Airlie Beach Holidays Guide

Queensland, Australia

airlie beach holiday and accomodation guide

The departure point to the Whitsunday Islands is the resort town of Airlie Beach, 1100km (700mi) north of Brisbane. The town is situated on the palm-fringed shores of Pioneer Bay and provides a myriad of services for the traveller including tour bookings, good quality restaurants, and a range of accommodation options. Airlie Beach is also known for its cosmopolitan night-life, with many international travellers enjoying the buzzing clubs and bars until late into the night. Every Saturday there is a market on the foreshore offering local produce and arts & crafts.

Airlie Beach Highlights

Easy going tourist town with affordable hotels

Great waterfront with public pool and beach

Some lively bars and restaurants in town

Gateway to the Whitsunday Islands

Coastal and hill walks around Shute Harbour

Airlie Beach Holidays Planner

Airlie Beach is in fact a sprawling area comprising of the Airlie Marina, where day cruises depart, Airlie Town, the commercial hub and Shute Harbour, a quiet hilly residential area with panoramic views of the bay and also with a small marina. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the great natural wonders of the world and home to exotic, colourful coral and amazing tropical fish and Airlie Beach offers direct and easy access to this fascinating undersea world as well as to the offshore islands with its holiday resorts. There are many different tour companies offering diving and snorkelling trips on the reef, sailing excursions to secluded bays and beaches, and day trips to the island resorts. You can travel on large modern catamarans or cruisers, old-style sailing ships or even small inflatable craft that will get you into the shallower areas of the reef.

Whitehaven Beach, a short boat ride from the mainland, is up there as the most beautiful beach in Australia with a long sweeping stretch of squeaky white sand and a turquoise lagoon. The four main islands of the group for tourism are Daydream, Hamilton, Hayman and Long Islands. Hayman Island boasts one of the Leading Hotels of the World and is the epitome of tropical style, however day visitors are welcome to visit the excellent snorkelling area of Blue Pearl Bay. Hamilton is the most developed with a small seaside promenade, quaint shops and restaurants and several large hotels as well as a great hill walk whilst Daydream is a tiny coral island and popular for day-trippers.

The climate of Airlie Beach is comparable to other tropical island locations such as Fiji, the Bahamas and Tahiti, with an average annual temperature of 27ÂșC. The water temperature is perfect for swimming all year round, however in the summer months the mainland beaches are closed due to stinging jellyfish.

About 70-km to the south of Airlie Beach and slightly inland is the Eungella National Park with dense tropical forest with streams, waterfalls and walking trails and is a good place to see platypus in the wild. The nearby coastal town of Mackay doesn't have much in the way of reef-related activities, but it's a pleasant town with a good night-life, if you're passing through.

Airlie Beach Accommodation Search

The following Airlie Beach hotels provide some of the best deals for a holiday in Queensland – please search below for availability and get the very best room rates sourced from over 100 local and online booking agents:

Airlie Beach Travel Info
The Whitsundays can be accessed by car, bus, train, or by flight into either Prosperine (inland from Airlie Beach) or Hamilton Island airports, with car-hire available. Ferry transfers to the islands are readily available and offer the chance not only to sightsee but to hop-off at some of the islands along the way and wait for the next ferry to turn up.