June 22, 2022

Whitehaven Beach and Heart Reef Helicopter Tour from Hamilton Island, Australia

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Whitehaven Beach and Heart Reef are two of the most iconic natural wonders of Australia. In this blog we will share the perfect way to see these gems – from your own exclusive helicopter tour!

Whitehaven Beach was recently voted Australia’s best beach, and one of the best in the world, thanks to its long stretch of empty, pristine white sand beach with calm lapping turquoise waters. The world-famous Heart Reef is another must-see attraction that is part of the Great Barrier Reef. Its naturally formed heart-shaped reef is stunning, set among turquoise and emerald waters of the surrounding reef system.

How To Get To Whitehaven Beach and Heart Reef

Both Whitehaven and Heart Reef are found on the northeast coast of Queensland Australia, most accessible from the town of Airlie Beach on the mainland or from the Whitsunday Islands.

You can reach these sites via flights into Proserpine Airport, which will have you landing around 20min drive from the town of Airlie Beach, the region’s central hub. It’s from Airlie Beach that you can stay on the mainland and access these spots (as well as The Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef) through boat tours or scenic flights. 

Another option is to fly into Hamilton Island, which is one of the Whitsunday islands that puts you closer to the action. It’s from Hamilton Island that Chesh and I organised our one-hour helicopter tour with Hamilton Island Air to see Whitehaven Beach and Heart Reef (since they are literally minutes away by Great Barrier Reef Helicopter ride).

For the latest Heart Reef scenic flights and prices check their Hamilton Air website.

Two people sitting in a helicopter flying over Whitehaven Beach

Our Whitehaven Beach and Heart Reef Helicopter Tour

Flying over Heart Reef on the Great Barrier Reef

Leaving Hamilton Island the chopper took us over nearby islands of The Whitsundays with plenty of scenic views before we hit a 10 minute stretch of ocean preceeding the spectacular Great Barrier Reef. It really was a breathtaking aerial view of the surrounding Whitsunday islands. As soon as you see the outline of the coral reef, have your cameras ready for the stunning mosaic of the coral reefs system.

Finally approaching heart reef, we were able to circle it twice and take in the perfection of this natural creation before heading back towards the world-famous Whitehaven Beach – one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

TIP: We took a late morning 60 minute helicopter flight and the sun glare was behind us as we viewed heart reef (with the heart facing towards us) by air. Try not to go too early or late on your scenic flight to make sure you get bright beautiful colours. 

Flying over the turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
An aerial shot photo of a heart shaped reef surrounded by turquoise water in Heart Reef, Australia. Looking down from a helicopter flying over the island

Whitehaven Beach

Then approaching Whitehaven Beach you’ll see the 7km stretch of white silica sand beach with the iconic Hill Inlet located at the northern end. Hill Inlet is best seen by air and the views from the scenic helicopter flight far surpassed the views from the ground at the Hill Inlet lookout.

Taking a pass over the landscape of blue and white hues created by shifting white sands was honestly breathtaking and in our opinion it’s the best way to see the the famous Whitehaven beach and the crystal clear waters.

Then as if we needed more, the helicopter landed right on Whitehaven Beach where we couldn’t see another soul and had a private champagne picnic and swim!

A helicopters view of turquoise water snaking through white sandy beaches  of Whitehaven Beach, Australia
The blue waters and white sandy beaches of Whitehaven Beach, Australia

Best Time To Visit Whitehaven Beach and Heart Reef

The Whitsundays region is sub-tropical, meaning there’s humid summers and warm winters. The summer months have warmer temperatures (with highs of around 30 degrees C) as well as higher humidity and rainfall. The winter months are still pleasantly warm (highs in the low 20s) and are much drier.

Personally, we prefer visiting the Whitsundays in the shoulder months of June and September. Generally the days are warm, the nights are cool and there are less showers to contend with. I’d also suggest checking the weather to choose a clear, cloudless day (if possible) so you can enjoy all the vivid colours of the beach and reef.

The weather conditions are not always guaranteed in the tropics and flights can be canceled last minute at short notice for safety reasons. But for these unparalleled views of the iconic heart reef, it’s a unique experience of a lifetime.

Does this blog make you want to book a scenic flight to the Whitsundays? Check out our recent blog, Sailing the Whitsundays. You can also check out our other blogs here.


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