The Top 8 Free Things To Do In Airlie Beach
Airlie Beach, located in the Whitsunday region on the East Coast of Australia, is full of amazing tours to incredible destinations. If you’re planning on spending a bit of money on tours to places like Whitehaven Beach, Heart Reef, and on overnight sailing charters, you may be looking for some free activities to do in Airlie Beach outside of your tours - Well look no further, we’ve got our top 8 recommendations for enjoying our little slice of paradise without spending your entire holiday budget!
1. Swim at the Lagoon
Airlie Beach’s quaint seaside village has a relaxed atmosphere, and the CBD is located right on the shoreline. Right in the centre of town on the shore is the Airlie Beach Lagoon - And it’s completely free to use! Grab some mates, a book, and plenty of sunscreen and enjoy the salt and chlorine swimming pool year-round from early in the morning till late at night. Lifeguards are posted for everyone’s safety, and you’ll never run out of space in the 4,300sqm watering hole.
2. Barbecue on the Beaches
Another great way to spend an afternoon or evening without breaking the bank is to utilise the town’s many complimentary BBQ facilities. Grab some snags, spray oil and some salads and head down to several areas right on the beach, such as the Airlie Foreshore, Airlie Beach Lagoon, Shingley Beach, and Cannonvale Beach.
3. Take in the views from the Bicentennial walkway
Stretching roughly 3.7 km along the shoreline, the Bicentennial Walkway connects Cannonvale to Airlie Beach. This moderate and mostly flat walk is a perfect way to get the layout of the land while taking in the beautiful water views the town is famous for. Starting at The Whitsunday Sailing Club, the walk winds through the CBD and Foreshore, before heading through the Coral Sea Marina Resort, Shingley Beach, VMR and finally ending at Cannonvale Beach. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to stop and grab a coffee or a cold one along the way, making for a pleasant afternoon of exploring.
4. Hikes and Bushwalks
The Whitsundays have an abundance of hiking and bushwalking trails, being located in the tropical rainforest. Hikes range from moderate, such as the Airlie Creek and Coral Beach walk to challenging with Honey Eater and Mt. Rooper. Discover rare Australian flora and fauna, hidden creeks and naturally formed plunge pools, as well as experience breathtaking panoramic views of the Whitsunday Islands from some of the many vantage points these walks offer. Read more about the different hikes around the region here.
5. Live Music
Airlie is known for its live music culture, and just about every pub has some of our local and travelling talent on offer 7 days a week. Check out venues like The Pub and Magnums Hotel for bigger travelling acts, and for some homegrown roots check out the Shed Bar on Sundays. Local and touring DJs also frequent our nightclubs, and other venues like Anchor Bar and KC’s offer intimate relaxing vibes with acoustic sets. Read more about Airlie Beach’s nightlife here.
6. Hydeaway Bay
If you’re mobile, taking a scenic drive out to Hydeaway Bay should be on your list while visiting Airlie Beach. Located about 40 minutes out of town, Hydeaway Bay boasts incredible views of a different set of Whitsunday Islands, along with some beautiful resorts to stop and sun bake or grab a bite to eat, such as Monte’s Resort and Cape Gloucester Eco Resort.
7. Weekly Events
There are plenty of weekly events at different venues around town to choose from. Keep an eye out for poker and trivia nights, karaoke, and sunset and sunrise yoga on the beach, and even complimentary drinks on Ladies Night at some pubs! While not all these activities may be completely free, they will usually only set you back a very small entry fee. If it isn’t enough to just save some money, why not make some? Several pubs have weekly events where the adventurous backpacker can win cash prizes, such as Cane Toad Racing and bikini competitions, so if you’re keen to get out and part of some of the action, check out the events tab on Facebook.
8. Cedar Creek Falls
If cooling off in freshwater sounds like your cup of tea, you must check out Cedar Creek Falls. Hidden in the Conway National Forest about a 20 minute drive out of Airlie Beach lies a beautiful series of waterfalls cascading into a naturally formed swimming hole. One of the most common questions online has to be “Is Cedar Creek Flowing?” and to truly see the falls in all their glory you’re best off visiting this in the wet season, during our Summer months after a rain.
Now that you know what you can do outside of your overnight charter, it's time to choose a boat! Click here to find out which boat is right for you, or chat with us to find out our current specials!