After finishing up work in Airlie for the week, we were ready for a trip sailing to Whitehaven Beach.
We were expecting Whitehaven to be a highlight of the fourth-week sailing. However, spending time checking out the other spots around Whitsunday Island and climbing to Whitsunday Peak made it pretty difficult to choose a favourite.
By Olly Gaspar, traveler, travel blogger & photographer for 5+ years with 600+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.
Starting the Week in Hamilton Island
Before we could enjoy sailing to Whitehaven Beach, we set course for Hamilton Island to pick Haylea up from the airport.
Hamilton Island Marina
Because there are no anchorages in or around Hamilton Island, we chose to spend the night in a berth at Hamilton Island Marina.
Getting into the marina was a little tight, with multi-million dollar luxury boats surrounding us on each side, we were sure to be extra cautious to avoid any bumps. Because the marina traffic is so tight, we also had to radio in just outside the sailing club and wait for their “concierge service” to escort us to the berth.
While sailing, we usually always stick to free public anchorages rather than paying for marina berths. In saying that, we definitely took advantage of the comfort that the calm birth provided, as well as the untimed hot showers.
Haylea Joins The Crew
Flying into Hamilton Island Airport from Sydney, Haylea joined us on the sail to the Daintree on the 19th of June.
Hamilton Island Sunsets
One of the best and most popular sunset spots on Hamilton Island is a small hill on the side of the island known as One Tree Hill.
As we only had one day to explore Hamilton Island after Haylea’s arrival, so, we made the most of it by watching the sunset over the Whitsunday Islands.
READ THE FULL BLOG POST: The Best Hamilton Island Sunset Location – TRAVEL GUIDE
Sailing to Whitehaven Beach
The next day, we hauled the red junk-rig sails and set sailing to Whitehaven Beach.
It took roughly three hours to sail from Hamilton Island Marina to the anchorage spot at the southern end of Whitehaven Beach.
It’s no wonder that they rank Whitehaven Beach as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. A huge, 5 KM stretch of pearl-white sand meets the clearest, glassy waters.
At the edge of the sand, the classic greens of the Australian bushland contrast the sand and water to form a scene unlike anywhere else in the world.
We spend the rest of the day swimming, testing out my new underwater housing and managing to snap some of my favourite aerial shots of this amazing beach.
One of the most popular things to do when sailing to Whitehaven Beach is to check out the incredible Hill Inlet.
Hill Inlet is a shallow swirl of sand that cuts deep into Whitsunday Island on the North-side of Whitehaven Beach.
Unfortunately, you don’t really get the true sense of this landscape from the sea or from the land. Instead, there is a lookout on the other edge of the beach.
For those with deeper pockets, a helicopter flight over Hill Inlet could also be on the cards.
Snapping Some Aerial Shots of Sailing to Whitehaven Beach
Check out some of my favourite aerial shots of us sailing to Whitehaven Beach.
Sailing to Whitehaven Beach – Tongue Bay Anchorage
While weather conditions were excellent, the beach anchorage isn’t a popular overnight anchorage due to limited protection. The famous thin, white sand is also not the best for holding an anchor.
Instead, we spend an hour sailing to the Whitehaven Beach anchorage known as Tongue Bay.
Tongue Bay is located on the North-side of Whitehaven Beach, just after the famous Hill Inlet.
While we planned to check out the Hill Inlet lookout for sunrise, our plans were unfortunately put on hold as Marine Parks instructed all ships to clear the area. Apparently there was some helicopter operations planned in preparation for the Whitehaven Beach Run.
Whitsunday Island Anchorage – Cid Harbour
Instead, we set sail around Whitsunday Island to the popular anchorage known as Cid Harbour.
This is a very well-protected bay with beaches lining the side of the island. There is also a small island known as Cid Island located on the Western side of Whitsunday Island.
Cid Harbour incidentally also has the highest rates of shark attacks in Australia. Last year alone there were four attacks in the same bay. There are signs both in the water and on the beaches warning people not to swim.
While I believe it’s probably due chaos caused by the hundreds of swimmers in the Summer months, I wasn’t going to take the chance.
Climbing Whitsunday Peak
After enjoying the anchorage and avoiding the water, we decided to make the morning hike up to Whitsunday Peak. This is the highest point on Whitsunday Island and should be on the list of everyone sailing to Whitehaven Beach or Whitsunday Island.
The hike is fairly steep, and took roughly an hour and a half to reach the summit.
The views extend over both sides of the island, from Hamilton to the Great Barrier Reef.
FULL BLOG POST: WHITSUNDAY PEAK HIKE, WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS, QUEENSLAND
Returning Home – Airlie Beach
As you know, there’s no stable 4G connection out on the islands. Therefore, we again headed back to Airlie Beach to work for the weekend.
It kind of felt like home after laying anchor for the third time in our favourite spot just outside the marina break-wall.