An aerial view of Airlie Beach, Australia
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Cruise to Airlie Beach, Queensland

Airlie Beach is the Queensland coast's go-to spot for maritime adventure. It's the mainland town that allows the easiest access to the 74 incredible Whitsunday Islands — take the ferry out and spend your day relaxing by clear aqua waters at Whitehaven Beach or snorkeling among the heart-shaped portion of the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or stick to the mainland: Walk the Bicentennial Walkway along the Airlie Beach waterfront, popping into a cafe for a late-morning flat white (the Australian signature latte). Take a dip in Airlie Beach Lagoon, or head to Conway National Park, where you can hike your way through rain forest to panoramic views of the city and the harbor.
National Language English
Currency Accepted Australian Dollar (AUD)

Things To Do in Airlie Beach

Whitehaven beach during a sunny, clear day in Australia

Islands Among the Reef

Whitehaven beach during a sunny, clear day in Australia

Whitehaven beach during a sunny, clear day in Australia

Islands Among the Reef

Doing a half or full-day trip to the Whitsunday Islands is the thing to do in Airlie Beach. For best Great Barrier Reef experience, do a tour to Hardy Reef's pontoon. There are also half-day trips available to both South Molle Island and award-winning Whitehaven Beach.

View of Shute Harbour from a rainforest in Australia

Wander the Rain Forest

View of Shute Harbour from a rainforest in Australia

View of Shute Harbour from a rainforest in Australia

Wander the Rain Forest

Airlie Beach is not only an ocean gateway. Conway National Park — and its regional parks — are located minutes from Airlie Beach. The area is known for its lush rain forest, seasonal waterfalls, scenic lookouts and walking and biking trails. Locals recommend the easy Coastal Fringe Circuit, a 1.2-kilometer (0.7-mile) track.

View of the Airlie Beach Lagoon in downtown Airlie Beach, Australia
View of the Airlie Beach Lagoon in downtown Airlie Beach, Australia

Laze by the Lagoon

Located in the town center, the Airlie Beach Lagoon is a free, self-chlorinated swimming pool. The Lagoon is surrounded by grassed areas, barbecue facilities and swaying palm trees for sunbathing or reading in the shade. There's also a children's pool and sandy beach area attached to the Lagoon.

A filet of grilled barramundi on a white plate
A filet of grilled barramundi on a white plate

Local Cuisine

The Esplanade is Airlie Beach's go-to spot for dining. Head here for traditional fish and chips as well as higher-end seafood-focused fare — try tempura-battered local tiger prawns or wild-caught Barramundi with new potatoes. You can also find internationally inspired takes on the ocean's bounty, like Malaysian-style laksa, a noodle soup with curry broth, piled high with prawns, squid and scallops.

An assortment of handcrafted artisan necklaces
An assortment of handcrafted artisan necklaces

Shopping

The Airlie Beach Saturday Markets happens on the foreshore every Saturday. Drop by and browse the local art, craft and clothing stalls for a unique souvenir. PAYA Boutique also stocks a wide range of hand-selected fashion and lifestyle products, including women's fashion, accessories, jewelry, home wares and gifts.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 Airlie Beach's Main Street is very walkable from end to end, so there's no need for public transport.
2 Shop around to find the best day trip option available, as there's lots of competition.

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