Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is a small but cosmopolitan resort town located in the northern state of Queensland. Set in Pioneer Bay on lovely palm fringed beaches, it is one of the main gateways to the beautiful Whitsunday Islands and to the Great Barrier Reef. It is on the mainland coast, nestled between Dryander and Conway National Parks and only a few sailing miles from Whitsunday Islands National Park. Airlie Beach holidays provide a great many things to do and attractions that most people think of as synonymous with this island nation.

When you enjoy a vacation to Airlie Beach you will find yourself on a picturesque peninsula that juts out into the ocean to provide the closest proximity to the Great Barrier Reef other than the main port of Cairns to the north. One of the most popular things to do at Airlie Beach is to hop on a boat and go sailing through the pristine Whitsunday Islands that lie just offshore. There are fully crewed charters available, as well as bareboat charters. These Airlie Beach holidays can last for several days on luxury sailing yachts. Or you can take day trips on excursion boats that include a gourmet picnic lunch, sightseeing, and perhaps a little snorkeling and scuba diving off the best Whitsunday Islands beach in Queensland—Whitehaven Beach. This is only about a 60-minute catamaran trip from town. This beach with its pure white sand is also a popular spot for scenic flyovers (via helicopter or seaplaner) that sometimes include drop offs for the day (complete with picnic lunch supplied).

While this region is best known for its islands, reef diving, and beaches, you may be surprised to learn that the wetlands around the nearby Proserpine River allow your vacation to Airlie Beach to include crocodile safaris in the Goorganga Wetlands. These are usually full-day tours that include scenic river cruises looking for wild crocs and an array of other wildlife (including everything from the dragonlike frilly lizard to mud crabs) and a delicious barbeque meal with a taste of traditional Australian bush tucker. There are numerous Airlie Beach hotels to choose from, including deluxe beach resorts and modest motels as well as a number of very nice apartments and vacation rentals.

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