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Boathaven Beach, Airlie Beach

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Gabby Boucher
Updated Tue 14 Feb 2023

If you’re looking for the best beaches in the charming tourist town of Airlie Beach, put Boathaven Beach at the top of the list! This stunning strip of soft white sand is not only one of the most beautiful beaches in the area, it’s also one of the safest places for swimming. Let’s unpack everything you may need to know about Boathaven Beach!

looking at airlie beach from the water

Where Is Boathaven Beach?

Boathaven Beach is located just west of downtown Airlie Beach. At just a 2-minute drive or a 10-minute walk from the heart of Airlie, this is one of the most accessible beaches from town. The walk to Boathaven Beach is all along a paved sidewalk, and there is plenty of public parking space nearby!

The official address according to Google Maps is Port of Airlie, The Beacons, Airlie Beach QLD 4802. You’ll find the beach located on a little man-made peninsula, often called “The Beacons”, that is right next to the Port of Airlie Marina. Many day tours leave from this spot, including day trips to Hamilton Island

Airlie Beach map

About Boathaven Beach, Airlie Beach

Boathaven Beach is one of the safest and most gorgeous beaches in Airlie Beach! It is free to visit and contains 60,000 cubic meters of silky white sand. This beach is actually man-made, and was part of the Port of Airlie Development project. It’s the perfect place for families to come with children for a day in the sun, and it’s also great for swimming or sunbathing. 

Right next to Boathaven Beach, there are public bathrooms, but those are the only facilities here. You’ll find some public-use drinking water taps on the walk here from Airlie Beach, but it is recommended to pack enough food and water for your beach day.

Boathaven is only a short walk from downtown, so there are lots of shops and restaurants nearby if you do get hungry! It’s also recommended to bring an umbrella if you want some shade, because the large strip of white sand doesn’t have any shade. 

Boathaven Beach

Is It Safe To Swim At Boathaven Beach?

Yes, it is safe to swim at Boathaven Beach due to the large net in the water which prevents marine stingers from entering! Because of this stinger net, Boathaven Beach is one of the few places in Airlie Beach where you can swim in the ocean safely. 

Stinger Season in Tropical North Queensland runs from November to May. During this time, there is a heightened risk of being stung by a jellyfish, so it is not recommended to swim in the ocean unprotected. That’s why designated areas, such as Boathaven Beach, have nets in place to create a barrier so jellyfish can’t get inside. 

However, it is important to note that no stinger net is guaranteed to be 100% effective. The odd little jellyfish may still slip inside, though it is unlikely. For extra protection, you can wear a stinger suit while swimming in the ocean from November to May. But the calm, refreshing turquoise water at Boathaven Beach is so lovely, so definitely try to go for a dip here while you’re visiting Airlie Beach!

boathaven beach

Is Airlie Beach Worth Visiting?

It is worth spending a day or two enjoying the town of Airlie Beach during your Whitsunday adventure! Often known as the “Gateway to the Whitsundays”, travelers flock to Airlie Beach to plan sailing tours through the magical Whitsunday Islands. Whitehaven Beach tours, Hamilton Island day trips, and Great Barrier Reef snorkeling tours are some of the most popular things to do in Airlie Beach. 

But if you have the time, save a free day in Airlie Beach to just relax and soak in the scenery! Spend a few hours admiring the gorgeous Boathaven Beach, or opt for the popular public swimming pool known as the Airlie Beach Lagoon. You can also visit some of the top-rated local restaurants, browse the boutique shops, go for a hike or a day trip on the mainland, or indulge in the fun nightlife! Airlie Beach is packed with fun things to do, so it’s worth living it up in the town before or after you head out to the Whitsundays!

Airlie Beach shops

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