Airlie Beach is unquestionably the Whitsunday tourist Mecca for the young and the young at heart. Positioned on the peninsular closest to Shute Harbour and the Whitsunday Islands, Airlie Beach is the destination of choice for backpackers and international travellers from far and wide. Regardless of the time of day, Airlie is alive with things to see and do. Essentially it has become the mainland hub of the Great Barrier Reef. The combination of exquisite scenery, fabulous climate, relaxed lifestyle and buzzing nightlife all contribute to the ambience which is Airlie.
Many of the Whitsundays tourist activities and sight-seeing operations are based at Airlie Beach. They range from hiking through National Parks to boat hire, cruises, island hops, helicopter and seaplane experiences, fishing, diving and/or snorkelling tours, camping expeditions, crocodile treks…and so on. There is little you cannot hire or organise from Airlie Beach.
Famed for its enormous man made lagoon, this picturesque and practical facility is set in tropical gardens off the main shopping precinct overlooking both Pioneer Bay and Airlie’s beautiful palm-fringed beach. Locals, travellers (and their children) flock to the lagoon throughout the year to enjoy the benefits of safe stinger-free bathing under the watchful eye of local lifeguards.
Airlie Beach‘s vibrant and colourful variety of bars and clubs, provide a relaxed fun atmosphere well into the night. The Whitsunday lifestyle has proven a drawcard for chefs of many specialities. The resultant array of restaurants – from numerous al frescos to the fine dining of resorts - and yes, the ubiquitous chain franchises – brim with creative activity. The same is true of Airlie Beach shops which trade every day of the week to keep up with demand. Both boutique and classical vendors are well stocked with a wide variety of specialist goods as well as staple supplies. Intriguing mementos, keep-sakes, arts, crafts and collectables can be sourced both at the shops and at Airlie Beach’s Saturday markets where travellers often restock in fresh fruit and veg, candles, clothing, travel gear.
One of the attractions at Airlie is the ability to enjoy the Whitsunday lifestyle without the price tag. Accommodation is as varied as it is plentiful and most options are positioned with breath-taking views or waterfront indulgence. There are camping and caravan parks, backpacker accommodation, lodges and hostels, quaint bed and breakfast selections, motels, stylish apartments and hotels through to top of the line resort accommodation. The choice is limited only by your pocket and your preference.