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HAMILTON ISLAND – WHITEHAVEN BEACH BY HELICOPTER

I love escaping day-to-day life by immersing myself in a movie on the big screen. Even if the scenes are far from my life, I figure a girl can dream. Apparently dreams can come true because recently I felt like I was in one of those movies living the dream. While staying on Hamilton Island we were keen to visit Whitehaven Beach. It’s an award-winning beach which is consistently on lists of the top beaches in the world. Hubby and I visited before the kids came along so we knew that access wouldn’t be easy without a beach wheelchair. A full day would be too much for BJ if he couldn’t move around. Looking through the Hamilton Island website I found that we could fly to Whitehaven Beach by helicopter and I knew this would be a thrill for the whole family but especially BJ. What I didn’t realise is that this is no ordinary joy flight because this tour came with the option of landing on Whitehaven Beach. This is where my imaginary movie director called, “Action!” on my dream.

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
AJ, Hubby and BJ at Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach is the largest of the 74 islands that make up the Whitsundays and the draw card for visitors is the seven kilometres of pristine white silica sand beach. There are many tour operators who offer half-day and full-day boat trips to Whitehaven but we took to the skies for our visit. It gave us the opportunity to see more of the area and famous Hill Inlet where the colours of the ocean swirl into patterns, reminding me of a delicious dessert.

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
BJ ready to fly

When I told the family we would be flying to a beach with the whitest of silica and we’d be landing in two helicopters there was unbridled excitement. We arrived at Hamilton Island Air for our flight and separated with the boys going in one helicopter and the girls in the other. The helicopter takes a maximum of three passengers which is why we had two for our trip.

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
Heading to Whitehaven Beach I rode up front

I sat beside the pilot, put on my headset and we were off, waving to the boys as we took to the sky. The view out of the large windows at the front and side of the helicopter were wonderful with not a scratch on the glass. The pilots keep the helicopters in pristine condition which reminded me of that feeling when you slip into a new car. Everything is perfect.

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
On our way to Whitehaven Beach

There was a little wobble as the wind caught the helicopter on take-off and then it was smooth sailing.  The pilot pointed out different sights along the way and as we flew over Hill Inlet I was taken aback at my feelings of emotion. I felt a tear prickle my eye as the reality of the incredible experience hit me. This was no movie, just our family having the most amazing time.

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
Whitehaven Beach from the air

Whitehaven Beach didn’t really need pointing out, the beauty of the beach shouted out “Ta-dah!” But the pilot still highlighted it and advised that we were about to land. I don’t know what I imagined landing on a beach with a helicopter would be like but it was smooth and only little wisps of sand danced up to greet us.

The pilot turned the aircraft around so we could watch the boys land. BJ’s huge white toothy grin stood out nearly as much as the white of the sand. He was elated.

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
The boys landing on Whitehaven
Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
There was a spring in Hubby’s step as he arrived
Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
One happy guy landed on the beach.

The pilots set up umbrellas, picnic rugs and unloaded champagne and nibbles for us and disappeared for an hour and a half.

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
Our picnic on Whitehaven

Knowing that the trip was to be a decadent, once in a lifetime trip, we stopped off at Fishi Seafood and picked up a prawn and bug platter. We’d bought one another day and BJ had devoured his way through a huge amount of prawns so we thought it would be the perfect accompaniment to our Whitehaven trip.

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
This is the way to picnic at Whitehaven Beach
Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
Popping the champers

We popped that champagne and looked around with delight and wonder. We were the only ones left on the beach. There had been another helicopter there on our arrival but it had since departed.

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach

What followed was swimming, laughter, more wonderment, a stingray sighting and pure joy at living in a country with such beauty. Oh, and there was champagne drinking of course.

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
Whitehaven Beach
Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
Chilling at Whitehaven

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach

Swimming in the warm waters of Whitehaven Beach

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
Spotting a Stingray in the water

The water was warm and the afternoon was bliss. I was hoping the pilots may fall asleep in their hammocks hidden in the bush but sadly they did return and our spell at Whitehaven was over.

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
Picnic Whitehaven Beach

We’ve had some pretty amazing travel moments but this is the best.

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
Making sure the helicopter stayed clean

The pilots packed up our rugs, umbrellas and leftovers and it was time to brush off the sand before hopping back into the helicopters.

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
Whitehaven Beach

On our return the pilot did a quick loop around to show us a turtle swimming in the water. It was such a sweet ending to an incredible trip. The only consolation for it being over was returning to Hamilton where we knew further adventures awaited us.

Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
Hamilton Island Resort
Hamilton Island - Whitehaven Beach
Wheelchair service on the runway

It would be great if the regular airlines were as quick bringing BJ’s wheelchair to the aircraft door.

TIPS

Flying to Whitehaven Beach is a great way to enjoy the beach but you do need to be able to transfer from a wheelchair into a helicopter.

There is a step up into the helicopter but Hubby found this easier to get BJ into than the fixed wing plane we took over Heart Reef. Hubby put BJ’s back to the helicopter and lifted him into the aircraft from that position.

The helicopter windows give amazing views over the Whitsundays so even if you don’t want to stop off at Whitehaven it’s a fabulous way to see a lot in a short time.

BJ’s wheelchair was taken to the helicopter door, left at the airstrip with staff and then returned by staff on landing.

Hamilton Island Air has a disabled toilet facility at the airstrip.

You can read more about flights with Hamilton Island Air here.

We were guests of Hamilton Island for this experience. As always our opinions are our own and my effusive blog is because this is truly the best experience we’ve had in our travels.

 




 

8 thoughts on “HAMILTON ISLAND – WHITEHAVEN BEACH BY HELICOPTER”

  1. Oh this is such a special moment! I hope you treasure it forever – Hamilton Island and Whitehaven beach are gorgeous! I’m so glad BJ and your daily got to experience it 🙂

    Reply
  2. Oh my gosh! Everything about this vacation is fantastic! You were definitely spoiled. Happy for you!!! xx

    Jacq
    Jacqwritesworld.com

    Reply

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