Airlie Beach itself is located in the centre of town along The Esplanade and overlooks Pioneer Bay to Hayman Island. The palm tree lined beach is the perfect spot to sunbake by day, enjoy the sunset and then devour fish and chips on the sand by night. Vibrant and alive, Airlie Beach is the beating heart of the Whitsundays. It is the epicentre of access to the islands and the reef by day, and by night offers such an array of dining and nightlife! Airlie Beach provides the ideal mainland base for holiday fun and adventure in the Whitsundays, where accommodation styles are as varied as the accents that can be heard in the main street.
- Boathaven Beach is a brand new beach opened in 2011, and is located at the Port of Airlie development at the Eastern end of town. Boathaven Beach has been engineered to be all tidal, so it remains sandy in all tides. It has a stinger net for swimming in the high risk stinger season.
- Hydeaway Bay, Dingo Beach & Cape Gloucester is only a short drive (40 minutes) from Airlie Beach. Popular with the locals on the weekend, you can enjoy a relaxed lunch at the Eco Resort, Montes or the Dingo Beach hotel.
- Horseshoe Bay, Rose Bay, Gray’s Bay, Murray Bay, Kings Beach & Queens Beach are located at Bowen, just 45 minutes north of Airlie Beach. Horseshoe Bay (my favourite!) is a secluded and quiet swimming bay where you can relax, swim and snorkel. There is a quaint coffee shop nearby if you are feeling hungry or just want cake & coffee. All these beaches are worth a visit and Bowen is known for the filming of the movie ‘Australia’.
Go exploring by taking a scenic drive to picturesque hinterland, secluded beaches and beautiful waterfalls (see Drive Trail Map).
Getting to Airlie Beach –
Jetstar & Virgin Australia are the main airlines that fly into the Whitsundays.
- Whitsunday Coast at Proserpine is serviced with flights direct from Brisbane only. Airport transfers to Airlie Beach is $18.00 per adult one way.
- Hamilton Island is serviced with flights from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane & Cairns. Ferry transfers to Airlie Beach is $45.00 per adult one way.
- Mackay is 2 hours south of Airlie Beach and has flights from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane. Tiger Airways also services this airport. Airport transfers to Airlie Beach is $60.00 per person one way, bookings essential.
- Townsville is 3.5 hours north of Airlie Beach. Car hire or Greyhound Bus service is the only way to get to Airlie Beach.
- Cairns has flights to Townsville and then either take the Greyhound Bus or hire a car to drive to Airlie Beach.
Held every Saturday 7am -1pm and also on the days when the Cruise Ships are visiting Airlie Beach.
Airlie Beach is open 7 days a week during business hours 8.30am – 5.30pm or longer if the tourists are out and about. Coles and Woolworths at Cannonvale are the major grocery outlets and open till 9pm Monday- Friday, 5.30pm on Saturday and 6pm on Sunday.