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The Different Marinas in Airlie Beach and the Surrounding Areas

Updated Mon 06 Feb 2023

Airlie Beach and the surrounding areas are important marine tourism communities in Tropical North Queensland. Many of them are directly or indirectly involved in the industry, each helping to support the flow of business and tourism in their own way.

Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour are the two main towns that are used by tourists and locals to launch vessels into the water, including any boat charters or tours of the Whitsunday Islands. The two towns have a total of three main harbors that serve as the departure point for tours to the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef. Read on for more detailed info about the important marinas in Airlie Beach!

map of airlie beach marinas

Coral Sea Marina (Formerly the Abell Point Marina)

Coral Sea Marina is the main harbour for boat tours in the Whitsundays. It is the largest marina in the Whitsundays, meaning there is always plenty of boat traffic going in and out! Most overnight and day tours depart from Coral Sea Marina, which is found on the left side of the road on the way into Airlie Beach from Cannonvale.

Significant upgrades have been made to the marina in recent years since it came into new ownership in 2013. The recent facelift has earned the marina the titles of Marina of the Year, a Major Tourism Attraction (gold), and the 5 Gold Anchor Global Marina Accreditation, among other awards.

It has several restaurants, shops, and stores that are accessible to the public and visiting boaties. If your boat tour departs from here, make sure you know which part of the marina to meet at as it is split into two sections: north and south.

coral sea marina

Port of Airlie Marina

Port of Airlie is the other marina located in Airlie Beach where several boat tours depart from, including the ferry to Hamilton Island. Port of Airlie can be found at the end of the main road of Airlie Beach on the eastern shore and is accessible on foot if you have to join a tour there.

The area that is now the Port of Airlie was not always so functional. Not so long ago the same area that is now ideal for boats was called Muddy Bay and had to be dredged before it could be converted into a harbour! However today it is fully functional and plays an important role in the boating community of Airlie Beach.

port of airlie marina

Shute Harbour

Shute Harbour, located in the town of Shute Harbour, was once the main focal point to get to and from anywhere in the Whitsundays. However, since the development of the Coral Sea Marina, most traffic stays closer to Airlie Beach.

Today Shute Harbour is mainly used for smaller vessels and operates a ferry to transport tradesmen to and from the islands and is also a hub for companies that cater to hikers and kayakers on the island, and is used as a base for an island transport service. It is about 10 kilometres past Airlie Beach and is best reached by bus or taxi cab.

sailing whitsundays map

Marinas in Airlie Beach

If you have booked a day trip or overnight tour, make sure you know which marina your tour is departing from before setting out for your journey so you can stay organised and enjoy your trip to the fullest. 

There are also several launching ramps in the Whitsundays that include Coral Sea Marina, Port of Airlie, Shute Harbour as well as VMR Shingley Dr and Whitsunday Sailing Club, where you can launch your own boat if you are coming to the Whitsundays to enjoy the water!

Whatever you are doing, you are bound to have fun in the waters of the Whitsundays enjoying the island life and tropical beauty!


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