Airlie Beach is the jumping off point for the enchanting Whitsunday Islands, but the lively little tourist town is a genuine destination in itself. A word of warning... one of the Cairns Unlimited team (who shall remain nameless) got 'lost' in Airlie Beach some years ago. He arrived on a Saturday, and left on a Saturday, and has never been able to figure out whether he spent two weeks there... or three!
Airlie Beach Lagoon, the gate to the Whitsundays, in Tropical North Queensland.With the Conway National Park and Conway State Forest as a backdrop and the spectacular Whitsunday Islands at its front door, it's no wonder Airlie Beach is so popular. It's a major destination for backpackers following the east coast trail, as well as for yachtsmen sailing the tranquil waters of the Great Barrier Reef. It's an attractive little town - only a few blocks long - with pleasant parkland and two beautiful marinas. The town has been thoughtfully developed with tasteful low rise resorts that blend in with the surrounds rather than dominate them.

The beach itself is small, but the local council has compensated for that with the construction of a 4,300 square metre lagoon, holding 4.5 million litres of salt water. That's about the size of about six full-size Olympic swimming pools, set in four hectares of shady botanic gardens, with a children's pool, barbecues, picnic shelters, toilets, showers, and parking. Supervision is undertaken by lifeguards from the Royal Life Saving Society of Queensland, who are in attendance from 7:00am to 9:00pm, seven days per week. Dedicated security staff patrol the site from 9:00pm to 5:00am, seven days per week. The lagoon provides a 'stinger free' swimming environment all year round.

Airlie Beach is colourful and cosmopolitan, yet maintains a relaxed and inviting village atmosphere. Life revolves around the beach, lagoon and marina by day, and the restaurants, bars and clubs by night. You wouldn't imagine it but Shute Harbour - 11 kilometres down the road - is one of Queensland's busiest ports, filled with yachts, cruisers, water taxis, ferries, and fishermen. On the other side of town, the Abel Point Marina is capable of hosting over 200 vessels, from small leisure craft to 40 metre super yachts.

1,100 kilometres north of Brisbane and 640 kilometres south of Cairns, Airlie Beach is truly an adventure destination, with superb diving, snorkelling and sailing right on the doorstep, in the pristine Whitsunday Islands. Visitors can take scenic flights, skydive, jet skiing, parasailing, jet boating, kite surfing, ocean rafting, waterskiing, tube riding, surf kayaking... or even enjoy the thrills of 'looping-the-loop' in a vintage aerobatic bi-plane.

... and at the end of the day, the nightlife in Airlie Beach provides something for everyone, from typical Aussie pubs to sports bars, rowdy backpackers bars and nightclubs.

Every Saturday the foreshore parkland turns into a bustling market with stalls selling fresh fruit and veges, local arts and crafts and all manner of goods under the shade of coconut palms, with views across Pioneer Bay and the Whitsunday Passage.


Ocean Rafting in the Whitsunday Islands, includes a visit to famous Whitehaven Beach.
One day reef trips. OCEAN RAFTING
Shingley Drive, Coral Sea Marina, Airlie Beach (MAP)
Phone (07) 4946 6848

The Whitsundays... three days in one!

Multi award winning Ocean Rafting visits the 'Wild Side' of the Whitsunday Islands, the uninhabited islands with beautiful natural scenery brimming with marine, bird and animal life. There are two exciting tour options, the Northern Exposure and Southern Lights. Each Ocean Rafting day offers three days in one, including an exhilarating ride to Whitehaven Beach, pristine snorkelling reefs and guided Whitsunday Island National Parks walks.

Ocean Rafting is the only tour to have direct access to the stunning and iconic Hill Inlet beach, and special snorkel sites at Hook Island and Border Island ensure a memorable underwater experience. The semi rigid inflatable vessels are super fast allowing guests to experience a fun ride, adventure and education amongst the natural beauty of the Whitsundays. 32 passengers at most allows for personal snorkelling lessons and the pleasure of a small group. Ocean Rafting is proud to be Advanced Ecotourism Certified.

Scenic flights over the Whitsunday Islands, from Airlie Beach.Airlie Beach scenic flights over the Whitsunday Islands.GSL AVIATION - AIRLIE BEACH
1/384 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach (MAP)
Phone 1300 475 247

The jewel of the Great Barrier Reef!

GSL Aviation is proud to offer a range of great value scenic flights, island transfers and air charter from our base at Airlie Beach in the beautiful Whitsundays.

