Airlie Beach is the Gateway to the magnificent Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. Once considered just a launch pad to the Whitsundays and Reef, Airlie Beach has become a popular holiday destination in its own right. A favourite with backpackers and families, there is a range of holiday rental accommodation as varied as the accents you can hear in the main street. The village atmosphere of Airlie Beach unites travellers of all budgets and removes barriers by creating a relaxed, holiday feel where everyone becomes your mate. Most of the holiday rental accommodation is found rambling up the hillside to take maximum advantage of the panoramic views; Imagine watching stunning sunsets over the islands while sipping cool tropical cocktails from the balcony of your own rental holiday hideaway.
Services and Shopping
Airlie Beach is a small town with a resident population of approximately 3000. The main street shopping precinct is home to a range of boutiques, retail stores and souvenir shops providing all the conveniences you’ll need for your holiday. If you need to stock up on supplies for your self-catering apartment, there are Coles and Woolworth supermarkets conveniently located close to accommodation. There are pharmacies (and hospitals in Proserpine and Bowen), banks and ATMs . There is also a police station where the local friendly “coppa’s” can help you if the need arises.
Dining and Nightlife
Dining out is one of the true joys of holidays. Enjoying the company of family and friends without the stress of being in the kitchen is a rare pleasure for some, and also provides the opportunity to try new tastes away from the everyday fare. Airlie Beach has dining to suit all tastes, from the simple to the gourmet. With a focus on local and fresh, the variety of tropical fruits and vegetables combined with any seafood imaginable makes dining in Airlie Beach an adventure in its own right. Here, you can enjoy million dollar flavours with million dollar views while sharing a simple meal of fish and chips from the balcony of your own home away from home.
Things to do on the water
Airlie beach is an enviable access point to the 74 islands that make up the Whitsunday Islands. There are many tours providing destinations, times and activities to suit individuals and families alike, the adventurer seeking an adrenalin rush or the chilled-out holiday-maker looking for nothing more than a palm tree and a good book. The pace can be as fast or as slow as you like, from gliding across crystal clear waters in a see through kayak to powering to the islands in a high speed catamaran. You can skim the surface, by snorkelling or sailing or explore the underwater spectacle of the reef by scuba-diving or semi-submarine tours.
You can visit the islands on an ‘island hopper’ day ticket, spending time at the day resort facilities on the islands of your choice.
One of the most well-known and fanciful reef locations is Heart Reef, a stunning composition of coral that has naturally formed into the shape of a heart. A must-see for the romantics it is best viewed by a scenic flight from Airlie Beach.
After a day out enjoying the sun and sea, it will be a pleasure to return to your air-conditioned rental accommodation for a cold shower and some down time.
Things to do on the land
You don’t have to get wet to enjoy a holiday at Airlie Beach. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to leave your holiday home, but with so much to see most people do.
Enjoy exploring the natural beauty of the islands and coast on foot through the winding trails of the National Park tracks. Enjoy the solitude of secluded coves and the majesty of the rainforest.
Brave the wild on a crocodile safari up the Proserpine River viewing some of the 200 estuarine crocodiles and marvel at the variety of migratory birds of the Goorganga wetlands.
Tee off for a round of golf at a Whitsunday coast course at Bowen, Proserpine or Laguna.
If the relaxing gets all too much, then consider pampering yourself in one of the exclusive Airlie Beach day spas offering a range of pampering and therapeutic packages. Or better still rent a holiday villa with its own garden spa – now you’re living.
Festivals and Events
Captain James Cook named the Whitsunday Islands as he sailed through the area on the Christian festival day of Whit Sunday in 1770. Each year Airlie Beach celebrates the Blessing of the Fleet on Whit Sunday or Pentecost Sunday.
Airlie Beach Race Week
August - A week-long colourful sailing regatta attracting competitors, supporters and spectators from around Australia and overseas.
The Great Barrier Reef Dancesport Open Championship
July – A winning combination with the glitz and glammer of dancesport competing with the sparkling jewels of the Coral Sea.
Whitsunday Writers Festival
July – classes lessons and workshops. Writing workshops on the Friday and on Saturday a day of listening to well-known authors discuss their work.
Airlie Beach is serviced by air from Proserpine Airport linking with all major cities. A shuttle bus or taxi will be waiting to take you directly to your rental holiday accommodation, so make a booking, start packing and let the holiday of a lifetime begin.