Chalkies Beach Whitsundays
Chalkies Beach Haselwood Island
Chalkies Beach is a popular snorkeling site for tour companies from Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island. With one of the best fringing reefs which visitors can access from the shore, snorkeling is made simple for people of all abilities, both novice and expert alike.
Located on the western side of Haselwood Island, Chalkies Beach is sheltered from the prevailing south easterly winds. The sand is pure white silica, just like the more famous Whitehaven Beach, which lies directly opposite Haselwood Island. In the photo above you can see Whitehaven Beach across on Whitsunday island.
Once used as a sheep station, to get the sheep on and off the island by barge, the operators dynamited a portion of the reef to make a channel so the barge could access the beach. It is this opening in the fringing reef which allows small tender craft to off load passengers directly to the beach, making it easier for tourists and visitors to enjoy the area.
Haselwood Island is now under the protection of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. It is within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. There are no man made structures on the island, completely natural, absolutely beautiful.
During rougher south easterly winds, Chalkies Beach is the preferred anchorage for overnight sailing boats in preference to Whitehaven Beach, as it provides calmer waters.
Snorkeling at Chalkies is usually good, yet visibility can be compromised during extended northerly wind periods or when the run between low and high tides is at the greatest.
Walk north or south from this point and you normally won't find a single footprint along the beach. The sand is clean and white and you feel as if you are on an island all by yourself.
In the water there is a good variety of coral, plenty of fish and you may even get to swim along with a turtle while they feed along the reef. Nemo hides in soft coral just out from the shore where the tour companies make land.
As you enter the water to begin snorkeling you can opt to see the coral reef to your left, which is quite good, or swim to the right, where the reef contains some small bommies.
There are several cruises which will allow you to walk on Chalkies Beach that operate from Airlie Beach, Daydream Island, Long Island and Hamilton Island.
We recommend the Cruise Whitsundays "Full Day Tour" where you snorkel Chalkies Beach, take a bush walk to Hill Inlet for spectacular views and photo opportunities and spend time on famous Whitehaven Beach. We take our family and friends on this day cruise.
Reef Ryder Whitehaven Beach and Snorkeling Tour also operates from Hamilton Island. This is a great fast ride on a rigid inflatable craft and snorkels Chalkies Beach. Reef Ryder operate both half and full day tours. See your tour desk at your Hamilton Island accommodation for details.
If the weather is not good, both cruise companies will take you to a more sheltered area for snorkeling on the day. Group numbers on each tour are always small due to the size of the inflatable craft.
The best way to describe Chalkies Beach is with photographs and then let you decide if you want to experience this yourself. Hope you enjoy our photos. We love Haselwood Island and consider Chalkies Beach better than Whitehaven Beach, both above and below the water.
Above: South end of Chalkies Beach. Beautiful white sand. Not a footprint in sight.
Above: Fringing Coral Reef. Chalkies Beach. Whitsundays.
Above: Abundant number of fish make the coral reef their home.
Above: Snorkeler, fish and coral reef. Wonderful experience on full day cruise to Chalkies Beach, Whitsundays.
Above: Unusual large outcrop of yellow plate coral. Chalkies Beach fringing reef.
Above: Many varieties of colorful coral. Chalkies Beach. Haselwood island. Whitsundays.
Above. Clump of hand coral contrasts with the blue waters of Chalkies Beach fringing coral reef.
Above: Cruise Whitsundays full day cruise includes snorkeling at Chalkies Beach, time for a bush walk at Hill Inlet for spectacular views and photographs, plus an afternoon on the iconic Whitehaven Beach.
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