See it all with our Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef scenic flight tours giving you an excellent overview of the most popular Whitsunday Islands and the famous Heart Reef & Whitehaven Beach. With expert commentary you will appreciate the layout and beauty of this amazing area, all whilst soaring above these breathtaking sights! Ask us about our 'Fly and Cruise' packages too and enjoy the Reef from above and below the water!

Sights include: Shute Harbour, Hamilton Island, Hill Inlet, Whitehaven Beach, Hayman Island, Hook Island, Daydream Island, Bait Reef, Heart Reef and Hook Reef.

Level 2/293 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach
Phone: (07) 4940 2000 / Fax: (07) 4948 2352
With a fleet of 13 vessels, Oz Adventure Sailing offers you the opportunity to explore both above and below the protected tropical waters of the beautiful Whitsunday Islands, whether you are looking for the ease of a by the cabin charter on a racing yacht, cruising yacht, tallship or a luxury yacht.

3 Abel Point Marina, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4946 4167 / Mobile 0408 339 998
Eight vessels to choose from, catering for everyone, from the backpackers to the couples market. Experience the wonders of abundant marine life and visit the breathtaking Whitehaven Beach.

Shop 1, 4 The Esplanade, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4946 4999
Catering for the backpackers market, Southern Cross Sailing Adventures provides sailing holidays exploring beautiful locations such as Whitehaven Beach, Blue Pearl Bay on Hayman Island, Mantaray Bay and Nara Inlet at Hook Island. There is time to snorkel and swim on the island coral fringing reefs.

24 The Cove Road, Port of Airlie
Phone (07) 4946 4662 / Fax (07) 4946 4382
On this full day adventure, you'll enjoy swimming, snorkelling, beautiful beaches and bays, an all you can eat BBQ lunch.

24 The Cove Road, Port of Airlie
Phone (07) 4846 7000
Cruise Whitsundays provide transfers to/from Hamilton Island Airport and Whitsunday Coast Airport (Proserpine) to Daydream Island Resort and Spa, Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island. The service provides a seamless, hassle free and fast connection for arriving and departing guests with modern and well-appointed vessels.

Shop 1, 4 The Esplanade, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4946 4999
If you are more inclined to want a more relaxed experience, Australian Tall Ship Cruises may be for you. Turn to the early 1900's, aboard Solway Lass or enjoy higher leve of service aboard Whitsunday Magic. Both include sailing the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands.

Shop 1, 4 The Esplanade, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4946 4999
ProSail offers you the opportunity of sailing the Whitsunday's aboard one of their crewed eco acredited maxi sailing yachts. Or explore both above and below the tropical waters of the Whitsunday Islands aboard a crewed luxury vessel or a chartered sailboat.

Abel Point Marina, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4946 7400 / Fax (07) 4946 7698
Join multi-award winning Whitsunday bareboat charter company, Queensland Yacht Charters, for your next boating adventure. There is a large range to cater to all tastes and budgets.

6 Bay Terrace, Shute Harbour
Phone (07) 4946 9232 / Fax (07) 4946 9512
Enjoy your Whitsundays adventure with the range of activities a bareboat charter provides access to - swimming, snorkelling, sailing, diving, beachcombing or fishing.

Conway National Park, located between Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour, covers an area of 22,500 hectares, including the largest area of lowland tropical rainforest in Queensland. The vegetation found in Conway National Park is very similar to that found in the Whitsunday Islands. The park is home to some very good walking, picnic spots, fishing and wildlife viewing. Conway National Park is of high biological significance. Twenty-three species of animals who inhabit this park are significant nationally and internationally, six species are rare or threatened and three are known only from this area. Camping is permitted in the area.

Offering unique attractions to keen naturalists, Conway State Forest provides a constant refuge for up to 20 rainforest plant species that can only be found in the Whitsunday region. There are four campgrounds in Conway State Forest where camping is permitted but they are only accessible on foot. Remember to obtain a camping permit before. Fees apply.

For more information about these National Parks and others around Tropical North Queensland, please visit our NATIONAL PARKS page.

Airlie Beach is a fantastic destination in Tropical North Queensland. Visitors can enjoy different tours and activities, including snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef.A Whitsundays sailing trip is virtually mandatory on everyone's itinerary, including backpackers, not least because it's a beautiful and extremely affordable activity. Dozens of companies operate out of Airlie Beach. Day trips generally visit a couple of islands and Whitehaven Beach (on Whitsunday Island) and include lunch and snorkelling. Options range from fast rafts and island-hoppers to a leisurely sail on a ketch or catamaran. For a comprehensive list of all the cruises available in the region, have a look at our CRUISING TOURS page.

