When this picture was taken the sand was littered with debris from ex-Cyclone Oswald and more recent heavy rains. It would have looked a hell of a lot better had the waves not been lapping the high-water mark, but no one ever said to me, 'Don't visit Whitehaven Beach at high tide'. On the plus side, the bits and pieces did create some nice beach art.
A friend of mine who sailed around the Whitsundays for a few days on a tall ship was able to climb to the Hill Inlet Lookout – from where she took wonderful pictures of the swirly bits. The tourist office told me I couldn't climb to the lookout on the trip I was planning, but they didn't volunteer which companies offered that option. Like H2O Sportz, for example, who make half-day visits to Whitehaven that include a guided walk up the hill – with information on the history and ecology of the area, which would have been right up my alley. Their brochure says 'times may need to be changed due to tidal changes'. So you can see the swirly bits at their best, right?
Or, you can do a scenic two-hour trip in a seaplane (including one and a half hours on the beach) for $149, which is only slightly more than we paid for a day trip to Whitehaven and Daydream Island with Cruise Whitsundays. If you're planning a trip to the Whitsundays, my advice would be to think carefully about exactly what you want to achieve. Prioritise. And don't try to kill too many birds with one stone.
If you have specific requirements and want go it alone, you'll need a boat. I guess you'd anchor in Tongue Bay* and then walk over to the Lookout. As we sailed past Hill Inlet the only thing I could see were people where I wanted to be.
There wasn't much wildlife in evidence during our boat trip. We saw wallaby tracks in Whitehaven's sand and the real thing in Daydream Island's resort. A couple of Pied Oystercatchers were trying to avoid intruders on Whitehaven; and there were gulls, of course. But we didn't spot any soaring White-bellied Sea-eagles, Brahminy Kites or Ospreys; and we didn't see any sea life. One of our boatmen attributed this to them all taking refuge from the storms. Still?
With a certain amount of disappointment, therefore, I give you my shots at Whitehaven Beach.
It makes me angry. I'm sure the large blue lid had been washed up, but the plastic cup must have been chucked at the back of the beach. The only thing you're supposed to leave behind are your footprints. Grrrrrr.according to my Whitsunday & Islands Offshore Boating & Recreational Guide you can only anchor at the southern end of Whitehaven Beach and Tongue Bay to the north of Hill Inlet