour available too). Parking is available at the terminal. It cost us $6 for 12 hours and there was plenty of spaces available at 6.30 am when we arrived.

If you don’t have time to eat breakfast prior to check-in there is a cafe at the terminal.

We boarded the Cruise Whitsundays boat at 6.45 and were met by a very friendly and approachable crew.

We were kept us informed of the itinerary during the day . The crew were also very knowledgable and told us lots of interesting information about the islands as we sailed through.

The boat stops at Hamilton Island to pick up more passengers and then sails directly to Whitehaven Beach.

Due to the possibility of stingers we were all offered a stinger suit if we wanted it before arriving at the beach.

 

 


ARRIVING AT WHITEHAVEN BEACH


After arriving at Whitehaven you transfer to the beach on a smaller boat.

First steps on the pure white sand of the beach are magical.  The sand is 98% pure white silica and felts like no sand I have stood on before. It is so fine it is possible to clean  jewellery with it. It also does a great job of  exfoliating feet. Make sure you keep phones and cameras away from the sand as it will scratch surfaces.

Transferring from the boat to Whitehaven Beach

Once everyone is on the beach the Cruise Whitsundays crew will set up a covered area on the beach where you can get water when you need it. We had bought sandwiches and snacks on the boat to eat on the beach though the seagulls were a slight problem.

If you are on the half-day trip there is 2 1/2 hours to enjoy the beach before transferring back to the boat. We visited in early September and although it was hot it wasn’t unbearable. I would be concerned about the lack of shade if visiting in the summer months.

Beautiful white sands and clear seas of Whitehaven Beach

 


THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU VISIT WHITEHAVEN BEACH


The white silica sands stretch for over 7 kms along Whitsunday Island. The sand is truly dazzling and combine that with the crystal clear water and you will feel like you are in paradise. There is plenty of space to put down your towel and enjoy the views – relax, chill out and enjoy your time on the island.

Sunbathe!

Swim!

Take a stroll along the beach!

Seaplane and boats at Whitehaven Beach

 

Keep an eye out for the seaplanes which land and take off just beside the beach!

Snorkel!

Check out the local wildlife!

 

Whitsunday Islands National Park

 


RETURNING TO AIRLIE BEACH


Once the 2 1/2 hours is up everyone transfers back to the main boat. Make sure to shake yourself, bags, shoes etc and leave the sand at the beach rather than take it with you. Your feet will be washed as you get back on the boat to remove any last grains.

During the return journey refreshments and cakes and biscuits were available.

The boat heads back to Hamilton Island where you change to another boat for the return trip to Airlie Port. Arrival time was approximately 1.45 pm.

 

 


INFORMATION POINT

TIPS TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR WHITEHAVEN BEACH DAY TRIP


  • Check out the Cruise Whitsundays website for up-to-date information and bookings for a Whitsunday island tour.
  • The morning half-day trip costs $115 each (per adult) and $55 each for children aged 4-14.
  • Complimentary coffee and tea is available on the boat throughout the cruise.
  • Sandwiches, crisps and snacks are available to buy during the cruise as well as soft drinks, beers and wine.
  • Whale watching! Keep an eye out for whales between June and November. Humpback whales migrate from Antarctica every year to give birth in the warm waters off tropical Queensland.
  • Remember to take your swimsuit, towels and suncream!
  • There are toilets accessible just behind the beach.
  • Check out this fabulous guide if you are planning to snorkel and want to know what gear you need – it tells you everything you need to know!

 

aerial shot of whitehaven beach

 


WHERE TO STAY WHEN VISITING WHITSUNDAYS – ACCOMMODATION IN AIRLIE BEACH


We spent an evening in Airlie Beach before travelling to Whitehaven Beach. We chose to stay at a more budget style accommodation as we arrived late and were leaving early the next morning.

Bush Village Budget Cabins were clean, comfortable and exactly what we were looking for when we stayed in Airlie.

 

CLICK HERE to make your own booking at the BUSH VILLAGE BUDGET CABINS perfect for budget conscious couples and families.

 

Whitehaven Beach Day Trip - BUSH CABINS IN AIRLIE BEACH

 


OTHER TOURS TO CONSIDER OF YOU HAVE LESS (OR MORE!) TIME TO VISIT THE WHITSUNDAYS


  • From Airlie Beach: 1-Hour Whitsunday Islands Scenic Flight

Why not FLY over the Whitsundays? This one hour scenic flight will give you the opportunity to admire the Great Barrier Reef from above. See the world famous Heart Reef one of the most iconic sights in Australia.

»CLICK TO BOOK YOUR SCENIC FLIGHT OVER THE WHITSUNDAYS – A ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE!

  • Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour from Port of Airlie

Want to see more of the reef? Why not join this 10 hour trip to a pontoon on the outer reef area. Enjoy a day swimming, snorkel or jump on the semi-submersible boat.

»CLICK TO BOOK YOUR FULL DAY TOUR OF THE REEF FROM AIRLIE BEACH

  • Whitsunday Helicopter Tour: Flight + Whitehaven Landing

And the ultimate way to see the Reef, islands and enjoy a day at the beach? Take a helicopter ride of course!! I actually have a friend who did this and loved it so this is definitely on our itinerary next visit. Why not treat that special someone in your life to a day they will never forget?

