Airlie Beach is an area in the Whitsunday region of Queensland, Australia. There are plenty of activities to do in the Airlie Beach area, including visiting the Great Barrier Reef. Airlie Beach is, in fact, the best departure point for the incredible diving hotspot.
With a stunning view of the expansive Pioneer Bay, you’re sure to be in awe for the majority of your visit. If you’re a water baby, beach bum or lover of great views, you’re sure to fall in love with this lovely neighborhood during your visit. Packed with exciting things to do and places to see, Airlie Beach is sure to hold the key to a magnificent vacation.
Our Favorite Places to Stay in Airlie Beach
Let’s be honest, where you decide to stay can make or break your vacation. It’s important to choose somewhere convenient that provides for all your vacation needs.
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The Coolest Hostel in Airlie Beach Queensland
- Get your own room or share with others
- Close to the famous Airlie Beach Lagoon
This quaint hostel has a tropical beach vibe to it, encouraging young and old to take part in its communal atmosphere.
A Great Budget Hotel in Airlie Beach Australia
- The rooms are clean, elegant and stylish
- There is an onsite restaurant
This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Airlie Beach, making all the main attractions in the area easily accessible.
Our Favorite Splurge Hotel in Airlie Beach
- Onsite swimming pool, restaurant, bar, and casino
- Each room has a balcony with stunning views
The Airlie Beach Hotel has incredible facilities in a luxurious setting. If you’re looking for a 5-star experience, there’s no better place to stay in Airlie Beach.
• The 31 Best Things to Do in Airlie Beach •
- 5 hours
- Ride the fastest Whitsunday vessels
- Visit exclusive snorkel sites
On this tour, you’ll get the chance to experience diverse activities from a guided tour through the national park to snorkeling in pristine waters, you really will get to try it all.
You’ll also get the chance to bask in the sun on the beautiful Whitehaven Beach.
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- 8-hour Cruise
- Visit the no.1 beach in Australia
- Ride a custom-built vessel
On this cruise, you’ll get the chance to explore underwater valleys, caves and coral formations in one of the best snorkeling locations worldwide. Airlie Beach diving is a great experience and the perfect way to spend your vacation.
During your tour, you’ll also visit Whitehaven beach, which is known for its beautiful views.
- 5-hour jet skiing experience
- Spot unique marine wildlife
- Admire the stunning coastal scenery
There’s nothing like zooming across turquoise seas to get the heart pumping and the adrenaline flowing. This thrilling adventure is one you won’t want to miss!
Be sure to keep your eye out for the areas famous turtles that call the bay their home. Between July and September, you may even be lucky enough to see a humpback whale.
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- 10-hour sailing adventure
- Snorkel the reef
- BBQ on the beach
Spend the day sailing the beautiful bay before getting the opportunity to snorkel at an incredible coral reef.
During your day of adventure, morning tea, a BBQ lunch, afternoon tea, and alcoholic beverages will be provided for you and your group.
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- 5-hour tour
- Feast on a fresh buffet lunch
- Best photo opportunities in Whitsunday
On this tour, you’ll get to see the Great Barrier Reef from above with a guaranteed window seat on your flight. You’ll then get to paddle board and snorkel to examine the marine life up close.
You’ll spend the rest of the day boating around the bay and spending plenty of time in the sun.
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- 10-hour day-trip
- Choose your own adventure
- Indulge in exciting activities
In the morning you’ll take a cruise through to Hamilton Island. After exploring the shops, boutiques, and galleries, you’ll sit down for an incredibly delicious lunch.
You’ll spend the rest of the afternoon as you please. Hiking, watersports and wildlife parks are just a few of the options you have available to you.
#7 – Visit Airlie Beach Lagoon
One of the best Free Things to Do in Airlie Beach
- BBQ facilities
- Plenty of open space
Why not spend the afternoon making a BBQ with the family at Airlie Beach Lagoon? There is plenty of open, grassy patches to set up a picnic and relax for the day.
If it’s nice and warm, take a dip in the lagoon to cool off before heading back to lye and sunbathe on your picnic blanket.
#8 – Browse The Airlie Beach Market
One of the Best Cheap Things to do in Airlie Beach
- Free to attend
- Bargain hunting
- Meet and mingle with the locals
If you’re looking for a souvenir to remember your delightful trip to Airlie Beach, Airlie Beach Market is the perfect place to go to.
They’re open from the early morning until the late afternoon, so be sure to pop by for breakfast or lunch to enjoy a unique culinary experience.
