Airlie Beach is an Australian resort town in Queensland just north of Mackay and south of Townsville. It’s a great place to stop over if you are road tripping on the East Coast and we suggest spending a few days here so you can really get to know this idyllic coastal town. We recommend leaving enough time to fit in a boat trip to the Whitsunday islands whilst you are here if possible
The waters in Airlie Beach are so crystal clear that you’d be forgiven for thinking they aren’t real. Contrary to the name, there aren’t many beaches in Airlie Beach that are suitable for swimming so we advise heading to the Airlie Beach Lagoon. The lagoon is a large man made swimming area with a family friendly beach and park, a lovely place for a dip on a hot day. You will find a free to use public BBQ by the lagoon also, great for those evening BBQs. Happy days!
Airlie Beach is well known for being a gateway to the stunning Whitsunday Islands, where you can experience the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef. The Whitsunday Islands are 74 incredible islands that lie between the northeast coast of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. Most of the islands are uninhabited and dense with rainforest but those that you can get onto are blessed with crystal blue waters and white sand beaches and are packed with exhilarating hiking trails within the forests.
There are many boat trips available to explore the Whitsunday Islands, ranging from day sailing trips to 2 night party boats, all of which depart from Abell Point Marina or Port of Airlie Marina in Airlie Beach. There are lots of activities to do on these tours, like stand up paddle boarding, scuba diving and snorkelling, so be sure to discuss what you’d like to do with your travel agent so they can find the right trip for you.
You can opt for a day trip to visit the Whitsunday Islands. These day trips use motorised boats that can get you round the islands quickly and within one day, usually with a stop at Whitehaven beach. These day trips bring you back to the mainland at the end of the day and perfect for families and for those who like to sleep on dry land.
Overnight boat trips are great option also and are more suited to backpackers or adventurous couples, with a couple of ‘party boats’ available. There some smaller boats that sleep up to 8 as well as sailing trips that are suited to couples and families. Think about the boat trip you are looking for and discuss this with your travel agent so they can help choose the right boat trip for you.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can take a flight to the Whitsunday islands via a seaplane. There are a range of trips available all of which come with stunning views.
There are many parking options available for you campervan whilst you’re on a boat tip in Airlie Beach. Some of the backpackers and hotels offer parking for a small fee, just ask at the reception desks for more information. Valet parking is available and it’s possible to park on some roads but be sure to check the legalities of where you park and pay the correct fee as the roads are patrolled. If you’re unsure you can speak to your travel agent when booking your boat trip.
If you’re looking for a mainland day trip whilst in your camper, take a 50 min drive north of Airlie Beach and head to Cape Gloucester, a little coastal area far off the regular tourist track. Cape Gloucester, a favourite spot with the locals, offers stunning views of the Coral Sea, a wide choice of sandy beaches, plenty of palm trees and secluded coves.
Airlie Beach enjoys a subtropical climate that provides fine, mild weather year round. On average, the warmest month is January. The summer months (December to February) reach highs of up to 32°C with the lowest point of the day dropping to 22°C and the summer is when the ocean is at its warmest. The subtropical climate of Airlie Beach does however tend to experience cyclones from January to March. Although an average of up to 3 cyclones cross the Queensland coast annually, most travel southwest from the Coral Sea and don’t tend to have a major impact on Airlie Beach itself. The Winter (June to August) temperatures are still pleasantly warm with highs of 24°C and lows of 12°C. The winter months see half of the monthly rainfall than the summer months, this is due to the subtropical climate.
If you are planning to hire a campervan from Airlie Beach, get in touch with our friendly team and we can find you the best deal for your camper rental whatever your budget! We supply many vehicles ranging from 2 berth budget to 6 berth dulux and can help you find the perfect camper today.
- The Island Gateway Holiday Park – located only 500m from the town and beach
- Airlie Cove Resort Caravan Park is great family friendly option, perfect for those with little ones
- Taylorwood Tourist Park – a great option if you are looking for somewhere to stay slightly out of town
- Discovery Parks Airlie Beach – comes with excellent children facilities, including a bouncing pillow
- Flametree Tourist Village – the only family owned and run caravan park in Airlie Beach, they are pet friendly also
- Whitsunday Seafood Bar – dubbed as the best fish and chips in Airlie Beach
- Beaches Bar & Grill – great good and you can usually find a good meal deal here
- Beagles Pizza – a hidden gem
- Cafe One 3 – wholesome cafe serving up great breakfasts and coffee
- Shuckz Oyster & Champagne Bar – here you can indulge in the finest oysters and champagne
- Little Vegas Burger & Bar – serving up tasty American style food and delicious cocktails
- Magnums – a large patio seating area, perfect for an afternoon beer
- Boatys – a great atmosphere, the perfect place to socialise with some delicious food –
- Mama Africa – a nightclub to really let your hair down – Boom Nightclub – the place to be if you’re looking to party