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  • Writer's pictureCelina

AIRLIE BEACH - the gateway to paradise

I spent my first vacation in Australia in Airlie Beach with three friends and we stayed there for a week. Airlie Beach itself is a town with a vibrancy complete with coconut palms, golden beaches and a lagoon that is the perfect way to relax and get a suntan. It offers the opportunity to access the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living organism, made up of over 2,900 individual reefs. The small coastal town sits on a tropical peninsula at "Shute Harbour" and is known as the gateway to Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.

If you arrive by plane, it is best to land at Proserpine Airport, about half an hour from Airlie Beach. From there you can book a cheap bus transfer (e.g. Whitsunday Transfer - 22$). We were dropped off right in front of our apartment called "Summit". The apartments are situated on a hill so that you have a breathtaking sea view and your own balcony with outdoor seating. There is also an outdoor pool, a barbecue area and a fully equipped kitchen.

From the apartment we walked about 10 minutes to the main street where you can sit in quite a few cafe´s and enjoy a good coffee or other food, perfect for catching up with friends or just chilling out. Most of the time we spent the time at the lagoon, where you can swim in the warm water and have a good view over the sea.

There are also walking tracks in Airlie including the Airlie Creek track that starts from the back of town past some beautiful trees and to a series of natural rock pools in the wet. If you are up for a longer hike you can take the 8km walk.

But to be honest: it’s easy to explore every inch of the Airlie Beach village in a short amount of time. There are many excursions and activities you can do there, but I reckon three to four days are enough. You should also consider at what time you travel to Airlie Beach, because in summer you can't swim because of the jelly fish, and the climate is very humid and hot. That's why I think the best time to go is August to October.

... but now my favorite part of the week: the day trip to the Whitsunday Islands. It is a group of 74 tropical islands all with unique characteristics. The majority of the Whitsunday Islands are uninhabited national park islands, but four islands offer a variety of resort accommodation, all with the Great Barrier Reef and fringing coral reefs at their doorstep.

We took boat ride around the islands with "ZigZag", which we booked in advance and costs about $150.

Our day started early in the morning: we met at Abell Point Marina at 8am and got our snorkel suits. Afterwards we took a seat on the speed boat and drove past the beautiful, untouched islands with lots of trees. The ride already was breathtaking, especially when we passed two turtles that were moving in the waves. Now we arrived at our first snorkel spot, between two islands, close to the coast with clear blue water. Honestly, I was a bit nervous because I've never snorkeled before. But I'm so delighted to be able to have this stunning experience because it was breathtaking: we swam to the reefs and could see the colorful fish and the fascinating coral reefs. On the boat we had a little snack: Lamington, a typical Australian small cake covered with coconut and chocolate.

Then we headed for our second spot: Haslewood island, where we decided to take a walk along the beach. There we had the island for ourselves and it felt like a dream.

The third place we visited was my absolute favorite: Whitehaven Beach, a gorgeous beach with spectacular ocean views. Wind and water have been purifying the sand for 40.000 years, creating the whitest and finest sand in the world. It does not retain heat and thus is cool and soft to walk on even in the hottest weather. Random fact: NASA used it to create the lens in the Hubble Space Telescope.

If you can imagine a paradise, that's what I saw there. The water was so clear, turquoise and sparkled in the sun. After having a salad buffet for lunch, we walked through the rainforest/ jungle on the island to get to a lookout at the highest point, where we could see the sandbanks and the sailboats. The rest of the time we relaxed and were grateful just to be at this stunning place.

Last but not least we cruised to an island called "Long Island", on which is only one resort, where not more than 60 people may be at the same time. I guess this is the perfect place for a honeymoon. We sat down there on the beach and enjoyed a cocktail and some fruits. So our day was already over and we returned to Airlie Beach. But it was absolutely worth to have a look at the Whitsundays and I can highly recommend everyone to come there once in a lifetime.

I have briefly summarized for you what you should see when you are in Airlie Beach.

Top things to do:

  • trip to the Whitsundays: Hamilton Island (largest inhabited island of the Whitsunday Islands with its own airport), Long Island, Whitehaven Beach, Haslewood Island, Daydream Island

  • lagoon at the beach

  • go snorkeling or diving

  • explore cafes / restaurants: fresh seafood or vegetarian options

  • visit the Airlie Beach Markets every saturday morning: selling locals crafts, fruit, vegetables, flowers and gifts

  • go hiking at Airlie Creek Track

  • enjoy nightlife at a club or a bar

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3 commentaires

15 nov. 2019

Best part sipping Long Island on Long Island, I reckon 😏


14 nov. 2019

Still dreaming about the cocktails, hey!


07 nov. 2019

Oh, what kind of cocktail did you get at Long Island?

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