Best Things To Do In Airlie Beach 2022/2023

Looking for things to do in Airlie Beach? We’ve got you covered. From attractions, tours, must see sights and free activities, we’ve put together a complete guide on the need to know information for the best things to do in Airlie Beach.

Marina Complexes

Coral Sea Marina (Abell Point Marina)

Aerial View Of Coral Sea Marina In Airlie Beach

The main harbour for Airlie Beach is split into two sections, north and south. Most of the tours in the Whitsundays depart from this marina. The marina is located on Shingley Drive, a 5-minute drive from the centre of Airlie Beach and pay and display parking is available at the car park of both north and south marinas. The marina is also easily accessible by bus route, with buses departing every 30-45 minutes travelling to Shute Harbour, Whitsunday Plaza Shopping Centre and Proserpine. Coral Sea Marina is open from 8:30am-4:30pm.

Port of Airlie Marina

Aerial View Of Port Of Airlie

The Port of Airlie Marina has marina berths, residential apartments, cafes, shops, waterfront blocks and is a passenger terminal for tours to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. The Port of Airlie is open from 9am-5pm. It is a 17 minute walk to the Marina from the centre of Airlie Beach or a 5 minute drive. There is 24 hour parking at the Marina, with 2 hours free and paid options for time after that. A bus trip to the Port of Airlie from Airlie Beach takes 11 minutes on the 860 line. 

Whitsunday Islands

Whitsundays Islands Number 1 Things To Do In Airlie Beach

The Whitsunday Islands are among the most popular things to do in Airlie Beach and are made up of 74 continental islands off the coast of Queensland. Famous for their crystal clear waters and tropical weather, the islands are one of the most beloved travel destinations in Australia. Several of the islands with resorts are accessible by a ferry departing from the Port of Airlie several times a day, stopping at Daydream Island, Hamilton Island Airport and Hamilton Island Marina. Other islands can be accessed via various tour and travel companies leaving from the Marinas in Airlie Beach. Location On Map  

Heart Reef

Heart Reef In The Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Heart Reef is a naturally formed coral structure that is shaped like a heart. The Heart Reef is located in Hardy Reef and is only accessible by air, either seaplane or helicopter due to the reef’s protected status, meaning visitors are unable to snorkel or dive there. Fly Australia Charters offer flights out to the heart reef as part of a scenic tour over the Whitsunday Islands for a 70-minute duration.

Great Barrier Reef

Reef World at The Great Barrier Reef

The Whitsundays are part of the Great Barrier Reef which is the largest living structure on Earth, stretching out over 2,300km along the Queensland coast and is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. Airlie Beach is an excellent access point to the Great Barrier Reef with 2 nearby airports on Hamilton Island and Proserpine, making it easily accessible for travellers. There are dozens of different tours and travel experiences visitors can take from Airlie Beach to explore the Great Barrier Reef, from scuba diving, snorkelling, sailing and by air.

Free Things To Do In Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach Lagoon

layout of the Airlie Beach Lagoon

One of the best free things to do in Airlie Beach is visit the man-made lagoon. Free to the public, the lagoon is located in the centre of town and has changing rooms, bathrooms, plenty of picnic spots and BBQ facilities and is close to several cafes and restaurants. The lagoon has a lifeguard patrol from 5:30am to 7pm during Winter months and 5:30am-9pm during Summer months. The closest bus stop is the Shute Harbour Road at Airlie Central stop. There is pay and display parking next to the lagoon on Broadwater Avenue. For a full guide on Airlie Beach Lagoon Click Here

Cedar Creek Waterfall

Cedar Creek Waterfall near Airlie bleach QLD

The Cedar Creek Waterfall is a 30 minute drive from Airlie Beach and has a free car park near the entrance to the waterfall and public toilets. The falls are active during the wet season (October to March) but can still be enjoyed during the dry season. There are several bushwalking tracks to take to get to the top of the falls. Unfortunately, there is no public transport from Airlie Beach straight to Cedar Creek Falls. Location Map 

Esplanade Kids Playground

Free Adventure Playground in Airlie Beach

The Esplanade playground is great for kids of all ages to visit and is free to visit any time of the day. It takes 8 minutes to walk to the playground from the centre of Airlie Beach and has a bus stop, Coconut Grove at Airlie Esplanade, a 2 minute walk away. Free 2 hour parking is available next to the playground on Coconut Grove.

