Airlie Beach, Queensland © Tourism and Events Queensland
Guide to Airlie Beach
- Getting to Airlie Beach
- When to visit
As the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is the perfect base from which to explore these magnificent wonders.
Located in the heart of the Whitsundays region, the coastal town of Airlie Beach has long been a popular holiday destination. While it offers a convenient gateway to explore the incredible marine parks surrounding it, Airlie Beach is a place worth taking your time in. The year-round tropical weather, palm-fringed beaches, waterfront parks, al fresco restaurants and vibrant markets inspire you to go with the flow and soak up the laid-back vibe. Nearby, you’ll find tropical rainforest and waterfalls in Conway National Park, while the sparkling waters of the Coral Sea offer plenty of adventures from sailing and snorkelling to sleeping on the reef.
Airlie Beach is around a 30-minute drive from Whitsunday Coast Airport at Proserpine.
- Whitsunday Coast Airport (PPP) is 38km (24mi) from Airlie Beach and services domestic arrivals
- Hire cars, taxis and shuttle services are available from the airport
- Boat transfers and ferries to selected Whitsunday islands are available from Shute Harbour Marine Terminal, a 15-minute drive from Airlie Beach
- Airlie Beach's Coral Sea Marina provides a concierge service for visiting yachts
Airlie Beach has taxis and a local bus service, and much of the town centre is walkable. The surrounding area is hilly, so hire a car if you’re eager to explore further afield.
Airlie Beach experiences lower humidity than the islands of the Whitsunday archipelago, with warm, dry weather through the winter months (June to August). Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays are popular destinations during the Australian school holidays, particularly the summer break in December and January. Airlie Beach Race Week in August is also a popular event.
- High season: Spring (September to November) and Australian school holidays
- Low season: Late summer and early autumn (February and March)
- Don’t miss: If you're keen on sailing the Whitsundays, spring offers the ideal combination of warm days and light winds