15 Aug 2015
August 15, 2015

Travelling to Airlie Beach & the Whitsundays.

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The most popular way to travel to Airlie Beach is via the airlines. The main airlines are Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tiger Air.  The airport that they fly into to is Whitsunday Coast Airport at Proserpine (pronounced PROSS-ER-PINE & airline code is PPP). It is then 30 minutes to the town of Airlie Beach and all transfers are with an airport shuttle bus service or the maxi taxi as a shared service.

Currently, these are the flights available and the flight times can be varied with changes to the schedule;

  • Virgin Australian flies direct from Brisbane (BNE) to Proserpine (PPP) Monday to Friday at 6.30am and 1.40pm.  Saturday & Sunday is only at 1.40pm.
  • Jetstar flies – Brisbane to Proserpine at 8am or can be moved to 8.30am.
  • Jetstar also flies – Melbourne (MEL) to Proserpine (PPP) on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. This flight commenced in June 2015 and has been very popular.
  • Tiger Air – flies Sydney (SYD) to Proserpine (PPP) on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and soon to commence a Sunday flight.


Greyhound Australia or Premier Motor Service – these bus services travel the east coast of Australia and are mainly supported by the backpackers that travel our vast country. The low cost of getting on and off as you travel in one direction & the opportunity to save a night’s accommodation if you travel overnight.  Check the websites www.greyhound.com.au and www.premierms.com.au


The train service also services the east coast of Australia allowing you to disembark at the train stations available. When you book your train ticket, ensure you also book the bus ticket to take you to your accommodation in Airlie Beach. This website will provide all the train information for the days they travel north and south on the east coast, www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au


Australia is a big country to travel and our speed limits are mainly 110klm/per hour but can vary to 50, 60, 70, 80 & 100 klm zones.  When you talk to ‘Aussies’ and ask how long does it take to get to your next destination point, we may say it takes 3.5 hours and not 350 klms. Just one of our quirks when you visit our country. If driving from the north Cairns, it will take 8.5 hours to get to Airlie Beach with limited stops. Don’t think you will do it any quicker as you may experience the police and receive a fine. This does not add to a happy holiday!  There are some lovely towns as you travel down the coast so don’t forget the small towns that offer a lot of character. Townsville to Airlie Beach is 3.5 hours.  If you travel from the south then you will experience the long stretch from Rockhampton to Sarina (3.5 hours), then Mackay (another 30mins), then Airlie Beach (another 2 hours).  There is only a fuel station between Rockhampton and Sarina, with no accommodation available if you have not calculated your travel distance correctly.  You turn off the highway at Proserpine to travel to AIrlie Beach, another 30 minutes.


Most accommodation properties in the small towns will be closed by 5.30pm to at the latest 7.00pm.  Apartment accommodation generally are operated by husband and wife teams and their opening hours are generally business hours 8.30am – 5.30pm.  If you arrive into a town and it is after 5.30pm, you may find that the phones will not be answered and they are closed for the day. Standby accommodation is most welcome however, maybe call in advance to check there is something available for you and you can arrange a late arrival check in.


In Australia, your accommodation property can sell all the tours if you have not booked in advance. It is always good to look for a local tour specialist in the area as they will give you the best information and know how the tours operated.  I am your local tour specialist living in Airlie Beach and I also operate holiday accommodation so I can offer the best of both worlds, especially if you are arriving late. Feel free to use my tour website www.airliebeachonline.com.au and stay at Airlie Apartments, my holiday apartments website is www.airlieapartments.com.au

The photo is courtesy of Tigermoth flights in Airlie Beach. You can enjoy a scenic flight for one or be a daredevil and let the adventurous side take you a thrill ride. Ask us to book you on a flight.