The Different Marinas in the Airlie Beach and the Surrounding Areas
The coastal town of Airlie Beach is the gateway to the beautiful Whitsunday Islands and the iconic Great Barrier Reef. There are two marinas in Airlie Beach and one in nearby Shutehaven. As boat tours and island transfers depart from all three locations it can be easy to confuse your departure location. Here is a quick overview of each to help you get your bearings and arrive at the right marina on time!
Coral Sea Marina (Abell Point Marina)
Shingley Dr, Airlie Beach
The Coral Sea Marina, formerly known as the Abell Point Marina, is the main harbour for boat tours through the Whitsunday Islands. Being the largest marina in the Whitsundays, most overnight and day tours depart from here, which is found on the left side of the road on the way into Airlie Beach from Cannonvale. 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.
Since the marina came into new ownership in 2013, Coral Sea has undergone a million-dollar upgrade and the facelift has turned the marina into a multi-award winning destination in itself. Featuring several restaurants, shops and stores that are accessible to the public and visiting boaties, Coral Sea Marina is a great place to spend the afternoon with a drink and a magnificent view.
Port of Airlie
13 The Cove Rd, Port of Airlie
Port of Airlie is the other marina located in Airlie Beach where several boat tours depart from, including the ferries to Hamilton Island and Daydream Island. Port of Airlie can be found at the end of the main road in Airlie Beach on the eastern shore and is easily accessible by foot if you need 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 to a harbour! The marina is also bordered by reclaimed land on the eastern side which is earmarked for a future retail precinct and is home to Airlie’s manmade Boathaven Beach.
Shute Harbour Road, Shutehaven
Shute Harbour is located about 10 kilometres past Airlie Beach and is best reached by car, bus or taxi. Once the main departure point for all Whitsunday tours, today Shute Harbour is mainly used for smaller vessels and operates a ferry to transport tradesmen to and from the islands. Some smaller companies that cater to hikers and kayakers and offer island transport services or boat hire also operate from here.
If you have booked a day trip or overnight tour in the Whitsundays, make sure you check your travel documentation and know which marina your tour is departing from before setting out so you can avoid arriving at the wrong one and missing your boat!
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