- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Go to Whitehaven Beach, Australia
Whether you’re flying above its turquoise waters or picnicking in pure-white sand, Whitehaven Beach is a sight to behold.
The sand on Whitehaven Beach is among the whitest anywhere on earth. Composed of 98 per cent silica, the sand on Whitehaven doesn't retain heat and has a fine, powder-like consistency. This means that even in the hottest part of the day, visitors can comfortably walk along its seven kilometres (4.5 miles) of sand beside the crystal clear Coral Sea.
Visiting Whitehaven Beach requires a boat ride or a short flight in a helicopter or seaplane. Most visitors only make it to Whitehaven’s southern or northern ends but with a little planning and a dash of adventure, the rest of the beach — the six kilometres in the middle — can be all yours to explore.
For such a famous beach, Whitehaven remains something of a mystery to the scientific community. The pristine white beach consists of the purest silica sand in the world - so pure, in fact, that guides claim it was used in the manufacture of glass for the Hubble Telescope (though this is likely a myth).
Nevertheless, the sand is unique - the other beaches in the Whitsundays do not feature such fine, pure sand. Rather, on other beaches you'll find coarser sand featuring broken shells and coral.
So why is Whitehaven's sand so different? It seems no one knows for sure. Geologist theorise that the sand drifted to the island from elsewhere, millions of years ago, eventually becoming trapped by the rocks and headlands of the area. Over time, and ice ages, fresh water leached the impurities from the land, leaving only the pure, fine white sand we see today.