Scuba diving or snorkelling is another of the activities anybody spending their holidays in Airlie Beach is compelled to do. The number of diving companies is increasing every day, you only have to decide which one offers what you are looking for and GO AHEAD!!! Find more about snorkeling and scuba diving trips on our SCUBA DIVING AND SNORKELLING TRIPS page.

Also, there are a number of operators that offer whale watching tours between July and September. It is during these months when the whales give birth and, although their food supply (krill) is in Antartica, they come to these warm waters so the babies can survive. Seeing these whales is an unforgettable experience. The larger adults can be up to fifteen metres long, can weight around 45 tonnes, with pectoral fins of ten metres. Can you imagine what it would be like finding yourself surrounded by this gigantic mammals? Despite their massive size, Humpback whales tend to be very gentle and very curious about humans, so it is not unusual for them to approach the vessel and spend some time playing around.... 'showing off', in other words!

And the ultimate way to discover the beautiful area around Airlie Beach and the magnificent Whitsunday Islands is by renting your own boat or yacht and skippering it yourself. Have a look at our BOAT HIRE page to see all the boats available in Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands.

PO Box 194, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4948 1211 / Mobile 0419 372 480
Divetime is a specialized day trip operation dedicated to your enjoyment of all the snorkelling and diving experiences of the Whitsundays. They depart on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday to visti Bait Reef and do several dive spots such as the Stepping Stones (2-3 dives).

PO Box 1152, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4946 9115 / Fax (07) 4946 9833
Make sure you get the best views by jumping directly over the fantastic Whitsunday Islands. The ultimate adrenalin rush with the ultimate view, just ask anyone that has ever skydived and they will tell you it is the best thing they have EVER done, there are no words to describe it, just do it!

Coral Sea Resort, 25 Ocean View Avenue, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4948 0000
Whitsunday Jetski Hire and Watersports offers a unique and exciting holiday thrill right in the heart of Airlie Beach. Parasail or rent jet skiis in Airlie Beach.

The Airlie Markets are held every Saturday on the foreshore. Stalls sell fresh fruit and vegetables, local arts and crafts and a vast array of other goods. And all under the comforting shadow of coconut palms. The Airlie Beach Markets are a great place to experience the culture of the islands and the perfect spot to find the right souvenir among the many hundreds of locally made craft items on offer.

On the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month, at Whitsunday Gold Coffee Plantation (Bruce Highway, Proserpine) you will find the Whitsunday Farmers Market

Airlie Beach is a haven for those looking to have a good time. Apart from all the tours and attractions available, the events that take place in the town are many.

You will be delighted by the delicacies chefs from the restaurants of Airlie Beach will prepare for you. From gourmet delights to an extensive range of Australina wines, chefs from the finest restaurants in the area are here to make sure that you experience the incredible food the different regions have to offer as well as try, and purchase, the best wines of all the Australians regions.

Formerly known as Hog's Breath Race Week, the Airlie Beach Race Week is an annual yacht racing regatta in which Yachts from all over Australia and overseas compete for seven days on Pioneer Bay in the Whitsunday Islands. The regatta draws approximately 150 yachts and has grown to being the largest annual sailing event on the Queensland coastline.

Showcasing the Marine Industry, the Oceanic Boat and Leisure Show offers visitors a wide variety of exhibits, including power boats, luxury yachts and trialable tinnies. Anyone interested will have the opportunity to visit the 50 metre Hoecker, where exhibitors will be showing everything from refrigeration and luxury holidays to marine electronics.

Everybody will have fun as entertainment will be provided during the weekend. Make your way to Airlie Beach for the show and learn how to catch a barramundi, enjoy a delicious and tasty barbecue, join in any of the competition and much more.

A weekend full of fun combining sailing and running with the beautiful Whitsundays in the background. The Tropical Peaks Race involves four runs and four sailing legs: Airlie Beach, Long Island, Hamilton Island and South Molle Island. If you are a runner you are not required to sail and viceversa, but it is mandatory that running is done in pairs.

With more than 200 yachts of all kinds competing, the Whitsundays Fun Races is now a major event on the social calendar. Airlie Beach welcomes many overseas visitors every year who come to the town not only for the race but also for the many other activities that will take place during the weekend.

