Getting to the Whitsundays/Airlie Beach
Updated Fri 12 Aug 2022
Air travel into Airlie Beach is becoming an increasingly popular and often quite economical way for travellers to visit this tropical paradise. With two airports in close proximity, Hamilton Island Airport and the Whitsunday Coast Airport, you have multiple flight itineraries to choose from.
1. Whitsunday Coast Airport (Proserpine)
The Whitsunday Coast Airport (PPP) is located in Proserpine, approximately a 25-minute shuttle bus ride or taxi drive to Airlie Beach. The airport is serviced by Jetstar, Virgin, Qantas and Skytrans with direct flights running to and from Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns.
Buses and taxis meet every flight to transfer guests to Airlie Beach or to ferries to the island resorts. These types of services are always readily available meaning you do not need to book in advance.
2. Hamilton Island Airport
Hamilton Island Airport (HTI) services direct flights daily to and from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns, major air hubs for international and domestic flight connections. Scheduled flights are operated by Jetstar, Virgin and Qantas.
When budgeting for air travel, bear in mind that you will need to pay and arrange for a ferry transfer into Airlie Beach. From Hamilton Island Airport the ferry transfer to Airlie Beach is about $62 per person each way. There is only one ferry operator who provides this service.
BUSES / COACHES
It still remains that the most popular way of arriving at Airlie Beach (especially among the backpacker community) is via buses/coaches. Greyhound and Premier offer comfortable and affordable services throughout Australia and offer passengers a great way to see a bit more of Australia's breathtaking landscape. These modern, spacious coaches service all the major cities and towns including Airlie Beach and run regular, reliable service on a daily basis. Unlike other methods of travel, these buses will bring you right into the heart of Airlie Beach - no need to arrange for long transfers!
Driving the Whitsundays region is, without doubt, one of the best ways of seeing this magnificent part of Queensland. With crystal blue water and secluded bays scattered amongst the tropical rainforests, you couldn't ask for a more picturesque scene.
The Whitsundays region is best accessed by the Bruce Highway, which is the major road that covers the east coast of Queensland from Brisbane to Cairns. If you're travelling along this road to Airlie Beach then you'll need to turn off 1km north of Proserpine and then expect to travel another 20km to Airlie Beach.
Purchasing a detailed map of Airlie and the Whitsundays is definitely recommended if you want to do some exploring of this beautiful region. You might also want to acquire a travel tips brochure. This will give you the information you need regarding accommodation with parking in the area.
If you prefer to take a scenic route when travelling up or down the east coast of Australia, Queensland Rail has a service that runs between Brisbane and Cairns. These trains stop at most of the main towns along the coast and even offer sleeper cars!
The closest train station to Airlie Beach is in Proserpine with services that arrive and depart at very reasonable times of the day. To add to the convenience of this service, Whitsundays Transit buses meet each train that arrives and will even drop you at the door of your accommodation in Airlie Beach.
With an abundance of travel options between the Whitsundays and Airlie Beach, there's no excuse not to visit this iconic region!
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