Markets

Aerial View Of The Airlie Beach Markets

The weekly markets are another of the best free things to do in Airlie Beach. The markets are on from 7am to 1pm every Saturday at the Airlie Beach foreshore. The markets are an 8 minute walk from Airlie Beach central. Free 2 hour parking is available next to the markets on Coconut Grove. The closest bus stop is on Coconut Grove at Airlie Esplanade, a 2 minute walk from the markets.

Airlie Beach Tours

ZigZag Whitsundays And Whitehaven Beach Tour

zigzag whitsundays day tour at Whitehaven Beach

ZigZag is one of the best and most affordable ways to experience the highlights of the Whitsundays, with a visit to Whitehaven Beach, 2 island lookouts and a snorkelling session. With prices starting from $159, the tour departs daily from Coral Sea Marina. ZigZag is open from 8am-6pm 7 days a week and the meeting point for the tour departure is at Meeting Point B at the Marina. Pay and display parking is available at the carpark which is a 5 minute drive from Airlie Beach. The Coral sea marina bus stop is a 4 minute walk from the meeting point.

Air Whitsundays

seaplane landed at Whitehaven beach

One of the most stunning ways to view the magnificence of the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsundays is from above. Air Whitsundays offers seaplane and helicopter tours out over the reef with prices starting from $249 per person. Check-in for the flights depart from Rufus & Co Cafe at the Port of Airlie which is a 17 minute walk from the centre of Airlie Beach or a 5 minute drive. There is 24 hour parking at the Marina, with 2 hours free and paid options for time after that. A bus trip to the Port of Airlie from Airlie Beach takes 11 minutes on the 860 line. Air Whitsunday is open from 7am-7:30pm 7 days a week.

Whitsunday Jetski Tours

jetski tours

Jetski tours are perfect for those looking for a bit more action as they zip around the Whitsundays. With 3 different tour options you can pick and choose which parts of the Whitsundays you’d most like to see. The office is open from 8am-5pm 7 days a week and is located at Shop 3 at the Coral Sea Marina South Village. Pay and display parking is available at the carpark which is a 5 minute drive from Airlie Beach. The Coral sea marina bus stop is a 1 minute walk from the meeting point at the office.

Airlie Beach Fishing Charters

guests showing of their fish catch

For those looking to get out on the water for some sea fishing, Airlie Beach Fishing Charters are one of the best things to do in Airlie Beach. With 6 different charter options from half day trips to private fishing charters there’s an option for every budget. Located in the South village of Coral Sea Marina located on Shingley Drive, the tour is a 5 minute drive from the centre of Airlie Beach with pay and display parking is available at the carpark. The marina is also easily accessible by bus route, with the Coral sea marina bus stop 4 minutes walk from the meeting point.

Airlie Beach Food and Nightlife

Mama Africa Bar and Nightclub

Inside Mama Africa's Night Club

Mama Africa’s is Airlie Beach’s longest standing nightclub since its opening in 2009 and has 4 house resident DJ’s. Mama Africa is open from 9pm-3am Friday and Saturdays and is closed for the rest of the week. The closest bus stop is Shute Harbour Road at Broadwater Avenue, directly across the road, less than a minute’s walk. The taxi rank is a 3 minute walk from the nightclub. There is limited street parking and is pay and display after a certain time.

Magnums

Live music at Magnums Hotel Airlie Beach

Magnums is the largest beer garden in Airlie Beach and is open from 10am-2:30am 7 days a week. The closest bus stop is called Shute Harbour Road at Airlie Beach Centre and is 1 minute walk from the bar. The taxi rank is also a 1 minute walk away, opposite the bar. There is limited pay and display street parking.

 

Paddy’s Shenanigans Irish Bar

people dancing at Paddy’s Shenanigans Irish Bar

Paddy’s Shenanigans Irish Bar is one of the most popular nightlife spots in Airlie Beach with live music every night. Open from 10am-4pm Monday, 9pm-3am Tuesday to Thursday, 8pm-3am Friday and Saturday and 9pm-3am Sunday. The Shute Harbour Road at Broadwater Avenue bus stop is a 1 minute walk from the bar and the Airlie Beach centre taxi rank is 2 minute walk away. There is limited pay and display street parking.

Restaurants

For a complete restaurant guide, see our best restaurants in Airlie Beach page here.

