Budget Friendly Trip To The Whitsundays and Whitehaven Beach

The Whitsundays are a world renowned island chain off the coast of Australia, home to arguably the most famous beach in the world, Whitehaven Beach. The Whitsundays are situated in the Coral Sea and accessible from Airlie Beach, a beautiful and relaxing beach town in Northern Queensland.


The most common way to visit this island chain is either a “one night, two day” or “a two night, three day” sailing trip. These multi day sailing trips are quite expensive, costing hundreds of dollars. We have heard so many great stories and experiences about these sailing trips, however being on a tighter budget they weren’t really an option for us. 

Visiting the Whitsundays and Whitehaven beach was on our bucket list while traveling Australia, we just needed to figure out a cheaper way to do it.


After quite a bit of research and time spent reading up on tour operators we came across ZigZag Whitsundays day tour to the Whitehaven beach. ZigZag is the fastest boat on the Whitsundays meaning less time traveling from A to B, and more time to spend at each location.


We departed from Airlie Beach arounds 8:30am after getting a quick safety briefing from our tour guides. When they say ZigZag is the fastest boat on the Whitsundays they were not lying!! We were in for an exhilaratingly fast ride.

If you are looking for a relaxing sailing experience this is not the tour for you, if you are looking for an adrenaline fix we 100% recommend you book this tour!! The boat was very comfortable as we cruised over the waves.


First stop on the tour was Whitehaven Beach and it was more spectacular than we could have ever imagined. We got to spend two hours exploring this paradise. 

Whitehaven Beach is famous for its azure water and stunning views. It is protected by the Whitsunday Island National Park and has been voted the world’s top eco-friendly beach. This famous beach stretches over 7km and the sand is 98% pure white silica. Silica sand forms from eroding quartz and has the texture of fine powder.


We have two hours to enjoy this breathtaking beach. We hiked to a viewing point where we took in the stunning views looking out over the beach and islands. After our hike we snorkelled and swam in the pristine crystal clear ocean water.

ZigZag tours also provided us with a picnic style lunch. We enjoyed a wide selection of foods including breads, cold meats, salads, cheese, pasta and rice. After lunch it was time for more snorkeling while our tour guide fed the fish resulting in hundreds of small fish swarming around us in the water.


Our next activity was another snorkelling stop, this time it was over a large section of coral. Although further south than Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef is still part of the island chain. We had the opportunity to dive in deeper water over the beautiful reef. While snorkeling we witnessed the large multicolored brain coral, colourful sea life and turtles!!!


Once everyone was back aboard we continued our journey. We took a cruise around the islands taking in the sights. Our last stop of the day was at a private island resort located between the rainforest and beach on Long Island. We pulled up to the private beach and enjoyed the use of the resorts pool facilities and sipped on delicious cocktails from the extensive drink menu.


Refreshed and relaxed we got back on board and headed back to Airlie Beach. This was a super trip and excellent value for money in our opinion. We got to see the main highlights of the Whitsundays as well as enjoying a day on an adrenaline pumping speed boat.

If like us your on budget or tight on time then ZigZag Whitsundays day tour to Whitehaven Beach is the perfect option for you. 

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