Airlie Beach Information
Airlie Beach is the centre of Whitsundays tourism. The town is the step off point for nearly all departures for attractions and sailing trips for the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef in this region.
Airlie Beach is a small bustling town and facilities are easy to find and usually within walking distance from anywhere in the township. Airlie Beach offers clubs, banks, supermarkets, hotels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, backpacker venues, boutiques, medical facilities, newsagencies, internet cafes, take away food, bars and chemists.
Originally a farming region the township was named in 1936. Today Airlie Beach is a modern tourism destination and popular with Australians and International travellers as a major tourism destination and a deserved reputation as Australia's premier sailing playground.
The climate in Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands is a sub tropical climate when it is sweltering down in the southern states at 40 degrees celsius the Whitsundays will be a lovely 30 degrees celsius. In winter the region enjoys perfect winter days with an average temperature of 23 degrees during the day. It is still wise to bring some warm clothing for winter nights. Below is a rough guide to temperatures year round.
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Max 30 30 29 28 26 23
Min 24 24 24 22 20 17
Month Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max 23 24 25 27 29 30
Min 16 17 19 21 23 24
Making arrangements to visit
It is always wise to book ahead if wishing to visit Airlie Beach and The Whitsunday Islands. This is so for both sailing trips and accommodation. As a rule you should try to book in advance outside of 1 month of your arrival however during peak periods such as Christmas, Easter and school holidays you should consider booking ahead outside of 3 months. People leaving arrangements until the last minute are often hard pressed having to take what they can get rather than what they wanted. Many Oz Magic clients book up to six months in advance and usually we have no problems arranging what they have chosen. In regards to sailing trips boats offering private double or twin cabins have limited cabins available and private cabins are the first to be booked so it is always wise to make your plans well in advance of your departure date.
In regards to accommodation the better resorts, hotels and bed and breakfast venues are always in high demand so it is also wise to book well in advance for accommodation as well.
Backpacker Hostels while busy usually have availability outside of peak periods, however can be busy during peak periods often filling the venues in advance.
The main focus of Oz Magic is to concentrate on the boats themselves but we are able to recommend select accommodation venues if you email and ask for information.
Usually our clients require a mainland accommodation in Airlie Beach with a minimum of at least one night prior to departure and one night on the return of the boat. We are happy to arrange extra nights if needed.
Airlie Beach is accessed by road or air. It is not possible to fly directly to Airlie Beach and there are no direct international flights to the region. There are two main airports located at the town of Proserpine and another on Hamilton Island. The closest train station is also at the town of Proserpine approximately a 30 minute drive from Airlie Beach. People arriving at Hamilton Island will need to transfer from Hamilton Island to Shute Harbour and then catch a shuttle bus or taxi to Airlie Beach.
Checking in for your boat departure
The vast majority of boats we offer have offices in Airlie Beach where you must check in for departure. All Whitsunday Island boats require you to check in many hours prior to departure. Whitsunday boats that depart early in the morning require you to check in the day before departure. Whitsunday boats departing late afternoon or in the evening require you to check in at least 3 hours before the boat departs so you are able to arrive the same day as departure. Oz Magic advises all clients that domestic transport services can change schedules or arrive later than scheduled so it is wise to always plan to arrive earlier than needed to avoid any problems. All Whitsunday boat operators and accommodation venues see it as your responsibility to arrive as planned and all Australian tourism businesses have a full loss of fare policy when clients do not turn up or fail to board the boat. All Whitsunday boats must depart on time and a boats departure cannot be delayed waiting for late arrivals as the time they spend at the dock is restricted by the need for other boats to berth. There is no water taxi service in Airlie Beach that can take you to a boat once it has departed so it is extremely important that you make sure you will arrive in time to check in at the minimum time specified for your boats departure.
What you should bring on the boat
You should bring only what you need with you for the duration of the trip in a soft bag. A change of clothes for the days you are onboard, swimmers, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, a beach towel and a bath towel (most boats do not supply towels) and a warm top sweater for evenings.
Passengers travelling on Whitsundays boats must take only what they need for the duration of the trip. Excess luggage must be left on the mainland and there are secure lock up facilities available in Airlie Beach that reservations can advise you of when checking in, there is usually a small daily fee for that service. If you are returning to a hotel or resort you were staying at prior to your boats departure usually you are able to leave excess luggage at the accommodation venue.
Sunburn & Seasickness
The Australian sun can be particularly harsh even on a cloudy day and a bad case of sunburn can ruin your holidays well after your Whitsundays boat trip is over. For this reason it is recommended that you make sure you bring with you, a hat, a high factor sunscreen cream or lotion, sunglasses, a long sleeved shirt to wear at times you are in the sun for prolonged periods and to seek out shaded areas on the boat when in transit. While the waters in the Whitsundays are naturally protected from large ocean swells some people are naturally prone to seasickness. A boat cannot turn around to bring you back to Airlie Beach so it is highly advisable if you think you are prone to seasickness to pack some motion sickness tablets. Most people do bring some with them just in case but seasickness is relatively rare on these trips especially on the larger vessels.
Box Jellyfish & Marine Stingers
Nearly all Whitsunday boats will require you to hire and wear a marine stinger suit when entering the water. This is compulsory for most sailing trips as Box Jellyfish and marine stingers can be present in tropical waters in Australia. Stinger suits are a light lycra suit that will protect you from a chance encounter and also contribute to protection against sunburn. Extra cost for the hire of these suits is between $15 per person to $20 per person for the duration of the trip depending on who you are sailing with.
How to get there
If you need to know something not mentioned on this page just fill in the below enquiry form and submit it. We will reply within 12 hours. Text boxes will take a large amount of text.