Airlie Beach

Population 7876

Airlie Beach is at the centre of the thriving Whitsunday coast. This tropical holiday town offers a cosmopolitan blend of bars, restaurants and shops just metres from the beach. From Abel Point Marina, daytrips to the outer Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday islands are on offer. Watersports available include sailing, snorkelling, diving and fishing. Nearby Shute Harbour is one of the largest marine passenger terminals in Australia and, along with Airlie Beach, services the majority of the Whitsunday islands.

Visitor Information

295 Shute Harbour Rd; (07) 4946 5789 or 1800 635 334

Nearby national parks

  • Eungella National Park

    Situated in the rugged Clarke Range, high above the surrounding plains, this mountainous national park is rent by deep gorges and contains...more

  • Cape Hillsborough National Park

    Cape Hillsborough National Park is renowned for its beautiful sandy beaches nestled between rocky headlands. Rhyolite boulders are scattered...more

Nearby towns

  • Proserpine

    Proserpine is the inland sugar town and service centre of the Whitsunday Shire. It was named after the Roman goddess of fertility,...more

  • Bowen

    At the north of the Whitsundays, Bowen is positioned within 5 kilometres of eight pristine beaches and bays. Named after the state's first...more

  • Mackay

    The city of Mackay is an intriguing blend of 1900s and Art Deco heritage buildings mixed with modern-day architecture. It was first settled...more

In Town

Airlie Beach Lagoon: safe, year-round swimming in landscaped environment; foreshore.

Whale watching: tours July–Sept depart Abel Point Marina; details from visitor centre.

Sailing: be it traditional sailing, adventure or luxury crewed; details from visitor centre.

Skydiving: tandem skydive and take in the stunning views from very high above; (07) 4946 9115.


Conway National Park Covering 35 km of coastline, this park is renowned for its natural beauty and as the habitat of the Proserpine rock wallaby (endangered species). Walks start in Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. The Mt Rooper Lookout is a highlight, featuring a panoramic view over Hamilton, Dent, Long and Henning islands. Access the park off the road to Shute Harbour; (07) 4967 7355; 3 km SE.

Daydream Island A small island of volcanic rock, coral and dense tropical foliage. Daydream has a Kids Club, tennis, outdoor cinema, watersports centre, snorkelling, diving, and reef and island trips. Luxurious resort (maximum 900 people); 10 km NW.

Hayman Island Close to the outer reef, with fishing, sightseeing trips, scenic flights, diving, watersports, Kids Club and whale-watching excursions. Big-game enthusiasts strive to catch black marlin off the island Sept–Nov. Luxury resort (maximum 450 people); 30 km NE.

South Molle Island Numerous inlets and splendid views of Whitsunday Passage, plus great wildflowers in spring and early summer. There’s golf, bushwalking, snorkelling, scuba diving, windsurfing and sailing. Medium-size resort (maximum 520 people); 12 km NE.

Lindeman Island Part of Lindeman Islands National Park with bushwalking and panoramic views from Mt Oldfield. Tropical rainforest surroundings home to prolific bird and butterfly populations. Secluded beaches, crystal waters and scuba diving. Formerly the location of Club Med, at the time of going to press the resort was being sold. 39 km SE.

Whitsunday Island Entirely uninhabited national park, with a beautiful 7 km white silica beach and complex mangrove system. Camping only (maximum 40 people); details from Airlie Beach parks office; 27 km E.

Hamilton Island A large island with a wide range of facilities and activities, shops, marina and fauna park. There’s windsurfing, sailing, fishing, scuba diving, parasailing, helicopter rides, tennis, squash, and reef and inter-island trips. Resort (maximum 1500 people); 27 km SE.

Hook Island: impressive waterfalls and

beautiful butterflies to be seen at Butterfly Bay; 28 km NE.

Crocodile safaris and fishing trips: to nearby coastal wetlands; details from visitor centre.

Scenic flights: various tours over the 74 Whitsunday islands; details from visitor centre.