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- 30-minute helicopter ride
- Beach landing
- Incredible photo opportunities
During your helicopter flight, you’ll enjoy a birds-eye view of Daydream Island, Hamilton Island and many more!
You’ll learn about the natural history of the area from the on-flight commentary before landing on a secluded beach. Although the flight is short, the trip is well worth it!
#10 – Have a BBQ on the Foreshore
- Spend the evening outdoors
- Great for those on a budget
- Enjoy the evening in paradise
Lovely BBQ spots are open to the public on the Airlie Beach Foreshore. Make the most of them by spending the evening outdoors and making your dinner out in nature.
The cooler evenings will be a great relief after the heat of the day! Why not spend it outside enjoying the last of the sun’s rays?
- 11-hour day trip
- Explore Hamilton Island by foot
- Enjoy a packed picnic lunch
Once you arrive on Hamilton Island, you’ll be able to make use of the resort pools and beaches on the island at your own leisure.
Choose between a multitude of different hiking trails to explore the island, before heading back to your boat for the cruise back to Airlie Beach.
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- 3-hour activity
- Freefall at 220km per hour
- Enjoy a scenic flight
During this tandem skydiving experience, you’ll be taken on a scenic flight before jumping from an altitude of 15 000 feet directly over the Great Barrier Reef.
Your free fall will last for approximately 60 seconds before your parachute opens, and you glide gracefully to the beach below.
- Travel the area by seaplane
- Enjoy a water landing
- Snorkel exclusive dive spots
During this 3 hour tour, you’ll get the chance to fly over the beautiful tropical area of Whitsunday and the exquisite great barrier reef!
You’ll enjoy a spectacular water landing before getting the chance to snorkel in an exclusive diving spot, where you can enjoy the gorgeous warm temperature of the sea water.
#14 – Discover Hydeaway Beach
- Get away from the crowds
- A short drive from Airlie Beach
- Snorkeling opportunities
If you’re looking for a little adventure that’s off the beaten track, be sure to visit Hydeaway Beach (it sure does live up to its name). Although there is a town nearby, you’re more than likely to have the beach all to yourself.
Be sure to take your snorkel with you as there are small reefs to be discovered.
- 5-hour segway ride
- Enjoy close encounters with wildlife
- Take advantage of photo opportunities
Before you head out on your forest adventure, you’ll learn to ride the self-balancing segway. You’ll then head deep into the rainforest to enjoy some of the best wildlife sightings in the area.
You’ll enjoy 5.5 miles (9 kilometers) of luscious vegetation before heading back.
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- 4-hour walk
- Small group tour
- Pick-up and drop-off
On this small group walk, you’ll get the opportunity to walk through diverse landscapes, ranging from deep rainforest to beautiful coastlines.
You can choose to stop off along the way to enjoy a bit of sunbathing or for panoramic views of the Whitsunday islands.
- 5-hour guided hike
- Explore the natural beauty
- See cascading waterfalls
On this forest walking adventure, you’ll get the chance to seek out the most unique flora and fauna that Airlie Beach has to offer!
After stopping to appreciate the majestic, cascading Cedar Creek waterfall, you’ll get the chance to take a dip in the natural pools!
- 1-hour ride
- Choose between sunset and evening ride
- Visit 3 local restaurants
Travel around the beautiful Airlie Beach in a truly unique way – by tuk-tuk! Choose between a private evening, sunset or food tuk-tuk tour.
Discover the hidden secrets of Airlie Beach from a local’s perspective and gain insight into the daily lives of the people that live there.
- 5-hour experience
- Solve mysteries
- Suitable for all ages
On this interactive, haunted-house adventure, you’ll have to use clues to solve the mystery and make your escape! Be sure to wear your thinking cap to this activity.
This is great fun for anyone who loves solving mysteries and problems! Are you up for the challenge?
- 25-minute banana raft ride
- Life jackets provided
- Children must be accompanied by an adult
See how long you manage to hold on to the banana raft being pulled by a high-speed boast! The raft hurtles across the turquoise waters in the Airlie Beach area.
It’s important to note that this activity is not advisable to travelers with back problems.
- 9-hour fishing experience
- Receive fishing tips from a guide
- Snacks and lunch included
After a high-powered ride out to sea, you’ll get the chance to catch fish species like the Red Emperor, Spangled Emperor, Coral Trout, Cod, Mackerel, Tuna and many more!
