Swimming in the Whitsundays
When in Airlie Beach you have dive into the aqua waters of the Whitsundays at least once! There are many places and opportunities to swim in the region, either on the mainland of Airlie Beach or while out around the Whitsunday islands and at the outer Great Barrier Reef.
There are things you need to know to stay safe and have fun while swimming in the Whitsundays.
There are two public beaches situated in Airlie Beach where you are welcome to swim, one is located near the Port of Airlie Marina and is known as 'Boathaven Beach', while the other is located in Cannonvale. Both of these swimming locations are popular and therefore have a stationary swimming enclosure in place during most months of the year. You will be encouraged to swim in the enclosure, and please note there are no lifeguards at this locations. Swimming enclosures not only decrease the chance of being stung by a stinger (jellyfish stings), but they also deter small marine life and boats from the area. This makes the two beaches in Airlie Beach a great option to enjoy a day of swimming and relaxing.
If you are able to join in a day or overnight trip, you will most likely have the opportunity to swim and snorkel around the Whitsunday islands' lovely reefs which are situated in calm, sheltered waters and have ample marine life and coral formations. Stinger suits will be provided to ensure your safety while in the water, to protect against marine stingers as well as from the powerful sun rays.
If you wish to stay away from the ocean, there are many other man-made and natural freshwater swimming areas, including Airlie Beach's popular lagoon situated on the Main Street, next to the shoreline. This is a large man-made lagoon with smaller wading pools for children, surrounded by public facilities and amenities, including barbecues, shared tables and chairs. This is certainly something to visit and enjoy! It not only provides a controlled area to swim, but is also monitored by lifeguards and has an amazing view of the Coral Sea and Whitsunday islands.
If you are willing to head off the beaten track, you will come across other secluded beaches, bays and swimming holes, including the famous fresh water waterfall known as Cedar Creek Falls. This natural waterfall is located some distance away from Airlie Beach and requires a vehicle to get to. Once there, the falls are located just a minute's walk from the road, where a beautiful, deep freshwater pool can be found. It's best to visit here after a rainfall, when the falls are at their best.
You do need to be able to swim a little to enter the water when on the boats trips. You don't have to be a strong swimmer, but your safety is of utmost importance to the crew who will only let guests in the water if they can swim. There are always flotation devices available if you're not overly confident in your swimming abilities, and you can always ask the crew for tips on enjoying yourself and staying safe in the water. There is so much to be discovered in the waters of the Whitsundays, but safety always comes first.