Whitehaven Beach – Whitsundays, Australia - Atlas Obscura

Whitehaven Beach

Whitsundays, Australia

A small, but award-winning beach known for its literally spotless reputation. 


Located on Australia’s Whitsunday Island, Whitehaven Beach is seven kilometers of miraculous white sand that is perfect for equally pristine visitors. 

Unlike most beaches in the world, Whitehaven is made of 98% pure silica which gives the sand its snowy complexion in addition to some other unique traits. The silica sand is of a finer grain than regular beach sand which is comprised of irregular bits of minerals. This gives the white sand a softer, more velvety feel. In addition, since silica does not retain heat well, the sands do not heat up in the summer sun, making the immaculate beach the perfect place to relax and sunbathe. Even stranger is that the surrounding rocks do not contain silica, meaning the beach must have been deposited on the island over millions of years of tides carrying the silica grains.

To keep the beach in its heavenly state, regulations have been put in place outlawing dogs and cigarettes which might mar the posh surroundings.  

Know Before You Go

At the northern end of Whitehaven Beach, you’ll enter the Whitsunday Islands National Park, and it’s here you can take the 10-minute short track through the tropical rainforest which leads to this spectacular Hill Inlet Lookout.

In partnership with KAYAK

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