All fishing equipment provided. You don’t need any experience, as your guide is an expert who is more than willing to show you the ropes!
#22 – Enjoy a Sundowner Sunset Cruise
Very Romantic for Couples
- 2-hour cruise
- Onboard dining
- Perfect for socializing
Set sail on a sunset cruise from Airlie Beach and enjoy romantic sundowners while you watch the sun setting over the sea.
Enjoy a delicious meal out at sea on board a luxury deck. When dinner is done there’ll be plenty of time for socializing or cuddling up with your significant other on the side ottoman.
#23 – Whitsunday Whale Watching Cruise From Airlie Beach
- 4-hour cruise
- Includes lunch and light refreshments
- Choice of morning or afternoon cruise
On this cruise, you’ll maximize your chances of seeing humpback whales during your time in Airlie Beach.
Get the chance to spot the whales as they head north for their winter migration. Your guide is an experienced whale watcher who can give you great insight into the lives of these great big creatures.
#24 – Visit Less Popular Beaches
- You won’t need a helicopter to get there
- Less crowded
Whitehaven is the most popular beach in Whitsunday, but it can be pricey to get there! But don’t worry, there are plenty of beaches in the Whitsunday area that you won’t need air transport to get to.
We recommend Boathaven or Cannonvale Beach as the best option if you’re trying to avoid the crowds and the costs!
#25 – Go for a Hike
- No guide needed
- Enjoy time in nature
There are plenty of hikes around Airlie Beach, especially in the Conway National Park. Here you’ll find trails that range from easy to 3-day hikes.
Whichever you decide to indulge in, there’s no better way to enjoy the natural beauty of Airlie Beach!
#26 – Go Birdwatching
- There are thousands of bird species
- All you need is binoculars
- Not hard to spot
The birdlife in Whitsunday is very vocal creatures, making them easy to spot. During mating season, you’ll see them puffing their chests and doing a feathery little dance to impress their female counterparts.
Be sure to bring your binoculars along for the trip as you won’t want to miss a close up of these lovely creatures.
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#27 – Fish in Peter Faust Dam
- Loaded with barramundi fish
- Meter long fish
Every year, 20 000 barramundi fingerlings are loaded into the dam. These fish grow to be meters long making them a great eating fish because they’ll feed the whole family.
If you go fishing at Peter Faust Dam, the odds will be in your favor and you’re almost certain to make a great catch.
#28 – Learn to Sail
- Just pay for the cost of a deckhand
- Evening sailing trip
- Whitsunday Sailing Club
Every Wednesday between 3 pm and 7 pm the Whitsunday Sailing Club hosts Twilight yacht racing. Don’t worry if you’ve never sailed before, for just the cost of a deckhand, you could be sailing the high seas.
Novices are welcomed, so don’t be nervous to pop by and give sailing a try.
#29 – Help Clean Up The Reef
- Volunteer to clean up the reef
- Join Eco Barge Clean Seas Inc
- Help conserve paradise
Join the Eco Barge Clean Seas Inc. clean up the reef and the beaches in the Whitsunday area. A free barge ride will take you out to the reef, as well as to many beaches along the coastline.
After this activity, you’ll leave feeling like you’ve made a difference.
#30 – Hike Up Mount Whitsunday
- Hike with a convoy of other people
- Enjoy spectacular views
- Take great photos
Every morning you’ll see plenty of people hiking up Mount Whitsunday as their morning exercise. So why not join them? It’s a great way to stay active on your holiday and enjoy some incredible views!
Be sure to take your camera with you, you’ll want to preserve the memory as long as possible!
#31 – Watch Cane Toad Racing
- Very unique activity
- Takes place every Thursday night
Head down to Magnums, a local pub that holds a very unique toad racing event every Thursday night. For many, it’s just an excuse to spend some time at the pub and make a few bets.
But for a tourist, it’s a very unique cultural experience that’s sure to make you laugh.
Airlie Beach is a beautifully picturesque area tucked away amongst the Whitsunday islands. With turquoise waters, palm trees, white sandy beaches, and luscious rainforests, it’s hard to call this place anything but paradise.
Every traveler’s dream destination, this epic vacation spot leaves little left for the heart to desire! An action-packed holiday awaits if you decide to visit the wonderful Airlie Beach. Be sure to book your activities in advance to make the most of your Airlie Beach holiday!
Now that you know the very best things to do in Airlie Beach, you’d better get packing, because a fantastic adventure awaits you!
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