Is Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet the same place?

NO, they are not the same place

The above image shows Whitehaven Beach on the left and the swirling sands of Hill Inlet to the right.

A

B

C

swirling sands of hill inlet
whitehaven beach and hill inlet

Let us sort it out for you

  • Image A shows the swirling sands of Hill Inlet. This is NOT Whitehaven Beach (click images to enlarge)
  • Image B shows the components of the Whitehaven Beach side of Whitsunday Island
  • Image C shows Whitehaven Beach looking North towards Hill Inlet 7 kilometres in the distance.

Whitehaven Beach is 7 kilometres long and made up of 98% silica sand. It stretches from the South East corner of Whitsunday Island, North to Hill Inlet.

Hill Inlet is mid way along the East side of Whitsunday Island where the tides wash the silica sands into the inlet creating the famous swirling sands.

Be Aware

Many online booking agencies advertise tours to Whitehaven Beach using an image similar to Image A above. Needless to say their customers are disappointed they did not see the swirling sands of Hill Inlet.

Some tours take their customers to Tongue Bay for the short walk to the Hill Inlet Lookout and then proceed to the Southern end of Whitehaven Beach for their beach time.

There is a very limited number of tour operators who have permits to allow actual beach time in Hill Inlet and only one operator who can anchor their boats in the inlet.

For further information, contact us here at Airlie Beach Tourism

15 Responses
  1. Simmone

    I also got caught out when they say they are going to Whitehaven beach. Apparently they dont have permits to go there and make out its all the same place.

  2. Ailsa & Jannine

    Great post… wish I had seen it earlier.
    Booked a red boat on line that said it went to Whitehaven beach. It only went to Hill Inlet and when we asked them they said it was north Whitehaven. When we said the Whitehaven is supposed to be 7 klms long they said that was South Whitehaven. The tide was in and barely enough sand for everyone to stand on. They didnt like it when we complained and insisted that we were on Whitehaven beach.
    Thanks for the info. All I can say is dont get sucked into North and South Whitehaven.

  3. Valerie

    I say to you, I certainly get irked at the same time as people think about concerns that they plainly
    don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and
    also defined out the entire thing with no need side effect , people could take a signal.
    Will likely be again to get more. Thanks

  4. Alwyn Leech

    I got caught out too with images of Hill Inlet and calling it Whitehaven Beach. I really wanted to go to the lookout but I ended up only on Whitehaven beach. Very disappointed. This is good info.

  5. Candace

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    Like!! I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.

  8. Natalie

    My friend booked online with another company and they showed Hill Inlet on their website and told them that it was North Whitehaven beach and he would go there. He didn’t. Apparently there is no such thing as North and South Whitehaven beach.

    This post really sets it straight.
    Well done.

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