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Top 10 Things to Do in Airlie Beach


Airlie Beach is the perfect start and end point of your Whitsunday Island dream holiday! Whether you want to give yourself a few days extra in this vibrant town, or just one – you should be sure to check off a few of these top ten things to do in Airlie Beach! Most are completely free, a few are very low cost, enjoy!

1. Visit the Airlie Beach markets and boutique shops

Every Saturday morning (from around 7am until 12pm) the Airlie Beach foreshore comes alive with the hustle and bustle of the market. From fresh local fruit and vegetable stalls to artisan crafts, there’s something to take everyone’s fancy! If you’re not in Airlie Beach on a Saturday, fear not, there are also plenty of boutique shops along the main street of Airlie Beach to peruse at your leisure.

2. Take a stroll along the Bicentennial Pathway walking track

The Bicentennial Pathway runs all the way from Cannonvale Beach along the waterline to the Airlie Beach foreshore. Take in the views as you stroll past beaches, the marina villages, the lagoon and end up at the newly refurbished foreshore. The track is well maintained and popular with dog walkers, joggers and Segway users alike!

3. Take in the sunset from the Airlie Beach sign

On top of the hill as you enter Airlie Beach is a large welcome sign. You can walk up the hill from Airlie Beach towards the sign, and stop where the track dips behind the sign. This is a wonderful and easily accessible spot for watching the sun go down. Gaze peacefully as the sun lights up the marina below you, then disappears behind the distant hills.

4. Try stand up paddle boarding

Give Stand Up Paddle boarding a go in the calm waters around Airlie Beach! You can find boards for hire from Shingley Beach (next to the marina) and Lagoon Beach (in the centre of Airlie Beach). Both locations offer perfectly still water for easy stand-up-paddle boarding, ideal for beginners.

5. Walk part or all of the Conway Circuit

The whole Conway Circuit track can be done in one day, and takes you through stunning hinterland as you walk all through the Conway National Park. Visiting the Honeyeater lookout on the Conway Circuit Track is a steep and steady climb to the top. We promise the views overlooking the Airlie Beach township below you and out across the northern Whitsunday Islands will make it all worth it.

6. Try the delicious cuisine at one of the many fantastic restaurants

Airlie Beach is full of fantastic eateries catering for all different palettes and budgets. You can find cuisines from around the world, ranging from takeaway options, to fine dining cuisine. Our favourites include:

  • Anchor Bar serving up delicious cocktails by the pool, and sharing platters to die for.
  • Bohemian Raw Café in Coral Sea Marina serving up healthy smoothies and smoothie bowls for breakfast and lunch. Get down to your boat tour early to get in a good coffee before you go!
  • Little Vegas on the Main Street for your go-to burgers. No fuss, just good food!
  • La Tabella serves delicious Italian cuisine in a fine dining setting – perfect for when you’re looking for something a bit special.
7. Go in search of waterfalls

If you’re visiting during the wet season, there’s one major benefit you can be sure of – waterfalls. A short drive away, towards Proserpine, brings you to Cedar Creek Falls – a beautiful cascading waterfall with a large swimming hole. During the dry season in winter, you may find the waterfall is dried up, so make sure to check if it’s flowing first!

8. Visit Hydeaway Bay

Also a short drive away, you can find a stretch of beautiful sandy beach to call your own for a day. Hydeaway Bay seems like an endless stretch of beach, full of beachcombing and fishing opportunities or simply relax and read a book. With Montes restaurant and Cape Gloucester Eco-Resort only a short distance away, you can top the day off with a refreshing drink or delicious locally caught seafood meal.

9. Volunteer to help clean up

The Eco-Barge team are always looking for volunteers to help with the process of keeping the Whitsundays clean. Sign up to get all the low down of their next mission, whether its collecting and sorting marine debris or releasing turtles back into the ocean!

10. Visit the friendly team at the Explore Whitsundays office

Maybe you still haven’t been to the Whitsundays or need some help deciding which of the many vessels to pick. Lucky for you, the Explore Whitsundays team are located on the Airlie Beach Esplanade, across from the revitalised Airlie Beach foreshore.