Walking Tracks

Coral Beach

beach made from coral

The walking track to Coral Beach is a beautiful trail through part of the Conway Conservation Park and is open year round. The trail is 3.4km there and back and takes an average of an hour to complete. The track is a 14 minute drive from Airlie Beach and the closest bus stop is a 18 minute walk from the start of the track, called Shute Harbour Road near Whitsunday hail ‘n’ ride. There is free parking in a small car park off Whitsunday Drive. Location on Google Maps

Mt Rooper

Mount Rooper Walking Track

Mount Rooper is well worth the effort for the fantastic views out over the Whitsunday passage and islands in the Coral Sea. Mt Rooper is a 6.7km long circuit taking an average of 3 hours to complete. There is free parking at the Mount Rooper car park at the base of the trail and it takes 10 minutes to drive there from the centre of Airlie Beach. There is a bus stop a 4 minute walk from the start of the walking trail named Shute Harbour Road at Conway NP. Location on Google Maps

 

Bicentennial Walkway

Bicentennial Walkway In Airlie Beach

Starting from the Airlie Beach Lagoon and ending at Cannonvale Beach, the Bicentennial Walkway is a 4 km long walk along the Airlie Beach waterfront. There are multiple free public toilets along the walkway and free parking at Cannonvale Beach. There is pay and display parking next to the lagoon if you want to start the walkway from that point. The walkway is open 24/7 and accessible by public transport at either the Coral Esplanade near Beach Road bus stop at Cannonvale Beach or the Shute Harbour Road at Airlie Central stop near the lagoon.

Honeyeaters trail

Honeyeaters trail overlooking Airlie Beach

The Honeyeater Lookout has one of the most beautiful views out over Airlie Beach and the Coral Sea, making the trail up there one of the best things to do in Airlie Beach. The trail is a 7.4km round trip with an elevation of 363 metres. It takes an average of 2 hours and 33 minutes to complete. The trail is open year round 24 hours a day. There is limited free parking at the base of the walk on Nara Avenue which is a 20 minute walk from the centre of Airlie Beach. The closest bus stop is 16 minutes away on Shute Harbour Road at Altmann Avenue. Location On Google Maps

List Of Local Beaches

An important note when visiting the beaches in North Queensland is there are crocodiles and jellyfish in the water. You should always heed signs advising of any dangers before entering the water. However, the beaches can still be enjoyed in a number of different ways making them one of the best things to do in Airlie Beach.

Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach South End

Accessible only by boat, helicopter or by seaplane, Whitehaven Beach is considered to be the most beautiful beach in the world. Travel time via boat takes just over an hour for faster vessels and around three to four hours for sailboats. Travelling by air can take as little as 15 from the mainland. Many tour companies will be able to take you to Whitehaven Beach varying in price for additional activities and time spent on the beach.

 

Boathaven Beach

Boathaven Beach

Stinger nets are in place at Boathaven Beach to ensure a safe swimming spot. Car parks are available with 2 and 1 hour time limits nearby. The Coconut Grove at Airlie Esplanade bus stop is a 600 metre walk from Boathaven Beach. Boathaven Beach is a 3 minute drive from the centre of Airlie Beach and a 15 minute walk. Free to use public toilets can be found on the road adjacent to Boathaven Beach. Location Map

 

Airlie Beach Esplanade Beach

Airlie Beach Esplanade Beach

The beach along the front of the Airlie Beach Esplanade is a beautiful spot from picnics and relaxing. The beach does not have stinger nets to protect swimmers. The beach is a 2 minute walk from the Shute Harbour Road at Airlie Beach bus stop. There is limited street parking near the beach, so the closest free 2 hour parking is on Coconut Grove.

 

Cannonvale Beach

Cannonvale Beach

Cannonvale Beach is one of the most popular beaches to visit in Airlie Beach as it has a stinger net safe for swimming in. There are free BBQ and toilet facilities and free parking along the beachfront. There is a bus stop right on the beach called Coral Esplanade near Beach Road for the 860 bus line. Otherwise it is a 3 minute drive from Airlie Beach or a 30 minute walk along the Bicentennial Walkway. Location Map

 

Conway Beach

Conway Beach

Conway Beach is a popular fishing beach due to its position at the mouth of the Proserpine River. The beach is roughly 30 minutes drive from the centre of Airlie Beach. There is free public parking on the nearby roads. There are no direct public transport options to get to Conway Beach unfortunately. There are also public toilet and shower facilities on Penhallurick Esplanade next to Conway Beach as well as free BBQ stations. 

