#1 Beach in Australia

Monday morning began with students heading back to classes after a busy weekend. However, the number 1 beach in Australia, Whitehaven Beach, beckoned in the afternoon and a group of us set out to explore this iconic setting.

The skies were clear but several days of steady wind had raised the surf. The skipper of our (fortunately) large cruise ship took a sheltered, but slightly longer route through the Cook passage to the beach. The views on the route were amazing and the white sand beach made of silica was unlike anything we had ever experienced. Because the sand is nearly 100% silica it squeaks underfoot, sticks almost like talcum and doesn’t get hot in the sun.

Half our group took a 4km roundtrip hike to our very own private beach. We were literally the only people there and our footprints were the only prints in the sand. We swam, in our stinger suits of course, and took some Instagram worthy photos before heading back to the main beach.

The return trip was a little bit like a roller coaster. The skipper travelled the rougher water with higher waves because it was a “following sea”. Passengers on the wrong side of the upper deck, fortunately, none of us, were soaked by some massive waves. However, our cruise ship made it safely back to port in a dramatic but never dangerous fashion. None of us made use of the sea sickness bags distributed to the crew!