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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.

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 prevent stingers (jellyfish stings), as well as deter small marine life and boats from the area. 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 as well to ensure your safety while in the water.

If you wish to stay away from the ocean, there are many other man-made and natural swimming areas, including Airlie Beach’s most popular Lagoon situated in the Main Street. 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!

Or, 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.

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.

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