Best Of Australia
East CoastCape Tribulation Cairns Magnetic Island Mission Beach Airlie Beach Whitsundays 1770 Fraser Island Noosa Brisbane Great Barrier Reef Gold Coast Byron Bay Spot X Sydney
South CoastMelbourne Great Ocean Road Launceston Hobart Adelaide Kangaroo Island Port Lincoln
West CoastPerth Exmouth Broome Kimberley
Top EndAlice Springs Uluru Litchfield Kakadu Darwin
Scenic Flight over the Whitsunday Islands and Reef$119 – $219 Select options
1 Day Ocean Rafting Southern Lights or Northern Exposure Tour$149 – $268 Select options
Scenic Flight & Ocean Rafting Package$359 Select options
Derwent Hunter Day Sailing Trip$95 – $520 Select options
Tongarra 2 days 2 night Budget$449 Select options
New Horizon 2 Days 2 nights$479 Select options
Wings 2 & 3 Catamaran$499 Select options
Powerplay 2 day 2 night James Bond Catamaran Boat$525 – $585 Select options
Atlantic Clipper 2 day 2 night Party Sailing Boat
Apollo 3 days 2 night Maxi Sailing Boat$544 Select options
Ride to Paradise Whitsundays Resort Stay$569 – $749 Select options
Every Night Is Friday Night
This little town is a backpacker favourite. You’ll find a very close community which is made up of a lot of ex-backpackers and boat crew. People stay here because they love it. It’s just beautiful. Expect to see a lot of smiley, happy faces. It’s a friendly social town. The nightlife is fabulous. It’s Friday night every night of the week and there is always something to do. You’ll meet a lot of locals who came to town as backpackers like you. People will tell you that they came for a week and a year later they’re still here. As so many locals were recent travellers themselves they’re very interested to meet and talk with you. This makes the bars particularly interesting because you’ll meet people from all over the world who are happy to share their newly acquired local knowledge.
The first thing to do when you get to Airlie Beach is get yourself on an overnight sailing trip. That is the best way to experience the Whitsundays. If you have some cash you can take a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef. If you’d prefer to just chill out and stay in Airlie Beach there are lots of free things to do.
Rainforest Bush Walks
There are beautiful rainforest walks with waterfalls and native wild life. There’s about 20 different bush walks you can do around Airlie Beach in Conway National Park.
Swimming at Cedar Creek Falls
You can go swimming down at Cedar Creek Falls which is about a 25 minute drive from Airlie Beach. You’ll need to hire a car to get out there or you can hire a little mini moke.
Great Barrier Reef
This is one of the great natural wonders of the world. It’s millions of years old and home to incredible marine life. There are some cool day trips you can take to see parts of the reef. The Great Barrier Reef is actually 2,900 individual reefs. The tours from Airlie Beach mostly visit Hardy Reef. The most popular tour is going out to the pontoon with Cruise Whitsunday Reef World. They’ve got all the gear with sun decks, swimming and snorkelling zones, underwater observatories, air conditioned lounges and lifeguards to keep you safe. It’s an unforgettable day out.
It’s fun to take a cruise on Whitsundays. There’s also a very popular ocean-rafting day trip in the Whitsundays. It’s like a big big rubber ducky with the big motors that will take you around the Whitsunday Islands.
Time To Eat
There are some good cheap eating options for backpackers at Airlie Beach. There’s the Down Under Bar. It’s the home of the $13 meal and pint deal. There is a food court at The Esplanade which is also a good option. They’ve got anything from Thai, Chinese, burgers, fish and chips, Italian, you name it. There’s a big seafood place, that’s called Fish D’vine which is worth a visit. If you are going to enjoy some fresh local seafood this is a great option.
The Down Under Bar have live music nightly with different backpacker games during the week. If you have some cash and feel like a big night out there are several good options on Main Street. Check out the Rum Bar which has hundreds of different rums from all over the world. (It’s under the same roof as Fish D’vine.)
There’s a local Irish bar called Paddy’s Shenanigans Irish Bar which has live music nightly. They open from 9 pm. The nightclubs run through to 5 o’clock in the morning. They kick-off around 11pm or midnight. Try out Mama Africa Bar and Niteclub and BOOM nightclub.
The best time of the year to come to Airlie Beach is during the winter months which is also the ideal time for whale watching. It is the quietest time of the year as well. The busiest time of the year in the Whitsundays is between November and March. February and March are usually the months of the year with the most rain but that still doesn’t stop visitors coming. If you have a choice, steer clear of visiting in February, March as it’s peak cyclone season. So your best months here are May, June, July, August for whales and for avoiding crowds and extreme weather.
Stay Safe From Stingers
Stingers are mostly found on the beaches in the hotter months. While it’s rare to hear about stingers in the colder months it does happen now and then. You can easily hire a stinger suit before you swim. There’s a little place called Fun Rentals that hires out stinger suits for about $5 a day. Usually you’ll get these given to you for free on the tour boats when you’re going to be swimming.
Stay A Week
Airlie Beach is the perfect place to unwind, especially if you’ve been travelling a fair bit. Why not give yourself a good 7 days. Spend a couple of days out on the boats and then a few days just to relax and go and see the sights and do some nice bush walks. Go to the local markets on Saturday. Relax at the beautiful lagoon, stroll along the boardwalk down to Abell Point Marina and check out the boats. Head to The Port of Airlie for lunch and a drink at one of the beautiful bars. Enjoy.