Airlie Beach | Whitsunday Islands | Great Barrier Reef | Heart Reef
Airlie Beach is the gateway to the Whitsundays, Queensland’s pristine 74 islands. It is a cosmopolitan seaside town dotted with swaying palms, waterfront parks and alfresco dining restaurants.
Airlie Beach is the epitome of a beach town; you’ll instantly feel the carefree and relaxed attitude emanating from every space. You’ll find it in the Airlie Beach Lagoon, a manmade saltwater swimming area surrounded by sand and grassy knolls, where backpackers and travellers lounge away the day in the sun. You’ll find it in the beachside parks where afternoon barbeques proliferate and continue into the evening hours. And you’ll find it in the alfresco dining restaurants where fresh seafood overflows from every dish.
But once the sun sets on Airlie Beach, another ambiance embraces the town. You’ll find a thriving energy exuding from the bars and nightclubs where backpackers and travellers party together well into the night. This energy is both contagious and irresistible, and often encourages travellers to stay longer than first expected.
Airlie Beach is surrounded by several small communities: Bowen to the north, Shute Harbour to the west and Abel Point Marina to the east. Bowen is renowned for its impeccable beaches, while Shute Harbour is the departure point for the island ferries and Abel Point Marina is home to many of the cruising yachts. The drive between the beachfront communities winds along a jagged coastline with breathtaking views to the distant Whitsunday islands. Rent a scooter and take a picnic lunch to enjoy the picturesque scenery and fully appreciate the beauty of this area.
Airlie Beach thrives on community events with several throughout the year, including the annual Whitsunday Fun Race Festival every September. And every Saturday, a market is set up on the Airlie Beach foreshore with fresh food stalls (including local mangoes and bananas) and a variety of arts/crafts.
With all that Airlie Beach has to offer, you’ll soon see why it is one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations.
Airlie Beach is easily accessible and only a thirty-minute drive from Proserpine Airport, the closest airport in the region.