Airlie Beach Travel Guide

Renowned for its scenic hinterland and soft white sand beaches, Airlie Beach is a popular holiday destination in the heart of the Whitsunday Coast. The small coastal town sits on a tropical peninsula at Shute Harbour and is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands. Despite its smaller size, there is still plenty to do in Airlie Beach with a number of shops, bars and restaurants popular with backpackers, holiday makers and locals alike. There is also a picturesque boardwalk home to a safe swimming lagoon and a fantastic range of activities available off the mainland including snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing, sky diving and day tours.


Airlie Beach mainland accommodation is as diverse as the surrounding islands and range from hotels and resorts to holiday apartments, self-contained suites, bungalows and luxury villas. Airlie Beach is also a popular destination with backpackers and budget travellers so there are also options to stay at caravan parks and camp grounds. However most Airlie Beach accommodation enjoys all of the modern comforts including bars and restaurants, shops and an excellent range of facilities either onsite or very close by. The ideal location to enjoy day trips to the Great Barrier Reef or Whitsunday Islands, Airlie accommodation enjoys a convenient location and fantastic value for money.

Accommodation Regions


Despite its laidback seaside atmosphere, Airlie Beach and the surrounding areas offer a wide range of activities and entertainment day and night. Aside from the obvious attraction of the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands, there is plenty to enjoy on the mainland of Airlie Beach as well. The Goorganga Wetlands, Proserpine River and sugarcane mills are all popular attractions as well as the Wildlife Park which boasts one of the most extensive ranges of fauna in Australia. Locally there are regular markets, horse riding and a safe swimming lagoon to enjoy while those with a sense of adventure might like to try parasailing, skydiving or a quad bike adventure.

Airlie Beach Packages

As the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands, Airlie Beach is a popular holiday destination offering a wide range of accommodation options and holiday experiences. With so many different options available, a great way to save money is by combining all the basics like accommodation, flights and transfers with all the added extras like meals, tours, day trips, travel insurance and more. There are a number of existing holiday packages available or our team of experienced consultants can help you to customise a package to create your dream holiday.

Airlie Beach Facts

The Whitsunday Coast was named by Captain Cook in 1770 when, so he believed, he passed through on the Christian festival of Whit Sunday. Having not taken into account the yet to exist International Date Line, it's now widely accepted that he didn't actually pass through on this date however Airlie Beach still celebrates Whit Sunday or Pentecost Sunday each year. Humpback Whales pass through the waters between July and September during their annual migration. The sea surrounding Airlie beach is home to marine stingers and box jellyfish from November to May however safe swimming places still exist.