Some of the most spectacular shorelines on earth are on protected land or are nearly impossible to reach. Whitsunday is one of those amazing destinations, and has won many awards included CNN`s 2010 – “The world`s most eco-friendly beaches.”
Arlie Beach is a good place to go to find a tour company that can take you to Whitsundays for snorkeling, whale watching and to Whitehaven beach. Visitors are limited by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and must register with a tour guide for access this area.
The island is accessible by boat, seaplane & helicopter from Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island. Whitehaven Beach is located on Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 Islands that make up the group of Islands discovered by the British adventurer James Cook in 1779. Cook called it Whitsunday after the day he found the area. The Christian holiday starting with Whitsunday celebrated on the fiftieth day after Easter. The week following Whitsunday, was one of three vacation weeks for the medieval villains. The day after Whitsun, remained a holiday in the UK until 1971 when the holiday was replaced with the Spring Bank Holiday.
Whitehaven Beach is known for its white sands. It has beautiful scenery, and the 1.85 billion tons of sand consists of 98% pure silica which gives it a bright white color. Local rocks do not contain silica, so it has been suggested that the sands were brought to the beach via prevailing sea currents as the Ice melted and the sea levels rose over millions of years. Unlike regular sand, the sand on Whitehaven Beach does not retain heat, making it comfortable to walk barefoot on a hot day.
This powder sand is also so fine that it can damage electronic equipment such as telephones and cameras, but it is great for polishing up jewelry and scrubbing the body. It is against the law to bring sand back from this area, and you can be heavily fined if you get caught taking some.
To get the best view of the area when arriving by boat, you can walk up to Hill Lookout to see the inlet to this amazing white silica sandbanks and beach.
I spent a day with a sea rafting adventure tour group to snorkel the reefs and visit the beach and lookout. The reefs were damaged in April when the hurricane ….. hit the area hard. Several boutiques are still closed in Airlie beach, and you can see giant reefs on land several places after the storm. But the islands and the reefs are still gorgeous and colorful. I felt like swimming in an aquarium full of colorful fish and turtles. We also spotted two whales close by the boat during the day.
The next day I went in a tiny Cessna with 4 people including the pilot to check out this part of the Great Barrier Reef from the air, and see the Hill Inlet from the sky. That was truly worth every penny. I will let the pictures show you what nature looks like in this unique part of the planet.