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Best Ways to Relax and Unwind in Airlie Beach – the Gateway to the Whitsundays

Updated on February 17, 2014

Gateway to the Whitsundays

Airlie Beach Queensland Australia
Airlie Beach Queensland Australia | Source

Many travellers use Airlie Beach as a stepping stone to explore the islands of the Whitsundays – there are 74 islands in total so there is much to see and do on the calm blue waters of the Coral Sea in the Great Barrier Reef region of Northern Queensland, Australia or on any of the islands. Back on shore at Airlie, take time out to relax and unwind down at the lagoon, stroll the boardwalk to Cannonvale or hire a jeep for the twenty minute drive to Shute Harbour.

The Lagoon – Airlie Beach

On a warm day, cool off in the waters of the lagoon, a man made swimming retreat surrounded by beach sand, grassed areas and tropical plants. The lagoon was built as an alternative to swimming in the bay as a protection against the stinging box jelly fish that inhabit the northern waters from October to May each year. The depth of the pools are designed for everyone from toddlers to serious swimmers so this is a place for the whole family to get in the water and enjoy.

The Lagoon, Airlie Beach

The Lagoon, Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia:
Airlie Beach QLD, Australia

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Take a Boat or Ferry from Airlie Beach

Abel Point Marina -- Shingley Beach
Abel Point Marina -- Shingley Beach | Source

The Boardwalk

Cannonvale queensland:
Cannonvale QLD, Australia

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The Boardwalk – Cannonvale

When the tide is in the boardwalk offers a great place to walk along the water’s edge between AirlieBeach and Cannonvale. Ideal for a sunset stroll or a morning’s brisk walk. This is a great way to experience the fresh sea air of the Whitsundays. For the fit and adventurous the return walk heads back up the hill for a panoramic view of AirlieBeach, the new Port of Airlie Marina and the islands beyond.

Cannonvale Beach Queensland Australia
Cannonvale Beach Queensland Australia | Source

Drive to Shute Harbour

Shute Harbour, Queensland:
Shute Harbour QLD 4802, Australia

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The Scenic Drive – Shute Harbour

Hire a jeep at Airlie Beach and take a pleasant 15 kilometre drive through Conway National Park and the hills studded with lush tropical rainforest before arriving at ShuteHarbour. A great place for a light lunch overlooking the water, sail boats and not too distant islands or stroll along the jetty and watch the ferries as they come and go from Daydream, Long or Hamilton island.

The ferries run at regular intervals throughout the day from Abel Point Marina or Shute Harbour to and from the islands. It is best to book in the peak season and school holidays though to be sure of getting a seat. Still, if you miss the ferry it's a pretty good excuse for staying another night at one of the resorts.

Take the Scenic Route to Shute Harbour

Shute Harbour Queensland Australia
Shute Harbour Queensland Australia | Source

The Whitsundays

The Whitsundays offer international travellers the chance to experience Australia at its best. Warm balmy days are followed by the cool sea breezes at night to provide an idyllic atmosphere for out door activities in and out of the water during the day. Dine at the water’s edge for lunch or dinner alfresco style or seek refuge inside from cool air conditioned restaurants when needed. There is a myriad of places to eat and drink fusing together a wide variety of local cuisine and menus from other cultures.

Days in the sun and on the water, nights that come alive with music and people from all over the world, makes Airlie Beach the perfect holiday destination for all.

All photos remain the property of William Wilton 2010

© 2010 Karen Wilton


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