»CLICK TO BOOK THE ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE – A HELICOPTER TRIP OVER THE REEF AND LANDING ON WHITEHAVEN BEACH!

 

Heart reef and Whitehaven beach
Photographs courtesy of K Partridge – taken from a helicopter on the way to Whitehaven Beach!

 


ESSENTIAL INFORMATION ABOUT WHITEHAVEN BEACH QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA


Where is Whitehaven Beach?

Whitehaven Beach is located on Whitsunday Island the largest of the islands that comprise the ‘Whitsundays” off the east coast of Australia. The nearest town is Airlie Beach.

How to get to Whitehaven Beach?

There are numerous tour companies offering day trips to the beach. Take your pick between boat/plane/helicopter!

When is the best time of year to visit Whitehaven Beach?

Marine stingers may be present in the waters of tropical Queensland all year round but may be more prevalent from October to May. We visited in early September and chose not to wear stinger suits but you do so at your own risk. Due to the hotter, wetter weather between those months I would recommend visiting between June and September.

 

Helicopter tour to Whitehaven Beach
Photographs courtesy of K Partridge who had an amazing helicopter trip to Whitehaven Beach!

 


UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE – THE GREAT BARRIER REEF


UNESCO World Heritage Site

When you are visiting Whitehaven Beach and the Whitsundays you find yourself in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981.

Click here to read the listing on the UNESCO World Heritage Site 

 


FURTHER INFORMATION FOR VISITING QUEENSLAND


I have lots of posts all about visiting Australia and a number of these are focussed on the beautiful state of Queensland. With an enviable climate, wonderful wildlife, stunning beaches if Queensland is your destination these posts will help you get the best of your visit! If you are seeking some inspiration these 15 photographs will have you booking the next flight!

 

 

 

 

  • Other places to visit in the region of Airlie Beach are Bowen and Mackay.

 

 

 

PIN FOR LATER! WHITEHAVEN BEACH DAY TRIP

VISITING WHITEHAVEN BEACH IN THE WHITSUNDAYS VISITING WHITEHAVEN BEACH IN THE WHITSUNDAYS

YOU MAY ENJOY THESE POSTS TOO!

 

READ MORE
101 Things to Know When Visiting Australia

READ MORE
An unforgettable day with Brisbane Whale Watching

READ MORE
Top 5 things to do in Bowen Queensland

 

CLICK HERE FOR EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO MY RESOURCE LIBRARY

subscription page

 



Author: Tracy

Over the last 50 years I have lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to many more. I enjoy exploring and learning about new places and meeting people on my travels. History, reading, photography, nature and wildlife are my interests and I am ALWAYS researching and planning my next trip (preferably by train)

With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, I share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help YOU travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Come and join me as I travel the world one country (and train journey) at a time!

This post may contain compensated links. Please read our disclaimer for additional information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

33 thoughts on “A review of our Whitehaven Beach Day Trip with Cruise Whitsundays

  1. Lorelle says:

    Great post. Although it’s not far from Melbourne to Qld we have never visited the Whitsundays. Another one on the bucket list. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 #CittyTripping

  2. Linda Tallett says:

    And I thought the Maldives were the only paradise ? Great post Tracy, looks fab. Yet another place for the bucket list ???

  3. Angie FeetDoTravel says:

    I am a beach snob so have visited many stunning beaches in my time, but Whitehaven is just in a different league! The sand is the softest I have felt and the different colours of the ocean are visually stunning. I cannot wait to return again one day! #FeetDoTravel

  4. Jurga says:

    Whitsundays are just stunning! Looks like you had a wonderful day, Tracy. I had to laugh when you mentioned the stinger suits – when we visited, I received the only stinger suit in a different colour than the rest of the group. They said that if there are sharks around, that’s the colour they’ll go for first. 🙂 Luckily we didn’t meet any sharks, and snorkelling was just amazing there.

  5. Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) says:

    Oh my goodness, this looks so very beautiful! I would love to snorkel here and I like your idea of cleaning jewellery on that wonderful sand. My father visited the Whitsundays a few months ago but sadly couldn’t swim because of all the jellyfish there are in the water here. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

  6. Erin Gustafson | Oregon Girl Around the World says:

    Of course it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site! I would expect nothing less from you! *Wink, wink. What a marvelously beautiful place to explore in your new country! Congrats on the move and can’t wait to more of stunning Australia from you! This beach rocks. Or sands. That sand! That water! I haven’t been, but DEFINITELY want to go! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

  7. Shona @ paraphernalia.co says:

    Wow, that really took me back. I sailed around the Whitsundays for a week many years and Whitehaven was a highlight o fthe trip. So white sunnies hardly stop the glare. I’m pleased you enjoyed it. I hope you’re settling in well to Mackay life.

  8. James says:

    I would definitely take the Cruise Whitsundays to the Whitehaven beach if I was in the area. The fact it is a UNESCO site is a bonus. I am on a mission to see all the seven natural wonders of the world and the great barrier reef is one of the two I have yet to see! I’m curious to how the sand feels on the feet out there too!

  9. Alex says:

    Ah, now I’m making connections! I kept hearing about the Whitsundays but didn’t realise where they were – now I know! Sounds like a cool trip! I’ve pinned for later.

  10. Pingback: 5 reasons to visit Bowen in Queensland

  11. Pingback: Expat Diary - Things to do in Mackay Queensland Part 1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.