Airlie Beach is one of the most popular North Queensland destinations thanks to its relaxed tropical atmosphere and proximity to the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef. When we drove into town along Shute Harbour Road we were blown away by the beautiful turquoise waters from the marina. Before arriving we really didn’t know too much about Airlie Beach and we definitely didn’t know about the gorgeous views.
Accommodation- We stayed at Island Gateway Holiday Park and we can highly recommend this place for accommodation. It was quiet and our site had the best patch of grass we had come across. We were riding distance to the lagoon and to the centre of town which was very convenient and made for lovely bike rides everyday.
We had no intentions of doing any tours in Airlie Beach but as we were there we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit those crystal blue waters and that stunning white sand on Whitehaven Beach. So we booked into the Ocean Rafting Tour. Many other travelling families also recommended this tour, as it is very family friendly…so we booked. The Ocean Rafting tour took us on a joy ride to Whitehaven Beach and the hill inlet. This island is very picturesque and the colour of the white sand is blinding! We went snorkelling with plenty of marine life and had plenty time to ourselves to relax and explore. We highly recommend this tour.
Airlie Beach Lagoon
Travelling along the coast of Queensland we have seen our fair share of public lagoons and outdoor waterparks from Cooktown to Southbank in Brisbane City. We can hands down say this is our favourite. The lagoon is large and has plenty of different pools for adults and kids. What we loved best was the grass surrounding the lagoon, this was perfect to lay and sunbake on. We had plenty of picnics here and the view of the beach was amazing. Airlie Beach lagoon has lifesavers, change rooms and toilets, plenty of shade and is walking distance to the cafes and restaurants.
Airlie Beach Playground
Airlie Beach is a very family friendly town. This large playground is located at the end of the lagoon. It is suitable for all age groups. Our kids love a good skatepark and we spent many hours sitting and watching the kids skate around on their scooters and skateboard. This was great for those days where we didn’t have anything planned and the kids needed to burn some energy. To cool off we headed to the beach or to the lagoon.
I am not sure if that is what its called but I am going to name it ‘the strip’. It was a strip of everything you needed in one place. There were many days where we walked along and pub hopped for a cold drink. Our favourite place was Airlie Beach Hotel this restaurant has a great place to sit and enjoy a refreshing beverage with ocean front views. Our kids went across to the beach and kicked the footy while we sat and enjoyed a cold beer.
Another great place for a meal is Magnums Hotel this place is laid back and has live music on Friday nights. Airlie Beach has lots of backpackers so the weekends get pretty busy at night and the hustle and bustle at the bars become a party.
The Bicentennial Walk is a must-do when in Airlie Beach. It stretches over five kilometres from Cannonvale Beach into the Airlie Beach Lagoon. Along the way, you will discover restaurants with live music, cafés, small tucked-away beaches, and sunset views to cherish forever! The walk is fully pathed the whole way and is reasonably flat perfect for an afternoon stroll with friends or family. We did the walk at sunset and it was lovely.
Wake up and head down to the lagoon. Saturdays are busy busy in Airlie Beach. The grass area south of the lagoon is filled with markets stalls. Fresh produce, crafts, sweet treats, second hand stalls and lotions and potions. There are also food vans and coffe vans so you can sit and enjoy morning tea. While you are walking around browsing the markets you will hear the live band that is playing on the stage. It really is a brilliant way to start the day.
Overall our stay was blissful and we would return in a heartbeat. We really enjoyed the laid back vibe that Airlie has. If you are passing by or are in the area we highly recommend visiting Airlie Beach.
As always we have only mentioned the places we have personally been and we review the tours we have done. If there is anything you can add to the list of places to visit then please add them in the comments box so the other readers can check these out. Thanks everyone.
From Kylie and Dan