10 Things To See And Do In The Whitsundays
1. Sail the Whitsunday Islands on an overnight sailing trip
Made up of 74 spectacular islands and magnificent coral reefs, the Whitsundays is a region like no other! The diverse range of marine life, Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet Lookout are only a few reason tourists put the Whitsundays at the top of their must-see destinations list...
With so much to see amongst the islands, it is best to experience the Whitsundays on an overnight boat charter. With over 40 overnight charters to choose from, you are bound to find a great trip perfectly suited for you. From catamarans to maxi yachts, there are boats suited for all budgets, accommodation preferences and all ages.
If you prefer to sleep on land, then there are also day trip sailing options. Ask our travel experts today which tour would suit you best!
2. Jump out of a plane!
Why not jump out of a perfectly good plane?! If you've ever considered sky diving, this is the place to do it! Imagine free-falling over 74 islands with full views of Whitehaven Beach, the Great Barrier Reef and the picturesque aquamarine waters...
Airlie Beach Sky Dive offers jumps from 8, 000ft up to 14, 000ft. All of our agents have made the big jump and agree that it was the most thrilling thing they have ever done! They recommend jumping from 14, 000ft to maximize your free-falling experience.
3. Laze by the lagoon
Airlie Beach is not only renowned for being the gateway to the Whitsundays, but also for its massive man-made lagoon. Situated at the heart of Airlie Beach, this lagoon offers a safe and friendly environment with fun for all ages. Surrounded by grassy areas and even a mock-beach, the lagoon is the perfect place to sunbathe, catch up with friends, read a book or go for a dip. A children's pool is situated at the northern end of the lagoon. In the heat of the summer, it is nice to know that you can cool off in a stinger-free environment without having to wear a stinger suit!
4. Dine out
Airlie Beach has an outstanding selection of restaurants, bistros, cafes and pubs to choose from. Looking for a cultural dining experience? KC's Bar and Grill offers a unique 'Aussie' dish that features Kangaroo and crocodile. If you want to trust the locals, try out Fish D'vine who boasts the best seafood menu in the region! From Thai to Mexican, Moroccan to Italian, you will find there is no shortage of food in the Whitsundays.
Here are our top recommendations:
- Italian - Sorrentos, Abel Point Marina - Great place to watch the boats return to port and watch the sunset!
- Seafood - Fish D'vine, Shute Harbour Road - The best and biggest seafood options in Airlie Beach (you can't go past the mud crab)
- Cafe - Sidewalk Cafe, The Esplanade - Brunch with a view
- Gourmet Cuisine - Tides Restaurant , Pepper's Coral Coast Resort - Luxury dining with an intimate setting on the hillside of Mount Whitsunday
- Traditional Aussie Cuisine - KC's Bar and Grill, Shute Harbour Road - 500g steaks and live music
5. Walk the Bicentennial Boardwalk
Who needs buses and automobiles when you have the Bicentennial Boardwalk at your doorstep!? Ranging from Cannonvale Beach (Cannonvale) to the Lagoon (Airlie Beach), this boardwalk captures all the spectacular waterside views of the Whitsundays. With Abel Point Marina located mid-trail, it is ever-so-easy to walk from town to where your overnight sailing tour departs from. Why not even try the Segway Tour if the walk is just too slow for you?
6. Shop around at the Markets
Every Saturday, the Airlie Beach Markets take place at the Airlie foreshore (found at the southern end of the Esplanade). There is ample parking in the area and is within walking distance from the main town centre. Stalls include local fresh fruit and vegetables, food, sweets and coffee, clothing, souvenirs, art, camel rides, fishing supplies, books, plants, massage, live music, and much, much more. As the biggest markets in the Whitsunday area, you can't miss a visit to the Airlie Beach markets on a Saturday morning!
If you can't make the Saturday markets, ask us for a cruise ship schedule as they also operate the markets whenever a ship is in town for the day.
7. Listen to local talent
Airlie Beach is never lacking in live music! On any given day of the week, you are sure to find a talented musician performing whether it be in a pub, cafe or even along the waterfront. The most popular venues for enjoying a cold beverage over live music include: KC's Bar and Grill, Magnums, Beaches, Paddy Shenanigans and Sorrentos.
8. Take a scenic flight over The Whitsunday Islands and The Great Barrier Reef
Heart Reef (part of the Great Barrier Reef) is a stunning composition of coral that has naturally formed into the shape of a love heart. Located by Hardy Reef, Heart Reef is best experienced from the air by helicopter or seaplane, as visitors are unable to snorkel or dive there due its protected status. Scenic flights over the islands start from just $89 per person, and you can also access the Great Barrier Reef from $199 per person. It's must more affordable than you think!
9. Snorkel or dive the Great Barrier Reef
Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays are the closest point of access to the Great Barrier Reef. To come to the Whitsundays and not experience one of the World's Wonders would be crazy! As mentioned earlier, the most popular way of getting to the reef is by going on an overnight boat charter. While day tours offer access to the reef, overnight charters give you more time to explore the incredible underwater world. While snorkelling offers a great insight into the top layer of one of the worlds most diverse ecosystems, an Introductory Scuba Dive will take you up to 12 metres deep.
10. Explore the beaches and waterfalls near Airlie Beach
If you ever get tired of exploring the islands, there are plenty of natural wonders just outside of Airlie Beach. Cedar Creek Falls are a short 20 minute drive inland, and are best visited on the cusp of wet season. Explore the surrounding bays and beaches including Hydeaway Bay, Dingo Beach and Cape Gloucester. All warmly welcome day guests, and are a great destination for a long lunch and a swim.