Whitehaven Beach Facts
- The stunningly beautiful location known as Whitehaven Beach formed on a portion of what now bears the name of Whitsunday Island. Staff Commander EP Bedwell became the first non-indigenous person to discover the gorgeous location.
- This astounding discovery of this beach further occurred in relatively recent times. In fact, the site didn’t become known to non-natives until the year 1879. Commander Bedwell, a British naval officer at the time, also gave the island the name it now bears.
- This represents only one of the many names from the British county of Cumberland that Bedwell brought to the area. That fact isn’t really surprising, though, given the times. He simply followed a pattern previously laid down by another European.
- This naming followed the actions of James Cook. He was the one who originally gave the Cumberland island group its name, in 1770. Due to its incredible natural beauty, Whitehaven Beach now constitutes a popular tourist destination in the area.
- This popularity among vacationers mainly occurs due to the ongoing presence of the startlingly white sand, and brilliant turquoise colored waters. As a result, an extremely large number of both tourists and locals visit the gorgeous site annually.
- The government takes active measures to attempt to maintain the beach. That body banned cigarettes on the beach. Dogs are also banned from the beach and surrounding area. CNN.com named it the most Eco-Friendly beach in the world, in 2010.
Whitehaven Beach Physical Description
The breathtaking natural marvel known as Whitehaven Beach perfectly demonstrates an important principle. For Nature, size holds no relation to beauty. Despite its quite extraordinary appearance, the magnificent site does not rank as a large beach.
That’s due to the fact that where the formation appears on Whitsunday Island, the feature extends only a short distance. In fact, this truly awesome wonder of Nature only stretches for about 4.35 mi (7 km). That’s quite small, compared to many similar sites.
The incredible splendor of the popular site does not constitute its only distinction, though. That holds true due to the fact that its very nature represents something quite unusual. This statement rings true because of the dazzling white sand that covers it.
Unlike most beaches, the sand comprising Whitehaven Beach consists of about 98% pure silica. Meanwhile, although several widely varying theories exist, the exact origin of this sand continues to be a mystery, since local rocks do not contain the mineral.
Whitehaven Beach Location and Formation
Much like numerous other natural marvels, the fabulous Whitehaven Beach formed as part of the continent of Australia. Even more precisely, however, the island on which this breathtaking site formed lies close to the coast of Central Queensland.
The fabulous shore also lies situated almost directly across from another lovely beach, known as Chalkie’s Beach. That further sits on another, extremely close island in the group. The mystery of the origin of the incredible sand covering the beach persists to this day.
That’s because neither the geology of the island itself nor that of adjacent islands displays any appreciable amount of the mineral. Currently, one theory, still in debate, suggests that the unique sand most likely arrived via prevailing sea currents.
If so, this action likely occurred over millions of years. The fascinating and somewhat mysterious sand of Whitehaven Beach also possesses yet another unique quality. In point of fact, the individual grains of sand measure as extremely small and fine, compared to most.
This, quite unfortunately, means that it can easily damage electronic equipment visitors bring, such as telephones and cameras. However, it works excellently for polishing jewelry. The location also gained worldwide notoriety in the early 20th century.
That holds true due to the fact that in 2008, the stunning beach also gained worldwide fame as the cleanest beach in Queensland, Australia, per Keep Australia Beautiful. This formed a part of the Clean Beach Challenge State Awards. Our own founder visited the site.