Airlie Beach is a tropical tourist town that knows how to have a good time.
Located in the heart of the Whitsundays, Airlie Beach is the most popular jumping-off point for exploring the region on a day tour. Sign up for a jet ski safari, go on scenic flights high above the Coral Sea, try your hand at sea kayaking, or go on one of the many sailing adventures around the islands. There are plenty of day tours to the Great Barrier Reef or you could see the reef and Whitehaven Beach in a single day. There are also tours which explore Airlie Beach such as the popular Segway tour which travels around town and along the waterfront. Allow time for a swim in the 4,300sqm Airlie Beach Lagoon which has stunning Coral Sea views and is free to use. Strolling along the town’s attractive main street which is filled with cafes and boutiques is another enjoyable way to pass the time.
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Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
Whitsunday Coast Airport at Proserpine is the closest airport to Airlie Beach. If you fly into Whitsunday Coast Airport, you will need to drive or take a transfer to Airlie Beach. This is easy to arrange with buses meeting all incoming flights. The transfer from Whitsunday Coast Airport to Airlie Beach takes around 25 minutes.
If you don't have far to go it's easy to walk around Airlie Beach as the area is almost completely flat. If you would like to travel further afield, local bus services are provided by Whitsunday Transit and run until around 10pm most days. You can also catch a taxi or rent a hire car.
Anytime of year is a good time to visit Airlie Beach. Summer is hot and humid and perfect for swimming. Spring and Autumn are cooler and the town and surrounding area tends to be quieter. In winter, whales are frequently spotted in the surrounding waters. If you are visiting Airlie Beach between October and May and swimming in the ocean, it is advisable to wear a 'stinger suit' to protect yourself from possible jellyfish stings.
Airlie Beach is a laid back destination so you can leave your fancy clothes at home. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are a must, even in winter, as the sun reflects off the sparkling Coral Sea. There is a supermarket in the heart of town which is handy if you have forgotten to pack any essentials.
There is no need to get dressed up, even if you are staying at one of the resorts at Airlie Beach. Casual clothes or active wear are fine during the day. Smart casual is the usual dress code at restaurants in Airlie Beach.
Airlie Beach is on the mainland so there is good WiFi coverage in town and the surrounding area.
Airlie Beach is on the mainland so there is good mobile coverage in town and the surrounding area.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.