When my friends returned from Australia they all spoke (on rather too many occasions) about the beauty of Whitehaven Beach. Although I didn’t like to admit it to them, I was a little curious about this sandy wonder. With over 10,000 beaches in Australia I figured to stand out it must be pretty special.

Tick-tock, tick-tock and seven years later it was finally time to discover what the fuss was all about.

Whitehaven Beach is located on Whitsunday Island in the Whitsundays. Its isolated nature means that getting there requires a bit of planning. As luck would have it, in nearby Airlie Beach there were boats (ship loads of ’em, arf) that would take us there. Great stuff.

On arrival at the gorgeous Airlie I was shocked at the number of sailing packages that were on offer.

Although it was scary at first, after a little investigative work, I discovered that most trips take you to Whitehaven and offer the chance to snorkel and dive.

I picked a two-day trip. I was very eager to get back on water. A three-day scuba diving trip in Cairns had brought on a bad case of sea legs and the world had been swaying ever since.

Whilst rocking in the Woolshed had been awesome, shaving in the shower had become highly dangerous.

When the first person you meet on board is called captain “Shaggers” you know that you’re in for an interesting experience. Immediately Shaggers started walking around the boat shouting, “are there any bananas on board?”

Taking a quick glimpse around, I noted that there were indeed some bananas on board… unfortunately none that I was interested in. A

fter lounging about on the deck with the crew (aye), everyone was called to help hoist the sails. Winding and grinding with the best of them we managed to achieve the perfectly positioned sails.

A job well done, we were left to enjoy the stunning scenery that had crept up on us. Dangling my legs over the edge of the boat I absorbed the peaceful harmony of the islands that drifted by.

With the light fading, the scenery somehow became even more beautiful. The moon shone on dark, rugged mountains that towered over a glittering sea. However, things got even better with the arrival of the nachos.

Now I like nachos as much, probably more, than the average Joe, but these were the best nachos I have ever eaten. It may have been difficult to see them, but like good sex in the dark, it didn’t matter.

After an equally delectable meal we started to drink. A drinking game called “The Ring of Fire” proving a great way to get to know each other better, or at least the drunken forms of each other. It never fails to amaze me how quickly the shiest boy turns into a drunken perv with a few beers under his belt. Waking up early I felt surprisingly fresh.

Now it was finally time to check out Whitehaven. “I’m coming, baby,” I yelled (inside).

We reached dry land and began our climb to the lookout point. On our way to the top our guide Greg was kind enough to remind us about the snakes that could at any point attack and swallow us whole.

However, on reaching the view point snakes were long forgotten. For once, those kids at home weren’t lying – it really was white and haven-like.

I took numerous photos, and even with a touch of cloud, found out that it was impossible to take a shot that didn’t make you look like you were in paradise. “Enough looking, get in there!” Greg hollered. We didn’t need to be told twice.

Having marvelled at the wonders above sea level now it was time to go under. Snorkel in hand, and hoping it wasn’t the one that someone had used to gargle goon in the night before, it was time to explore the water.

During the snorkel a long stick on the seabed caught my eye. When I went to have a closer look, the stick blinked at me. Strange.

With evil eyes and a snout, apparently this was no stick. I swam just that little bit more quickly after that. For our second night at sea we anchored up in what was probably one of the most blissful surroundings I have ever seen. Enclosed in such a stunning view I had begun to feel strangely at home at sea.

Surfacing from my final snorkel of the trip another delightful sight lay in store – Shaggers swinging on a hammock. On spying the hammock (and definitely not Shaggers) I could barely contain my excitement.

It was the kind of decadence that I’d find hard to dream up. So, as quick as a spider on acid, I slipped in beside Shaggers and then proceeded to nudge him out. Victory. I tried to rock one way while the boat rocked the other to see if I would remain still… but apparently that’s not how these things work.

Although hammocking came in a close second, my favourite moment at sea was when I got the chance to steer the boat home.

With one hand on the wheel, drenched in the sunlight, there could be no better song blasting out the speakers than Status Quo’s “Rocking All Over the World”. I really was. And at that moment I felt like I was the king of the world. 

The damage & the details: Beaches’ Whitsunday and Fraser Island packages cost $289 (for two night’s accommodation, three-days/two-nights on Fraser Island and two-days/two nights on the Boomerang); Southern Cross Sailing offers two days/two nights on the Boomerang for $359.