Top 10 Whitehaven Beach Tours

Are you planning to visit Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays?

Researching the Top 10 Whitehaven Beach Tours and ultimately visiting the two stunningly beautiful locations above and below is a must!

1. World-famous Whitehaven Beach and

2. The most photographed place in Australia Hill Inlet Lookout.

The above two places can not be repeated elsewhere, unlike snorkeling for example which can be done anywhere. 

These two locations are both definitely Bucket List destinations for people who love unspoilt nature at its best. Two locations make up the basis of most Whitehaven Beach Tours, usually with the compulsory snorkel. Sometimes two snorkel locations – not recommended, OR better historical / indigenous locations.

However be warned – Whitehaven Beach & Hill Inlet Lookout’s popularity means they are now both very busy places to visit. Due in large part to the addition of several Whitehaven Beach day trips after Cyclone Debbie from Airlie Beach in 2017 & 2018. The overnight tours declined! Redcat Tours entered the day market with an extensive and experienced marketing machine – they now have 3 boats. Ocean Rafting continued to grow there fleet to 8 vessels. On top of that we have also seen the arrival of newcomers Zigzag tours, Whitsunday Bullet and GSL Marine! With the resort islands re-opening in 2019 after Cyclone Debbie repairs and renovations, you can understand the popularity.

Also to be aware of, a lot of tours are rushed through Hill Inlet Lookout due to a busy agenda / itinerary. Others claim Hill Inlet as Whitehaven Beach. 

For a day tour to these two amazing places, the choices are now endless. That is awesome news for anyone thinking about a trip from Airlie Beach to Whitehaven Beach or Hill Inlet!

What You Really Need to Know

The first thing is how much does it cost? What is included and what you need to pay extra for? These points are often not so crystal clear!

With so many Whitehaven Beach Day Trips to choose from, (some will argue too many) the detail is quite important.

By the way the original Whitehaven Xpress still continues to deliver a proper Aussie Beach BBQ lunch at Whitehaven Beach. We will discuss Whitehaven Xpress later in the article, (which I am Captain & Cook of from time to time). This tour made some enhancements in November 2019.

Secondly, there are so many great options for all visitors to the Whitsundays. Whether your a solo traveler, couple, grey-nomad, part of a family, a student, senior or have a group of friends, there is definitely a choice right for you.

In the Value for Money proposition, almost all day trips include lunch, but some charge extra! I notice Ocean Rafting now have two ticket prices, one includes lunch, not sure if that is a special or retail now. You should also know that the compulsory stinger suits (Stinger season Nov-April) are also a great sunscreen so wear them for either reason! Some tours still choose to charge from $5-$10 additional for stinger suits – which is another expense to consider.

All of the Whitehaven Beach 1 Day Tours take a similar course. So the spectacular views of the Whitsunday Islands you pass along the way are more or less the same. Minor difference are the vantage points being higher (and better) on some vessels. Some are more enclosed so a lot drier than others. Some seating arrangements are more comfortable and some are for the budget traveler. Some vessels are faster and some slower. Some noisier and some quieter.

Most of the Whitehaven Beach 1 Day tours also offer a guided bushwalk to Hill Inlet Lookout, which is the number 2 reason you are here! You must see Hill Inlet from the lookout, it is the view from above that you’ve come for. Access down to the swirling sands is a very nice bonus! A few tours don’t include Hill Inlet Lookout or charge you extra to take you there from Whitehaven Beach.

Decision Time – Which tour is right for me?

Let me state before I give my ratings below on all the different 1 day tours to Whitehaven Beach, that no matter which day cruise / day tour you choose, you will certainly have a great experience.