 

Dingo Beach

Dingo Beach

Dingo beach is a much quieter stretch of beach than Airlie Beach with amazing views out over the Coral Sea. Dingo Beach is a 40 minute drive from the centre of Airlie Beach. There is free parking along several of the streets surrounding Dingo Beach like Deike Crescent at the end of Dingo Beach Road. No public transport options currently run to Dingo Beach. There is also free BBQ, shower and toilet facilities at the beachfront. Location Map

 

Hydeaway Bay

Hydeaway Bay

Hydeaway Bay Beach is a beautiful 1.5 km stretch of the Whitsunday coastline. Hydeaway Bay Beach is a 45 minute drive from Airlie Beach. Public parking is available at the beach. Unfortunately there isn’t any public transport that travels to Hideaway Bay beach. There is a public toilet available at the beach. Location Map 

Shops

There are many reasons why Whitsunday Reflections is the best accommodation in Airlie Beach, and one is we have self-contained apartments with a fully equipped kitchen so you can cook your favourite meals and enjoy the views from your room balcony. Below are the local supermarkets to purchase your culinary delights.

Supermarkets

Woolworths Airlie Beach

Woolworths is located right in the heart of town with its own car park. The car park has free parking for the first hour and a half with paid options following that. The closest bus stop is a 2 minute walk away called Shute Harbour Road at Airlie Beach Centre. Woolworths Airlie Beach’s opening hours are 8am-9pm Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm Saturday and 9am-6pm Sunday. Location 

Coles Cannonvale

The only Coles in Airlie beach is in the Whitsunday Shopping Centre. There is a bus stop just outside the shopping centre called Island Drive at Whitsunday Shopping Centre. The centre is a 5 minute drive from Airlie Beach. There is ample free parking at the shopping centre. Coles is open 8am-9pm Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm Saturday and 9am-6pm on Sundays. Location

Woolworths Cannonvale

Woolworths Cannonvale can be found in Whitsunday Plaza which is a 10 minute drive from Airlie Beach and is easily accessible by public transport with a bus stop situated outside the plaza named Paluma Road at Whitsunday Plaza stop. There is plenty of free parking at the Plaza. Woolworths Cannonvale is open from 8am-9pm Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm Saturday and 9am-6pm Sunday. Location 

Big W

Big W is located in Whitsunday Plaza in Cannonvale which is a 10 minute drive from Airlie Beach and is easily accessible by public transport with a bus stop situated outside the shopping centre named Paluma Road at Whitsunday Plaza stop. There is a multitude of free parking at the Plaza. Big W Cannonvale is open from 9am-6pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9am-7pm on Thursday, 9am-5pm Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday. Location

Chemists

Live Life Pharmacy Cannonvale

This pharmacy is located in Whitsunday Plaza in Cannonvale which is a 10 minute drive from Airlie Beach and is easily accessible by public transport with a bus stop situated outside the shopping centre named Paluma Road at Whitsunday Plaza stop. There is a multitude of free parking at the Plaza. The pharmacy is open 8am-6pm Monday to Friday, 8:30am-5pm Saturday and 9am-4pm Sunday. Location

Live Life Pharmacy Airlie Beach

This pharmacy is located right outside the bus stop at Shute Harbour Road at Airlie Beach Centre and street parking is limited in the immediate vicinity. The closest free parking is the Woolworths car park which has free parking for the first hour and a half with paid options following that. The pharmacy is open from 8:30am-5:30pm Monday to Friday, 8:30am-4pm Saturday and Sunday. Location

Live Life Pharmacy Airlie Beach Day and Night Chemist

The day and night chemist is located on the main road in the centre of town close to the Woolworths.The pharmacy is open from 8am-7pm 7 days a week. Limited street parking is available, the closest free parking is the Woolworths car park which is free for an hour and a half. The pharmacy is a minute’s walk away from the bus stop at Shute Harbour Road at Airlie Beach Centre. Location

Whitsunday Pharmacy

You can find Whitsunday Pharmacy in the Whitsunday Shopping Centre located on Shute Harbour Road. Whitsunday Shopping Centre is part of the main bus route, with the closest stop being the Island Drive at Whitsunday Shopping Centre stop. The centre is a 5 minute drive from Airlie Beach. There is ample free parking at the shopping centre. The pharmacy is open from 8:30am-6pm Monday to Friday, 8:30am-5pm Saturday and 9am-4pm Sunday. Location

 

 

We hope you’ve found our things to do in Airlie Beach guide useful, for more information on Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays see our News page here.

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