Activities for the whole family in Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach and the wider Whitsundays region offer vibrant and incredible activities that the whole family can enjoy. With crystal clear waters, endless blue skies and a vibrant atmosphere, Airlie Beach boasts something to excite everyone, from the kids to the grandparents. There’s an endless range of activities to do and natural gems to explore, making it the perfect relaxing holiday destination. Here are our favourite activities around Airlie Beach for the whole family to enjoy:

Have a barbecue at the lagoon

Perched right at the forefront of Airlie Beach, the lagoon is a wonderful oasis of cool during the sweaty summers. With no admission fee, a relaxing atmosphere, a sandy beach, a children’s pool and plenty of shady spots to wind down, it’s the perfect place to spend a day, whether you’re a local or a traveller. One of the major benefits of the lagoon is that it offers a safe haven for both kids and adults to enjoy a cooling swim without worrying about stingers or rough waves. The lagoon is also surrounded by a beautifully manicured garden and plenty of public barbecues - so be sure to throw a couple of snags on the BBQ, bring a book and enjoy a relaxing day out with the whole family.

Chill out at a resort pool

For families who want a little extra luxe, it’s worth venturing to one of Airlie Beach’s beloved resorts and snapping up a day pass for the pool. There’s a myriad of resorts to choose from, including Mantra Club Croc, Pinnacles Resort and Coral Sea Resort at The Rocks. At The Rocks, you can take a dip for only $40 per person - your fee is offset against your food and beverage bill. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a scrumptious lunch and beer, ending it with a relaxing dip in the pool. 

Mother and daughter having fun in a swimming pool, Daydream Island, Whitsundays, Australia

Take a private charter 

It’s not everyday you get to enjoy the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, so why not make the most of it by taking a private charter? The only thing more delightful than exploring the deep blue and its colourful coral counterparts is traversing the magical aquamarine waters privately. Hiring a private sailing boat in the Whitsundays is what dreams are made of: unwind on untouched beaches, swim the crystal clear waters with nobody else in sight and make friends with the fish without being on a time constraint! Private charters like Entice Catamarans Private Charter and Whitsunday Adventurer Private Charter are a deliriously perfect way to enjoy the Whitsundays as a family.

Family in a private charter, Whitsundays, Australia

Go for a bush walk 

While the hues of blue draw tourists to Airlie Beach, there’s so much to offer back on land as well. Airlie Beach and surroundings has incredible hiking and walking trails, which are a great family-friendly activity if the kids are full of restless energy.  

Hill Inlet Lookout is one of the best family-friendly tracks: at just one kilometre round-trip, the short walk loops through one of the regions’ best views. From the top, you can spot the incredibly milky blue and white swirls of the sea below. As one of the most cherished sites in the country, it’s well worth the hike! 

Another great family-friendly hike is Airlie Creek, featuring a lush 1.7 kilometre return track that swirls through gorgeous subtropical forests, leading to a beautiful natural rock pool.

Family bushwalking, Whitsundays, Australia

Spend a day at Northerlies 

As one of Airlie Beach’s most renowned places to relax, Northerlies is a family-friendly alfresco dining restaurant and bar tucked underneath a tropical-style large hut. With the ultimate Bali vibe, the huge venue boasts some of the best cocktails in town, alongside scrumptious bites to eat. The venue is often graced with the sweet sounds of live music, making it enjoyable for the kids and setting the scene for a lovely little groove. One of the most incredible parts of Northerlies is its dedication to your crew having a grand time: they offer a free courtesy bus as well as up to $10 off your taxi voucher!

Take a family trip to the reef 

If hiring a private charter isn’t up your alley, you and the family can still experience an incredible day on the reef! There’s an abundance of great family-friendly day and overnight boat charters to choose from, depending on what tickles your fancy. From relaxing two night trips like Solway Lass to speedy day trips like Camira, there’s something special for everyone to enjoy!

Go fishing with Grandpa 

The beauty of the Great Barrier Reef doesn’t stop at the scenery - it’s also home to an incredibly diverse range of lively marine life! Because of this, it’s one of the best fishing spots on the east coast, giving you the opportunity to snag a feed around the islands or from the mainland. You can opt to take a fishing tour like Full Day Fishing or even cast a line yourself! For tips on where to go, head here.

fishing fraser island

Explore the Airlie Beach markets 

One of Airlie’s most loved events is the weekly Whitsunday Lions Airlie Beach Community Markets. Taking place every Saturday from 7am to 1pm, it offers a huge range of unique stalls that sell clothing, gifts, food, plants and more. Located on the Airlie Beach foreshore, it’s bound to be your one-stop-shop for a lovely morning with the whole family. 

airlie markets

Take a day trip to the Bowen Summergarden Cinemas 

Here’s an activity the whole family will love: catch a flick at the gorgeous Bowen Summergarden Cinemas. It’s a delightful and retro building that has been keeping Bowen up to date with pop culture since 1948. With its authentic decor in place, it’s the perfect place to catch a film with Grandma and Grandpa in tow.

bowen cinema

Eat lunch at the local airport 

It’s a lovely place to catch a scenic flight, but it’s an even better place to grab a bite. With a renowned menu and an even groovier location, it may seem like an odd place to eat lunch - but it’s well worth the trip. The Hangar Cafe & Bar features scrumptious food and drinks, and it’s also filled to the brim with entertainment - in the form of watching planes and helicopters take off.

airport flametree

Throw dad out of a plane and skydive 

It may be one of the more extreme methods of seeing Airlie Beach, but it’s also one of the most memorable. What could be better than throwing mum or dad off a plane to watch them skydive above the turquoise waters? As one of the best places to skydive in the world, you’ll get to enjoy a whole minute of free falling while taking in the stunning views of the Great Barrier Reef.

skydive grandad

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