Secondly, in summary, I have chosen the Top 10 Whitehaven Beach Tours with most importance placed on:

1. Overall Whitehaven Beach Experience.

2. Whether Hill Inlet is included in the tour.

3. Service and Value for Money.

Captains Top 10 Whitehaven Beach Tours


#1 | Whitehaven Xpress

$190 Adult | $175 Concession | $130 Child | $600 Family | 37 Pax

Whitehaven Beach 3hrs | Hill Inlet & Beach | Whitehaven Beach Lookout

Included in Price – BBQ Lunch on Beach | Stinger suits | Transfers

Beach Experience 9.5/10 | Value for Money 10/10

*Note best value for Students & Seniors $175 | Infants 1-3 $60

#2 | Cruise Whitsundays – Full Day Cruise

$229 Adult | $206 Concession | $119 Child | $626 Family | 100’s Pax

Whitehaven Beach 6 hrs | Hill Inlet | Guided Bush walks at Whitehaven Beach

Included in Price –  Burger on Beach | Stinger suits | Afternoon Tea 

Beach Experience 9/10 | Value for Money 8.5/10

*Note –  6 hours at Whitehaven Beach. Long Day 715am-620pm. Pay $12.50 for Transfers

#3 | Big Fury

$170 Adult | $165 Concession | $105 Child | $510 Family | 35 Pax

Whitehaven Beach 1.5- 2hrs | Hill Inlet | Snorkel

Included in Price – Best Buffet lunch on Beach | Transfers

Beach Experience 8.5/10 | Value for Money 8.5/10

*Note – $5 for Stinger suit hire. No Infants.

#4 | Ocean Rafting – Southern Lights

$164 Adult | $164 Concession | $105 Child | $600 Family | 32 Pax

Whitehaven Beach 1.5hrs | Hill Inlet & Beach | Snorkel

Included in Price – Transfers

Beach Experience 8/10 | Value for Money 8/10

*Note Fare does NOT include Lunch or Stinger suits | No Infants 0-2 

#5 | Cruise Whitsundays – Camira

$209 Adult | $188 Concession | $145 Child | $637 Family | 72 Pax

Whitehaven Beach – not often during December 2019 so far  | Hill Inlet | Snorkel

Included in Price – BBQ Onboard | Stinger suits | Beer & Wine from 11am 

Beach Experience 7/10 | Value for Money 8.5/10 ** monitoring and may drop positions

*Note – Long Day. Hill Inlet Lookout not always possible. Pay $12.50 for Transfers. 

#6 | Cruise Whitsundays – 1/2 Day Tour

$115 Adult | $104 Concession | $45 Child | $ Family | 72 Pax

Whitehaven Beach 2 hrs | Guided Bush walk at Whitehaven Beach

Included in Price – Morning OR Afternoon Tea | Stinger suits

Beach Experience 7.5/10 | Value for Money 8/10

*Note – Pay Extra for Transfers $12.50pp

#7 | Whitsunday Bullet

$189 Adult | $189 Concession | $129 Child | $499 Family | 40 Pax

Whitehaven Beach 1-1.5hrs | Hill Inlet | Snorkel

Included in Price – Smorgasboard Lunch on Board | Stinger suits 

Beach Experience 7.5/10 | Value for Money 7.5/10

*Note – SUP’s provided at Whitehaven Beach. 

#8 | GSL Marine

$189 Adult | $ Concession | $139 Child | $499 Family |  38 Pax

Whitehaven Beach 1.5hrs | Hill Inlet | Snorkel

Included in Price – Lunch on Board | Stinger suits 

Beach Experience 7.5/10 | Value for Money 8/10

*Note – NO Infants.

#9 | Thundercat

$189 Adult | $ Concession | $145 Child | $599 Family |  38 Pax

Whitehaven Beach NO | Hill Inlet | Snorkel

Included in Price – Lunch on Board | Stinger suits 

Beach Experience 6/10 | Value for Money 8/10

*Note – Goes to Hill Inlet NOT Whitehaven Beach. NO Infants.

What to bring on your Whitehaven Beach Tour?

The obvious – Sunglasses, Hat, Swim wear, Towel – all essential items.

Make sure to bring sunscreen and a refill bottle for water. You don’t want to get sun-burnt or dehydrated!

Your Camera for sharing your special moments!

For any questions feel welcome to call Capt. Shane on 0421 118 234