Fishing spots near town

Lake Proserpine 40 km

The closed season for barramundi in Queensland runs from November to February, but some of the best barra waters are exempt and this includes the fabulous Lake Proserpine, often called Peter Faust Dam, 26 km east of... Find out more

Seaforth 74 km

Seaforth is about an hour’s drive north of Mackay, depending on cane harvester traffic. The small seaside resort is remarkable in that it hasn’t yet been overrun by developers, although that is changing... Find out more

Pioneer River 98 km

Fishing from a canoe is one of the best ways to get close and personal with the environment. Even when the fish are small, catching them from a canoe is both challenging and rewarding. With that in mind, I jumped at the... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Hiking the Whitsundays Great Walk 9 km

In the past few years a 30-kilometre walking track – the Whitsundays Great Walk – has been established, from Brandy Creek to Airlie Beach, through Conway State Forest. The two main camps, Repulse Creek and... Find out more

Wildlife tours - Rockhampton to Townsville 21 km

Proserpine River Eco Tours runs an eco-accredited all-day wildlife safari in which you have a fairly good chance of seeing saltwater crocodiles, agile wallabies, mud crabs and frillnecked lizards. The tour combines a... Find out more

Camping - Whitsundays and Keppel Islands 23 km

If you want to camp on one of the Whitsunday Islands but do not want to kayak and do not own a boat, Camping Whitsundays and Island Camping Connections run a drop-off and pickup service, supply camping gear and food if... Find out more

Picnicking around Bowen and Mackay 56 km

There is plenty of shade to go around at Mullers Lagoon in Bowen, a 24-hectare parkland with botanic gardens, wetlands, a bird hide and free barbecues. The lush Botanic Gardens at Mackay are also recommended.... Find out more

Golf courses around town

Hamilton Island Golf Club 25 km

When Hamilton Island was being built in the 1980s it was a playground of the rich and famous. The island’s owner and developer, Keith Williams, knew a golf course would add to the tourism value of his island... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Déjà Vu

Déjà Vu is famous for its Long Sunday Lunch, an eight-course feast. On weekdays you can enjoy a well-priced lunch special beside the infinity pool overlooking the Coral Sea and the Whitsunday islands. For... Find out more

Campsites around town

BIG4 Airlie Cove Resort Van Park 3 km

This modern tourist park with excellent facilities is located 2.5 km from Airlie Beach town centre on Shute Harbour Rd. The campground features a Polynesian-style camp kitchen with fridge, microwave, hotplates and other... Find out more

BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort 4 km

This modern 26 ha camping and caravan park is located in Cannonvale, 4 km from Airlie Beach’s town centre. The facilities are top class: ensuite powered sites, plenty of shade, concrete slabs, and 3 amenities... Find out more

Bloodwood camping area (walk-in camping) 6 km

Hikers on the Whitsunday Great Walk can camp at this site, 11.5 km (5–6 hrs) from Repulse Creek camp and 8.5 km from the end of the walk at Airlie Beach. The track from Repulse Creek follows a ridge to the summit... Find out more

Swamp Bay camping area (walk-in camping) 6 km

Walk 2.1 km from the Swamp Bay/Mt Rooper carpark to this campground overlooking Daydream Island (accessible only by foot or boat). A pit toilet, shelter shed and picnic tables are the only facilities, so you need to... Find out more

Tancred Island camping area (boat-based camping) 9 km

Just 1 km from Shute Harbour, this campground has no facilities and suits self-sufficient campers only. A maximum of 6 campers per night is permitted.... Find out more

Grimstone Point camping area (boat-based camping) 11 km

This low-key, quiet campground is accessible by boat only. Pit toilets and picnic tables are the only facilities here so bring all self-sufficient goods and equipment (including insect repellent).... Find out more

Sandy Bay, South Molle Island camping area (boat-based camping) 12 km

Reachable only by boat at mid-high tide, this campground on the west side of South Molle Island is connected to the rest of the island by a 11.5 km walking track system. One of South Molle’s most popular walks is... Find out more

Cockatoo Beach camping area (boat-based camping) 12 km

This campground is at the southern end of North Molle Island. The site holds a maximum of 24 people and suits self-sufficient campers only; bring water and a gas/fuel stove.... Find out more

Paddle Bay camping area (boat-based camping) 12 km

Overlooking Daydream Island, Paddle Bay is a well-shaded site connected to the 11.5 km walking track system at the north-western tip of South Molle Island, 500 m from Bauer Bay resort. The maximum number of campers is... Find out more

