Airlie Beach is one of the most visited beaches in New Zealand and is the gateway to the Whitsundays Islands. Located in Tropical North Queensland, Airlie Beach is situated around 12 hours north of Brisbane and 7 hours south of Cairns. This small bustling town of Airlie attracts tourists all year-round to explore the stunning Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef. There are plenty of activities to do and enjoy at the beach that will surely keep you busy. Here are the 10 sure things to do in Airlie Beach and have fun.
10 Things to do in Airlie Beach
1. Go for a sailing tour to Whitsunday Islands
The 74 beautiful islands of paradise make up the Whitsunday Islands and the best way to explore this popular destination is by a sailing tour. There are many different sailing tours to choose from, from racing maxi yachts to Pirates of the Caribbean-style schooners. Depending on how much time you have in Airlie Beach, you can choose from 1-day sailing trips to 5-night liveaboards.
2. Visit Whitehaven Beach
Located on the largest of the Whitsunday Islands, Whitehaven Beach is the most popular drawcard to Airlie Beach. Most of the sailing tours will include a visit to Whitehaven Beach but there are many other ways to experience the crystal clear waters and white silica sands of this infamous beach. Depending on your budget, there are Helicopter Tours, Scenic Flights and 1 Day Cruises that head out to the island.
3. Take a day package for Hamilton Island
This “luxurious” island of the Whitsundays can be quite expensive if you are wanting to spend a night here, however, there are one-day Hamilton Island packages that depart from Airlie Beach and allow you to soak up the glitz and glamor for a day. The packages include ferry transfers to and from Airlie Beach and full use of the resort’s facilities – including the beachfront swimming pool Cocktail bar.
4. Scuba diving and exploring the Great Barrier Reef
As the Whitsundays is located within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, most sailing tours to the islands will include a snorkeling or scuba diving stop at one of the area’s fringing reefs. Also, a visit to the Reefworld is great to explore. Reef world is a platoon that sits upon Hardy Reef and can be reached by a boat transfer. The platoon has sun decks, a waterslide into the ocean, an underwater observatory, dive center, snorkel hire, massage facilities and buffet lunch options.
5. Hit the Airlie Beach Lagoon & Boathaven Beach
The Lagoon in Airlie Beach sits upon the shores of the beach and is a great spot for a BBQ, a swim and a sunbake. The Lagoon is located in the center of town and you won’t miss it. A short walk from the town center will also have you arrive at Boathaven Beach – a little touch of paradise that many visitors to Airlie can sometimes miss! The beach is located by the Port of Airlie and is protected by stinger nets during the season.
6. Take a coastal walk to Cannonvale Beach
As you depart from Airlie Beach follow the waterfront track through to Shingley Beach and Cannonvale Beach. The beach is usually rather secluded and the walk will take you around 30 minutes one way. One of the most outstanding things to do.
7. Visit the Cedar Creek Falls
A little local secret, Cedar Creek Falls is located around a 20-minute drive from Airlie Beach but is well worth a visit, especially during the humid wet season! You may be able to spot turtles swimming in the natural water hole at the foot of the waterfalls and the walking trail to the top of the falls will certainly make you say awe with some epic views to take shot too.
8. Go for Whitsunday Jet Ski Tours
Imagine zooming through the Whitsunday Islands, fringing reefs and bays by Jet Ski! Whitsunday Jet Ski Tours offers a number of tour options available depending on what you want to see and how long you want to spend whizzing around paradise. If you are a newbie on a Jet Ski no worries as the tour caters to all levels of experience.
9. Skydive over the Whitsundays
Well, this is one for the strongest hearts and the more adventurous. Imagine jumping out of a perfectly good plane at 14,000ft above the 74 islands that make up the World Heritage Listed Whitsundays. The Airlie Beach drop zone is in the heart of Queensland’s most popular tourism spot, the Whitsunday Islands. Just minutes from the town of Airlie Beach, it provides free return transfers to your accommodation. Jump from the incredible altitude of up to 14,000ft directly over the crystal clear waters and sparkling white sands of the Great Barrier Reef.
Experience the ultimate thrill of freefall at over 220 km/hr for up to an insane 60 seconds, and then float under the canopy for 5-7 minutes soaking up breath-taking views.
10. Get mementos and artefacts from the markets
The beachfront of Airlie Beach plays host to a weekly market that is well worth visiting and know the locals. The Esplanade Markets are open every Saturday from 8:00 am until midday, all year round. Expect live music, great souvenirs, arts, crafts, jewelry, clothing and more.
These 10 things will surely keep you busy at Airlie Beach and you will be all excited about this adventure and fun.