Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays Top Picks
Tours: My favourite day trip was Fury, this is a ‘fast boat’ so it allowed us to see a lot more of the Islands in one day, the trip included snorkelling and lunch and pick up and drop off, we paid $119 which was really good value. Based on a lot of feedback from other travellers who had done a three day overnight sailing trip, it seems Anaconda was a good choice, I am not a diver but this trip offered a free dive and accommodation options on board, food was good and this boat had the best itinerary to ensure you got to see as much of the Whitsunday Islands as possible.
Sunbathing & Swimming: Forget the resort pools, go to the Airlie Beach lagoon, open every day, all day. The Airlie Beach Lagoon is big seawater swimming enclosure right on the beach, close to all the cafes, good toilet and shower amenities. The Lagoon is ‘NO Alcohol Venue’. The Lagoon is patrolled by lifeguards, this place has a great vibe, and try swimming in the rain, the water is still very warm.
Nightlife: I like live music, there are a few good spots in Airlie to hear live music, KC’s, and Magnums seem to have daily live music and Magnums Club books all the big acts that come through town, it seems the only venue big enough to support these acts. There are a couple of Nightclubs that trade through until three am, both are free entry fairly casual dress codes and provide the latest music with local and visiting DJ’s – again all these venues are within walking distance of each other.
Accommodation: Magnums is great in terms of budget accommodation and provides camping, van sites, dorms or private doubles, the location is the best in town.
Eats: Airlie is scattered with cafes and restaurants, you can find Sushi, Thai, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Pub food, Fast Food, and Cafes, I would suggest you ask a travel desk for a local map and invest some time in walking the main street, 90% of the dining and cafes are to be located in Shute Harbour Road and on the Esplanade
Cedar Creek Falls, Bowen Beaches Shute Harbour, any good local website will provide maps facts and drive times, these destinations are all within one hour’s drive time of Airlie Beach, all worth a visit.