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Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach (Australia)

Practical information on Airlie Beach

  • Beach / Seaside Resort
  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Island
  • Viewpoint
  • Extreme Sports
  • Water Sports
  • Essential
3 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
1hr flight from Cairns
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Airlie Beach

Tony Mainguenaud Seasoned Traveller
10 written opinions

Airlie Beach, a town in Queensland, is the departure point for a dream cruise.

My suggestion:
Hop on the first boat you find and head to the Whitsunday Islands.
My review

Airlie Beach is a charming town, but I have to admit that we only did a whirlwind tour. If you're looking to unwind and laze by the sea, you won't be disappointed. The plus side, despite what you may think, is that going for a swim here doesn't mean you'll be surrounded by crowds.

Stopping at Airlie Beach was, for me, a simple way to reach my dream destination. I tend to follow my friends' advice, so as soon as I arrived, I found a boat and headed off to the Whitsunday Islands. I will never be able to thank my friend enough for their advice. Breathtaking views, heavenly beaches and turquoise seas - a perfect, picture postcard.

Sophie Liger Seasoned Traveller
31 written opinions

A necessary place to pass through to visit the Whitsunday Islands, off the coast of Airlie Beach.

My suggestion:
Don't stay in Airlie Beach longer than needed: only the time it takes to get on a boat towards the islands off the coast!
My review

Airlie Beach is a small town where you will find lots of tourists. It is actually the main town for boat departures to the Whitsunday Islands, which are however a must see on your trip to Australia!

You can't swim in the sea all year round in Airlie Beach (because of the jellyfish), so there is a lagoon which is effectively an outdoor pool surrounded by beach! If you enjoy bars or nightclubs, Airlie Beach has many which are very lively, often visited by the travellers on site and where I myself met people of all nationalities!

One day will be enough for you to enjoy the lagoon and see the whole town. Personally, I stopped there the evening before I left for the islands and I stayed there for only one night after my trip which lasted 3 days.

Lisa Gaillard Seasoned Traveller
47 written opinions

A little piece of paradise in Queensland, Airlie Beach is the ideal place from which to visit the Whitsundays (an archipelago of 74 islands). This resort is the point of convergence of the travellers who come to see the Great Barrier Reef.

My suggestion:
All the activities revolve around island visits: kayaking, airplane, parachute jumping or sailing - there is much to choose from. Don't miss swimming in the lagoon and a meal at the Fish D'vine restaurant.
My review

Airlie Beach is an ultra laid-back place. Under the palm trees, the open-air restaurants, shops and bars line Shut Harbor (the high street), which is much appreciated by the backpackers who come to party and discover the Great Barrier Reef. The population is relatively young and out for a good time, but that should not stop you from enjoying the place. I set up my base in a campsite 3 km from the bustle of the city and just a few metres from the sea: brilliant for a quiet stroll along the marina at sunset. You can finish your walk with a cocktail at sunset on the terrace of a bar with a view over the bay - you really feel like you're on holiday! At Airlie Beach, I advise you to take advantage of the superb artificial lagoon for a safe swim, because the sea is infested with deadly jellyfish.

As the purpose of a trip to Airlie Beach is to see the islands and the Great Barrier Reef, there is no lack of offers to visit them. So don't hesitate to compare the rates offered by the different agencies. You're in Australia, so the tours are not cheap but some include worthwhile offers. I opted for a day of discovery of the islands with a guided tour by kayak, followed by an excursion in a light aircraft. The kayak activity consisted of 3 hours of paddling under a blazing sun, with a lunch break on a deserted island. It was physically hard but simply beautiful, even if I did not see many fish frolicking below me. And then the excursion in a small aircraft to the Whitsundays with a view of beautiful Whitehaven Beach transported me to Nirvana! It's a memory that I will keep all my life. 

 If you are looking for adventure, sports and partying in a corner of paradise, then you have come to the right place!


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