With endless stretches of coastline, and more than 10,000 beaches, Australia has no shortage of ridiculously stunning places to swim, wander, surf, or spread your towel out on for the day. There are so many popular beaches in Queensland that everyone seems to know so we picked three that take a bit of effort to get to because they're all on islands.
Stretching over 7km of Whitsunday Island, Whitehaven Beach is the most photographed beach in the country and often voted the best beach in Australia. It’s not hard to see why photographers and tourists can’t get enough. With its crystal-clear tropical waters, and impossibly pure white silica sand, all framed by lush green bush, it’s a true tropical paradise. There’s great snorkelling just off the beach - the island is located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef after all - and plenty of space to spread out a picnic and play a game of cricket even during peak holiday times. We recommend exploring the northern end of the beach where you’ll find Hill Inlet. Here the water and swirling sand create a dazzling array of colour and shadows unlike anything you’ve seen before. Walk up to Tongue Point to get the best view of the inlet.
Whitehaven Beach is a 30 minute boat trip from Hamilton Island or you can get there via helicopter or seaplane.
The small stretch of sand known as Nudey Beach is not easy to get to. You’ll need to catch a 45 minute ferry from Cairns then it’s a 15 minute walk through lush rainforest and coastal woodlands to get there. For your efforts, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful coral beach that boasts some epic snorkelling just off the shoreline, and was named the best beach in Australia in 2017. It’s located in Great Barrier Reef so you can expect to see colourful coral and a diverse array of tropical fish in the warm, tropical waters. Lay out a towel on the beach and take in the stunning views of the Cairns Hinterland. Behind you, large granite boulders and protected tropical rainforest will make you feel like you’re on a deserted island.
Despite its name, Nudey Beach is a family beach so bring your cozzie!
It’s a highway, an air strip and a fisherman’s paradise but don’t expect to swim in the ocean along Fraser Island’s 75 Mile Beach. Due to the strong rips and abundance of sharks, swimming is not recommended along this vast stretch of sand. Luckily there’s the champagne pools where you can spend a day bathing in salt water. If you’re wondering why they’re called Champagne Pool, it’s because of the waves that crash over the rocks, creating foam on the water that fills the natural pools.
Another highlight and popular photo spot is the shipwreck of the Maheno. Bound for a wrecking yard in Japan, the Maheno was struck by a cyclone and beached in 1935. Nestled in its golden-sand grave, the rusty-colour wrecked contrasts beautifully with the turquoise ocean.