Denman Island camping area (boat-based camping) 14 km

Denman Island, east of South Molle Island, has a small campsite with a sand and rubble surface, and is suitable for a maximum for 4 people. The island is 6.5 km east-north-east of Shute Harbour and can be accessed at low... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Flametree Tourist Village 4 km

This is a well-known park in the heart of a popular holiday destination. Enjoy the pool, covered barbecues and other features. This is a good place at a reasonable price in this busy coastal strip. Bookings are required... Find out more

BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort 4 km

This is a top quality park in an exceptionally popular holiday destination. The park has many features including a kids club, a tennis court and minigolf. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay... Find out more

Proserpine Tourist Park 21 km

In a quiet off-highway part of Proserpine, this is a very neat park that adjoins the town swimming pool, golf course and bowling green. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

O’Connell River Whitsunday Tourist Park 35 km

Located alongside the highway 22 km south of Proserpine, this place has good basic facilities and is for an overnight stop. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Travellers Rest Caravan and Camping Park 43 km

There are no more sandflies or midges at Midge Point than elsewhere, but there is a lovely beachside caravan park with lawns, large shady trees and a host of other great features. We really enjoy staying here. Bookings... Find out more

BIG4 Bowen Coral Coast Beachfront Holiday Park 58 km

Bowen is a popular coastal town and this park has absolute beach frontage, with excellent facilities and spotless amenities. Swimming, snorkelling and walking are all popular activities here. Beachfront sites are... Find out more

Wangaratta at the Beach Caravan Park 60 km

Great for a winter break, this is a very neat and tidy council park on the waterfront, adjoining the golf course. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

St Helens Gardens Caravan Park 71 km

A basic park with good facilities, this place is set back from the highway beside Kolijo Creek, 1 km south of the Calen Post Office. This is a good overnight stop. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Seaforth Camping Area 75 km

This is a popular open camping area right on the beachfront in the heart of the small town.... Find out more

Cape Hillsborough Nature Resort 81 km

This park within Cape Hillsborough National Park offers camping and caravan sites and is a great spot for a break. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Airlie Waterfront B&B

With a stunning location right on the waterfront, this is no ordinary B&B, having won many awards for hosted accommodation. It offers a choice of rooms, including one- and two-bedroom spa suites and apartments. It is... Find out more

BIG4 Adventure 
Whitsunday Resort

This is one of Australia’s biggest and best caravan parks, offering a wide range of accommodation from campsites to a 3-bedroom condominium-style option sleeping up to 8 people. Set in 10 ha, it contains Airlie... Find out more

Pinnacles Resort and Spa

There are only 29 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments in this luxurious resort. All have a private spa, and these are on the balcony in the two- and three-bedroom units. Every unit has a sea view and a full-size... Find out more

Whitsunday Terraces

These self-contained apartments, ranging from studio to interconnecting family suites accommodating up to seven people, are set into a hillside and have large balconies from which to enjoy views over the gloriously blue... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Mount Gordon park area 56 km

60km N of Proserpine (R) or 8km S of Bowen (L)

Just off the highway and overlooking a beach.

St Helens Beach camping area 65 km

T/O to St Helens Beach

Small campground located 15km east of the highway on the foreshore at the south end of St Helens Beach.

Seaforth camping area 75 km

At Seaforth

Large foreshore campground located at the end of the road into the village.

Ball Bay camping area 76 km

At Ball Bay

Small campground on the foreshore at the end of the road into the village.

Smalleys Beach camping area 78 km

T/O to Seaforth

Small area on the beach among dense coastal vegetation in Cape Hillsborough National Park. Located 1.7km (partly unsealed) north of Cape Hillsborough Rd.

Palm Tree Creek park area 86 km

34km N of Mackay (L) or 90km S of Proserpine (R)

Adjacent to the highway among a few trees.

Guthalungra rest area 99 km

At Guthalungra

Just off the highway and opposite the roadhouse.

What's on around town

Community market: Airlie Beach Esplanade; Sat mornings.

Airlie Beach Race Week: sailing; Aug.

The Great Whitsunday Fun Race: competitions for cruising yachts; Aug.

Whitsunday Reef Festival: four days of entertainment; Aug.

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