Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach acts as the gateway to the barrier reef and the Whitsundays, capturing the attention of many. While Cairns is commonly regarded as the entrance to the more conventionally explored outer reef, Airlie Beach provides access to the vibrant inner barrier reef, setting it apart.

My Arrival to Airlie Beach

This coastal town is the heart of the Whitsundays, making it a popular stopover with tourists. Many of whom are making their way up or down the east coast. I stopped here after catching a train from K’Gari, a route I would later pick back up to visit Cairns. It’s a popular route with tourists and backpackers alike. The accessibility of public transport, as well as the variety of places to stop off and explore attracting thousands each year. 

I sadly only had a short visit to Airlie Beach. Upon arriving at the train station, I made a swift detour to Woolies, a popular supermarket chain, to gather necessary supplies for your journey. Promptly guiding me onto the awaiting boat, I embarked with freshly stocked provisions. I would be exploring the Whitsundays by a maxi yacht, the British Defender. Whitehaven beach is accessible from here and has won multiple awards for being the World’s most beautiful beach. I did my tour over 3 days, at night sleeping on the deck of the yacht. However many tourists choose a day tour and head there and back. Upon returning to shore I had a day and night on the town before reuniting with my train to head up to Cairns. Although my time here was brief, like a lot of places in Australia, even a short visit can have a big impact. 

Memories of Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is a beautiful part of the world and left me with fond memories of walking down the highstreet. I enjoyed nursing a pint in bars, as well as grabbing an ice cream to cool down from the heat. If you want to go swimming here it’s important to choose the right place due to the risk of Jellyfish. To ensure safety during peak periods, designated areas have been marked in Airlie Beach where swimming is permitted. These marked zones serve as safe havens for visitors, allowing them to enjoy the water while minimizing any potential encounters. So before you take a dip make sure you keep an eye out for the signs.

Skydiving in Airlie Beach

Its popular when visiting Airlie beach to go skydiving. Choosing here over other locations offers incredible views of the ocean as you freefall. I regretted not taking the opportunity to do my skydive here. I was fortunate enough to receive a second chance to experience the exhilarating jump in Sydney while indulging in the breathtaking ocean view. Both jumps are operated by Skydive Australia, providing you with numerous opportunities across Australia. With their expertise and commitment to safety, you can confidently embrace the thrill of skydiving and savor the stunning scenery offered during your jump. The one night I stayed in town I stayed in a hostel, but would have preferred a hotel. I’ve attached a deal finder with to help you find the latest bargain if you decide to stay in Airlie Beach.

What to do

Link to the Sailing the Whitsundays Travel Guide
Link to the Whitehaven Beach Travel Guide
Link to the Skydive Australia travel guide

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Throughout my guide to Airlie Beach you will find booking links for activities with Get Your Guide. By booking through the link you wont be charged any extra but I may receive a commission which helps support the blog.


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