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Home » 10 of the Best Whitsunday Beaches

With 74 islands, you don’t have to travel very far in the Whitsundays to stumble across a gorgeous beach. From Airlie to the south of Whitsunday Island to the very north of Hook, wherever you are in this tropical paradise, a stunning sandy bay is easy to find.

The more time you can spend in the Whitsunday Islands, the better. It would take an entire lifetime to fully explore each delightful secret of this region. We at Queensland Yacht Charters recommend at least a week or two for an ideal opportunity to take it all in. To ensure you have the dreamy holiday you’ve been waiting for, we’ve compiled a concise list of 10 of the Whitsundays’ best beaches. You can’t go wrong with these suggestions, whether your goal is snorkelling, swimming, fishing, or simply lying in the sunshine.

Catseye Beach

Located on the resort side of fabulous Hamilton Island, Catseye Beach is simply perfection. Boasting gorgeous turquoise waters, panoramic views, and a sheltered, calm bay to swim in, Catseye is as good as it gets. You can enjoy one of many water activities here, as kayaks and other equipment are available for hire. Or just enjoy the scenic beauty from beneath a shady palm.

Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay is located on the south side of Whitsunday Island, the biggest island in the region. Whitehaven Beach (one of the most popular) is also found on this island, which means Turtle Bay is often overlooked. Here you’ll find excellent snorkelling and an abundance of brightly-coloured fish. Keep your eye out for the friendly turtles, who will be enjoying the water right beside you. Great views are also a bonus on Turtle Bay.

Horseshoe Bay

You don’t have to leave the mainland to find stunning beaches. Before or after your Whitsunday yacht charter, drive north from Airlie Beach to nearby Bowen, where you’ll discover the lovely Horseshoe Bay. This sandy, protected bay has pristine waters and terrific snorkelling. This beach is somewhat hidden, giving it a feeling of privacy and serenity. If you’re fortunate enough, you may even spot nesting sea turtles here. However, be sure to remember that our beloved sea turtles are a protected species and you must never disturb nesting turtles.

Sunlovers Bay

Sometimes referred to as Lover’s Cove, this is a gorgeous beach off of Daydream Island that has phenomenal snorkelling. The coral here is well preserved and the tropical fish are in large numbers. Be sure to check this out if you’re after something romantic and heavenly. Relax on the sands or enjoy the sparkling water.

Butterfly Bay

Located on the northern side of Hook Island is the idyllic Butterfly Bay. In the winter, the bay is inundated with thousands of butterflies, making for a surreal experience. This is a wonderful spot for a bareboat anchorage and snorkelling is prime just off the beach or along the edge of the bay. Expect to see lovely coral and an abundance of fish.

Cateran Bay

If you’re looking for something romantic, Cateran Bay is a picture-perfect choice. Secluded and beautiful, the bay is found on Border Island. There are moorings here, so it’s a great stop on your yacht charter holiday, and the beach is easily accessible. An imposing cliff surrounds the bay, giving the beach a splendid feeling of privacy. While you’re here, take advantage of the remarkable diving and snorkelling, or hike up to the top of the ridge to take in incomparable views.

Luncheon Bay

Luncheon Bay is another of the fine beaches found in the Whitsundays. Situated on the north side of Hook Island, Luncheon is one of the top locations for snorkelling. Here you’ll have the chance to see anemone fish (clownfish) up close, as they protect their beloved spaghetti coral. There is no anchoring available in Luncheon Bay, but there are a few public moorings available. Try and arrive early in the day as this is a prime spot.

Cannonvale Beach

Located on the mainland only a few minutes from Airlie Beach you’ll find pleasant Cannonvale Beach. This is quieter than Airlie Beach and is very accessible. Stroll down to the end of the Bicentennial boardwalk to get to Cannonvale, or drive via Beach Road. A good choice for swimming (during high tide), this is a popular destination for families with children. With picnic tables and BBQs available, you can enjoy a seaside picnic.

Blue Pearl Bay

Blue Pearl Bay is found on the northern tip of Hayman Island. A blissful place to moor your yacht and enjoy a swim, Blue Pearl Bay contains an abundance of fish exploring the colourful fringing reef. Be sure to look for the Maori Wrasse, a large and comical fish frequently found in the bay. You’ll recognise it by its plump lips and the trademark hump on its head.

Whitehaven Beach

If you’re coming to the Whitsunday Islands, Whitehaven Beach simply must be on your bucket list. Year after year, Whitehaven Beach receives accolades as one of Australia’s top beaches and even as one of the best beaches on the planet. Long and beautiful, Whitehaven is located on Whitsunday Island. It has some of the purest, softest, and whitest sand, and the colour of the water is unparalleled. This is THE place for a romantic stroll with a loved one or a great chance to catch an award-winning photo. It is not to be missed.

Are you ready to charter a boat? No licence required.

No licence is required for a Yacht Charter in the Whitsundays, unlike other locations worldwide. We offer a brief training session before you head out, for either sailing or powered yachts.

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