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Airlie Beach Guide


Lying between Cairns and Brisbane in the state of Queensland, is the tiny town of Airlie Beach. Witness amazing views across Pioneer Bay and the Whitsunday Passage of the Coral Sea during your travels. Airlie Beach is a small community with life revolving around the beach and the marina by day, and the bars and restaurants by night. We compare quotes for car hire in Airlie Beach. Be prepared for your holiday and book online in advance. Its the best way to travel around this sparse area.

Explore Airlie Beach

The main reason people come here is to hop aboard sailboat charters to the magnificent Whitsunday islands. Spending several days aboard former world-class yachts, cruising these gorgeous tropical islands is an unforgettable treat and berths can be arranged in the town. However, it also has developed a reputation for partying.

There is a very large artificial beachfront lagoon, providing good swimming, set in four hectares of botanic gardens. There is also a children's pool, along with barbecues, picnic area and toilet amenities.

Although it is only comprised of a few blocks, the town provides a great selection of decent accommodation, a few charming restaurants and bars, shops, and facilities such as banks and also a supermarket.

Mangrove Jack's Café Bar is a popular place for a night out on the town. It offers a casual and upbeat atmosphere.

Shute Harbour, 11kms from Airlie Beach, is one of Queensland's busiest ports. The Lions Lookout is a great place to enjoy a panoramic view of the area. North of the Whitsundays is Dunk Island and the rainforest settlement of Mission Beach. Townsville, a delightful port city, is at the start of the Great Green Way; a region of natural beauty on the way to Cairns.

The Great Barrier Reef is a major attraction for anyone in the area, so why not have a go at SCUBA diving.


By air
The closest airport to Airlie Beach is Whitsunday Airport, located 6.2 kms, or a short 6 minute drive East. This airport only offers transfers, tours of the islands, and lessons. The nearest International airports which you will arrive at are either Townsville Airport (3hrs 18 minutes North) or Cairns Airport (7 hrs 21 minutes North).

Car rentals are available at these airports from suppliers Avis, Europcar, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty and Red Spot. Book car hire in Airlie Beach online today with us and secure a car at a cheap affordable price. Be sure to arrange for collection at your arrival airport if you wish to drive the coastal road here.

By car
The mostly two-lane Bruce Highway travels along the coast from Brisbane to Cairns.

By train
Queensland Rail's Traveltrain offers two long-distance trains along the Brisbane-Cairns route, passing through Airlie Beach.

Looking for a hire car in Australia? Take a look at our Car hire Australia directory.