Beach information in Queensland Australia
Queensland Beaches of Australia

Airlie Beach and The Whitsunday Islands

Airlie Beach LagoonThere's only one thing Airlie Beach doesn't have - surf. This is the dividing point on the Queensland coastline between the surf-prone beaches of the south and the gentle tropical beaches caressed by warm water of the north.


Airlie Beach MarinaBut hey, who needs surf when you have 74 Whitsunday Group Islands at your doorstep, surrounded by Great Barrier Reef and flanked by long expanses of beach. And don't forget the terrific fishing, sailing, and swimming that you can enjoy. In Airlie township you have access to fine restaurants, accommodation to suit any budget, a wild nightlife to service the big backpacker groups, and holiday shopping.

Airlie Beach is the main departure point for vessels heading to the Whitsunday Island Group, and therefore it has a huge population of charter vessels, itinerant yachties, and holidaymakers keen on sailing in what has been described as one of the world's most beautiful cruising areas.

The beach at Airlie faces the islands to the north. Mt. Rooper, Pioneer Point and the Mandalay Peninsula shield the waters here from the southeast winds. Therefore, Airlie Beach is very protected and calm - perfect for a family day at the beach or a relaxing sun-soaking afternoon.

South Mole Island SunsetThe Whitsunday Islands are composed of 74 islands, the most notable being Daydream Island, Hamilton Island, Hayman Island, Hook Island, Lindeman Island, Long Island and South Molle. These islands have resorts and all holiday facilities, but the remaining 67 islands are part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and are controlled by National Parks and Wildlife. Visiting these island is permissible by chartered boats or private yachts, however it is necessary to obtain a camping permit if you intend to stay overnight.

Hamilton Island Marina SunsetThe most pristine beach in the Whitsunday Island Group is Whitehaven Beach. This 6-kilometre beach is famous for it's pure white sand and feeling of remoteness. Not human infrastructure can be seen from the beach - only the water gently lapping at the white sand and the endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean to the east.
A camping ground is located at the southern end of the beach, and it has toilets and picnic tables.

From Hamilton Island, it takes only 30 minutes aboard a high-speed catamaran to reach Whitehaven beach.