For more details about these events and others that are taking place in North Queensland, please visit our NORTH QUEENSLAND'S EVENT CALENDAR.


Airlie Beach is one of the most popular destinations in Tropical North Queensland, and has a great supply of accommodation. Holiday accommodation in Airlie Beach varies from luxury resorts and self contained apartment complexes to affordable motels and home style bed and breakfast accommodation, not to mention a selection of caravan parks and campgrounds, with some offering self contained villas, and modern ensuite cabins. Airlie Beach has long been a favourite destination among backpackers as well, and there are no less than half a dozen backpackers hostels to choose from. If it's family friendly accommodation you're looking for, or budget accommodation while you enjoy the Whitsundays, Airlie Beach has something for everyone. Please visit our AIRLIE BEACH ACCOMMODATION section, or use the buttons in the right hand column to choose your style of Airlie Beach accommodation.


In Airlie Beach you will find lots of restaurants, cafes and bars. It seems that everywhere you go, there is an eatery. Besides, many of the Airlie Beach holiday accommodation options have their own restaurant, or restaurants in many cases, open to the public. Unless you spend a month in Airlie Beach, you won't have time to try them all. But we have compiled them all in the list below so you can choose which one you like most. Bon appetit!!!

Airlie Beach Hotel
Cnr The Esplanade and Coconut Grove, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4946 6233
Winner of the Queensland Hotels Association award for excellence "best café bistro", Mangrove Jacks offers a wide variety of café style meals and our famous "wood fired" pizzas.

Waters Edge Resort, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 5665 4450
One of the most popular Airlie Beach restaurants. Dèjá Vu offers a long Italian set meal on Sundays that it's a must. Bookings are essential.

Airlie Court Holiday Units
382 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4946 6320
Airlie Beach restaurant popular with locals. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Live music after around 9:30pm.

Roundabout Building
Corner Shute Harbour Road & The Esplanade, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4946 6713
Shirwrecked Seafood offers sumptious seafood, grills and other delicacies at very reasonable prices. Tropical seafood is at its finest at this Airlie Beach restaurant and they also have an extensive wine list of some of the magnificent Australian wines. Excellent service.

Airlie Beach Hotel
Corner The Esplanade and Coconut Grove, Airlie Beach Phone (07) 4964 1999 / Fax (07) 4964 1988
Relaxing outdoor dining, great water views, ocean fresh seafood, delicious steaks, good coffee, mouth-watering cakes and desserts and fantastic friendly service. The beachfront position enables guests to enjoy the refreshing sea breezes whilst dining for breakfast, lunch or dinner seven days a week.

Airlie Beach Hotel
Corner The Esplanade and Coconut Grove, Airlie Beach Phone (07) 4964 1800 / Fax (07) 4964 1883
Delicious Mexican food surrounded by memorabilia and artifacts that have created what can only be described as a unique and lasting experience.

Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4946 6138 / Fax (07) 4946 7573
The bistro offers a delectable menu at club prices. Coffee, tea, cakes and snacks available all day. Saturday - meals from the bistro at half price (bookings recommended). Wednesday carvery. Friday - roast nights.

Coral Sea Resort
25 Oceanview Avenue, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4964 1310 / Fax (07) 4946 6516
The Clipper Restaurant offers al fresco dining all day. From breakfast through to dinner and specializing in local seafood, the poolside location offers unrestricted ocean views.

Beach Plaza, The Esplanade, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4946 4683
Beautiful Chinese cuisine at very reasonable prices. Magnificent views from the balcony at sunset.

Shop 2, The Esplanade, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4948 0088
Fresh fish and beautiful seafood dishes. You select your own fish from a display. Great value.

261 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4946 7894 / Fax (07) 4946 5675
A very wide menu to suit everybody's taste. All bookings must be confirmed by phone.

Magnums Airlie Beach
366 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4946 6266 / Fax (07 )4964 1120

1 Hermitage Drive, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4946 7166
Colonial Palms offer superb meals at affordable prices, casual and relaxed alfresco dining overlooking Boathaven Bay. There's a Cocktail bar and a large range of wines on hand to compliment your dining experience.

346 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach
Phone (07) 4948 2283
Open 7 days for dine-in or take away. Breakfast, lunch & light snacks.

