About Airlie Beach

Home to the stunning Whitsunday Islands and entrance to the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is the tropical coastal hub of North Queensland. From lavish resort living, boutique hostels to a buzzing nightlife, Airlie Beach holds all the rights to Australia’s favourite holiday town.

Boasting the most unique vantage point of the Whitsundays and the reef, Airlie Beach is the launching pad that sparks the reef to life. Torrents of people come from all over the world not just for the Whitsunday snorkel or scuba-diving experience, but to be treated with that genuine Aussie spirit of adventure. This busy town is more than a one-stop shop, with so much to offer all travel styles, lengths and budgets.

Airlie Beach Best Tours - Whitsundays

Airlie Beach is the best location for sailing adventures to the Whitsundays and all our best trips depart from the port of Airlie. The Whitsunday Sailing Adventure trips are the ultimate focus for all visitors to the region, so maximising time on the Whitsundays with our action-packed three-day trips are your best chance of soaking up all that rich beauty of the 74 Island experience.

At the very least, we want to make sure all our visitors reach the treasured Whitehaven Beach and walk upon the famous white sandy beach to the Hill Inlet lookout. Our most exhilarating tours depart from Airlie beach and include snorkelling equipment, a fun-loving crew and meals.

Airlie Beach Travel Itinerary and Top things to do:

Whether you are seeking adventure, fun or tranquillity, Airlie Beach offers an array of tours and activities that cannot be missed on an East Coast Adventure.

Some of the Top activities to include on an Airlie Beach itinerary are:

-Whitsunday Island Overnight Sailing Adventures
-Catching a scenic flight over the GBR & Whitsundays
-Getting involved in water sports like Jet boating or Water Skiing
-Skydiving from 15.000 feet over the Southern part of the reef
-Enjoying a great day out on a fishing charter
-Getting to know the wildlife with Turtle encounters and Crocodile parks to visit.
-Snorkelling Airlie Beach
-Dining aboard an Airlie Beach luxury cruise

Airlie Beach Tours Can Be Tailored to meet your needs

There are so many ways to get to Airlie Beach, which is why there are number of ways Peterpans can cater to meet your needs. You may have flown into Proserpine Airport and caught the shuttle to one of the hostels on the beachfront.  You may have flown into Hamilton Island, stayed at one of the world-renowned resorts and then caught the ferry to Airlie Beach. You may be having a blast on one of our epic East Coast Adventures and the bus has just reached Airlie. It doesn’t matter how you got here, it only matters what you are doing when you get here. This is where our award-winning travel agents are here to help find the best-suited trip for you.

Short on time? We have a range of accommodation options and 1 day trips available.
Short on budget? Get on one of our thrilling backpacker social trips and check if there’s one with your name on it.
Unsure how to see the Whitsunday’s? We have a range of Airlie beach adventures departure points with Airlie beach tours from Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton island and Whitehaven Beach.

Airlie Beach- Free things to do

Other than being the home to the Whitsundays, Airlie Beach has a multitude of options for the discerning traveler.

These are:

-Walking the Bicentennial Walk from Canonvale to the Airlie Lagoon
-Swimming the Airlie Beach Lagoon & Beach hopping
-Hiking to the Honeyeater Lookout and then cooling off at Cedar Creek Falls
-Getting amongst the locals at the Saturday Markets
-Browsing the many boutiques along the main strip
-Visiting Hideaway Bay – the town’s best-kept secret!

Frequently Asked Questions About the Uluru Tours

Is Airlie Beach worth visiting?

Airlie beach is one of the most iconic bucket-list areas along the pristine East Coast of Australia. Your Australian Experience would never be complete without a stay at Airlie Beach.

Can you swim at Airlie Beach?

As attractive as the turquoise beaches are, it is not recommended to swim in the main beach due to a strong crocodile, shark, stingray, and jellyfish presence in the area. In saying that, there are two public beaches where it is safe to swim: Boathaven and Canonvale Beach. In all instances, it is very important at any North Queensland Beach that you check in with the qualified lifeguard experts and tour guides before entering any water.

Can you get to the Great Barrier Reef from Airlie Beach?

Yes, you can! For those who love spending time onboard a sailing trip, there are trips that also venture out to the reef and the Whitsundays from Airlie Beach. If you like to spend time in the air, there are scenic flights available either via Seaplanes or Helicopters that depart from the local airport. Other ways you can see the reef are either via overnight cruises or aboard fishing charters. In any scenario, be sure to that the operator is registered and has the permit to visit the Great Barrier Reef.

How far is Whitehaven Beach from Airlie Beach?

The distance between the port of Airlie and Whitehaven Beach is 33.6 kilometers. This would take around 45 minutes to an hour via speed boat or 2 hours on a direct sailing trip. Depending on what style of trip you take, Whitehaven beach can either be one of the first or final stops on your Whitsunday expedition.

Can you snorkel off Airlie Beach?

You can snorkel right off the beach; however, the best snorkel spots stretched across certain areas within the 74 islands that make up the Whitsundays. Hardy Reef, Langford Island, Hook Island and Whitsunday Island are just to name some of the areas with the most marine diversity.

How many days do you need in Airlie Beach?

2-3 days would be the recommended time, giving you enough time before and after your Whitsunday Journey to soak up the atmosphere and explore some of the wonderful nature on offer. If you are booked on a Whitsunday 2- or 3-day sailing experience you can find yourself staying much longer, so make sure you have flexibility in your timeline.

Which is better Cairns or Airlie Beach?


Both towns have adventure tourism and a buzzing night scene at the heart of their daily operations. As a backpacking experience, Airlie Beach would rate higher because of the unmissable Whitsunday experiences mixed in with that local small-town feel. Cairns, on the other hand, offers that big city feels with more to do. This makes Cairns better suited to those looking to work and travel a lot. 

 

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