How do I get to Airlie Beach?
There are many ways to get to Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays. The simplest way is to fly to the Whitsunday Coast (Proserpine) Airport or the Hamilton Island Airport from most major cities. We suggest catching a flight (either Jetstar, Tiger Air or Virgin Australia) to the Whitsunday Coast Airport which is logistically easier to get to and from Airlie Beach with a bus transfer. If you do fly into Hamilton Island you will need to catch a ferry transfer to the mainland. Alternate travel options are by bus, train or drive.
What is actually in Airlie Beach?
Airlie Beach is a lovely, tourist town with a bustling main street and plenty to see and do. It has everything you'll need during your stay in the Whitsundays and then some. There are lots of retail and other shops, community markets, events for the whole family and great cafes. There are also enjoyable bush walks which go through the state forests, day trips around the islands and mainland and there is the huge lagoon open to the public. The main street comes alive at night with lively bars and nightclubs and a huge variety of restaurants. Many of these venues have live music and entertainment throughout the week. Fortunately, almost everything is in walking distance to the main street as well, making it extremely friendly to visitors of those who don't have a car. It's also walking distance to both marinas from Airlie Beach, meaning that you'll likely be able to walk to any boat trip you may go on while you're here.
Where do I park my car in Airlie Beach?
There are numerous paid and public car parking areas throughout Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. A number of hostels and caravan parks in Airlie Beach offer paid parking for the duration of your trip, as well as the marinas. For secure, undercover parking, Shute Harbour has a fully undercover multi-storey parking facility for a fee. It is important note that all these areas are patrolled and illegal parking will incur a fine.
What is the weather like?
The weather in the Whitsundays is generally hot and sunny all-year around, as it is located in Northern Queensland. Autumn and winter often have cooler days with clear skies and coincide with whale season, while spring has lovely days with very little rain. Summer is the wettest and hottest season, but showers usually pass quickly.
Where should I stay in Airlie Beach?
This will ultimately depend on your budget, however Airlie Beach offers a great mix of accommodation options to suit backpackers, families, independent travellers and couples. There are plenty of hostels in the main street, great family-friendly resorts as well as stylish waterfront apartments. If you are looking for something close to the centre of Airlie Beach, there are plenty of reasonable motels and hotels right on the main street as well.
How do I get to the islands?
You will need to catch the Cruise Whitsundays ferry to get to any of the island resorts, including Hamilton Island and Daydream Island and back. If you are wanting something a little different, there is a scenic flight and island transfer combo to Hamilton Island Airport as well. If you are wanting an actual tour to the islands, check out Sailing-Whitsundays' huge variety of day and overnight trips to the islands.
See more Whitsundays FAQs