366 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach
Mobile 0439 877 898 / Fax (07) 4946 5318
Village Cafe aims to provide “lifestyle dinning” by serving excellent food, coffee, juices and smoothies throughout the day, their service is always courteous and efficient, their food both excellent, consistent and value for money. Open 7 days for Dine-in or Take away. Breakfast, Lunch & Light snacks.


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Getting to Airlie Beach should be the least of your worries. The once quiet little town has become a popular East Coast destination, and is well serviced by all means of transport. Of course, from exciting Airlie Beach, there is no end to your choices for travelling the Whitsunday Islands... seaplane, helicopter, water taxi, charter boats and organized tours. Many of the developed islands are connected by regular scheduled ferry services, and those which are a little 'off the beaten track' can always be accessed by charter boat. Whether you're up for renting a yacht and skippering it yourself, or your idea of enjoying this natural wonderland is to just lie back and letting someone else do all the work, there's no excuse for staying on the mainland. For getting around the Whitsunday Islands, please visit our WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS page.

Cruise Whitsundays offers a fast, seamless and personalised island resort transfer service from both Hamilton Island and Whitsunday Coast (Proserpine) Airports.Cruise Whitsundays services all Airlie Beach properties as well as Daydream and South Molle Island Resorts.CRUISE WHITSUNDAYS
24 The Cove Road, Port of Airlie (MAP)
Phone (07) 4946 4662 / Fax (07) 4946 4382

Purpose built vessels and personalized service!

Cruise Whitsundays provide transfers to/from Hamilton Island Airport and Whitsunday Coast Airport (Proserpine) to Daydream Island Resort and Spa, Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island. The service provides a seamless, hassle free and fast connection for arriving and departing guests with modern and well-appointed vessels.

Cairns Unlimited offers you the best deals on Cairns car rentals.Of course if you've got a desire for the freedom and flexibility that can only be had at the wheels of your own vehicle, please visit our CAR HIRE page. We may be called Cairns Unlimited, but we can get you a great deal on a rental car or campervan anywhere! Simply fill out our obligation free enquiry form, and we will get back to you - usually the next working day - with the best deal on a vehicle to suit your needs.

Virgin Blue offers discount flights to Proserpine, very close to Airlie Beach.Check Jetstar for discount flights to Proserpine and from there you can easily get to Airlie Beach.Virgin Blue and Jetstar both fly to nearby Proserpine, and also to Hamilton Island from most state capitals and major centres. Prices vary according to demand. A taxi from Proserpine to Airlie Beach will cost approximately $50, as per December 07, but as you will see below, there are other transport options available.
Please note that Proserpine airport is referred to as 'Whitsunday Coast' airport.

Airlie Beach is included in the Brisbane to Cairns Greyhound bus route. Although the Bruce Highway passes by 20 kilometres inland, Airlie Beach is included in the regular Brisbane to Cairns Greyhound bus route, with up to five departures every day. A Greyhound 'bus pass' will give you the flexibilty to stop off at interesting destinations along the way.

With Oz Experience you will find getting to Airlie Beach very easy.Airlie Beach is one of the essential stops on all of the Oz Experience East Coast routes. Oz Experience has a range of passes and itineraries around the country.


The Tilt Train stops in Proserpine, close to Airlie Beach, in Tropical North Queensland.The Sunlander Train stops in Proserpine, close to Airlie Beach, in Tropical North Queensland.The Queenslander Train stops in Proserpine, close to Airlie Beach, in Tropical North Queensland.
The nearest centre serviced by Queensland Rail is Proserpine, about 30 kilometres away, but Queensland Rail provides a 'Trainlink' bus connection to Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour for an extra $10 on the price of your ticket.

Airlie Beach taxi serviceAirlie Beach has a 24 hour local taxi service, with a taxi rank in the centre of town. Phone tollfree on 131 008.

Phone (07) 4946 1800
Whitsunday Transit coaches has frequent connecting services between Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour, and also to Proserpine's Whitsunday Coast Airport and Proserpine Railway Station.

The crystal clear lagoon in central Airlie Beach.


In case of emergency only, dial 000. In all other cases, phone the local service :

Ambulance 131 233
Hospital (07) 4945 0400 (Proserpine)
Fire Brigade (07) 4946 1128
Police (07) 4946 6445 (Cannonvale)

Relaxing at Airlie Beach, with views out to the Whitsunday Islands.
Why waste money on disposable cameras, and be limited to just a handful of photos. Rent one of our top quality 14.7 Megapixel Canon Underwater cameras, and take as many photographs as you want!