Nestled between the mountains of Conway National Park and the waters of the Coral Sea, Airlie Beach was part of the region first explored by the world renowned Captain Cook when he took the Endeavour through the Whitsundays. Since good old James made his explorations and discoveries, the town has developed steadily but it has really only taken off in the last ten to fifteen years when its tourist potential was realised.
Its location makes it the perfect backpacker base for exploring the extremely popular Whitsundays. A group of seventy-four islands, the majority of which are uninhabited, these are as close to island paradise as you will get. The town’s subtropical latitude also adds to its appeal ensuring virtual all year round sunshine. And, as if all of this wasn’t enough, Airlie Beach is as close to the Great Barrier Reef as Cairns but because the area is less crowded than the latter, the service you will receive from the tour operators in Airlie Beach is second to none.
One of the most popular destinations on the island cruises is Whitsunday Island itself and the world renowned Whitehaven Beach. Eight kilometres of white sand and turquoise waters, this beach is like nothing you have ever seen before and this is strongly reflected in the fact that it has been voted one of the top ten beaches on the planet. It is also a protected national park which means that no houses or hotels have ever been built in the region and no buildings ever will be. As well as the beach itself fishing in the area is superb and dolphins can be spotted almost ever day as can sea turtles. So, during your stay in Airlie, make a visit to Whitehaven one of your top priorities.
The town itself is not big. In fact the majority of activity in Airlie Beach centres around just one street, Shute Harbour Road. Here you will find all the most popular restaurants, pubs and clubs as well as the majority of cruise booking centres. And, anything you can’t find here is usually only a walk or a short bus journey away. As well as this, the street itself is only a few metres from the town’s main beach making everything just too easy for you. Finally, because the town relies solely on tourism for income, the locals greatly appreciate this fact and the hordes that visit every year making it one of the friendliest and most welcoming destinations in Australia.