Things to do in
Airlie Beach

The Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef are just a stone’s throw away from this tropical coastal town.

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Our most recommended things to do in Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach: Whitsundays and Whitehaven Half-Day Cruise

1. Airlie Beach: Whitsundays and Whitehaven Half-Day Cruise

Cruise to Whitehaven Beach on this 6-hour cruise. Depart early in the morning on a high-speed vessel for a cruise through the Whitsunday Islands and be the first on the beach. Alternatively, depart later in the day and enjoy a sunset cruise home. Enjoy morning or afternoon tea. Board the Whitehaven vessel for the scenic cruise to the magnificent beach. Your cruise vessel has expansive seating areas inside and out and your skipper will provide an informative commentary on the history and natural wonders of the area. Sit back, breathe in the sea air, sip a wine or beer, and marvel at the 74 Island Wonders of the Whitsundays, starting with views of Passage Peak and the Pentecost Island. The waters of Solway Passage lead you to Whitehaven Beach, a must-see in the Whitsundays. Prepare to be dazzled by the breathtaking beauty and vivid white sand of Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. This uninhabited island is one of Australia's true gems. Wander along the beach to your own secluded stretch, laze on the sand or cool off in the azure waters. After spending 1.5 to 2 hours at the Southern end of Whitehaven Beach, make the beautiful journey back to Airlie Beach.

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Airlie Beach: Jet Ski Safari

2. Airlie Beach: Jet Ski Safari

Hop on a jet ski and glide through the turquoise waters and beautiful bays of Airlie Beach at high speed. Enjoy the opportunity to feed fish and encounter marine life, such as turtles and dugongs. Upon arrival, receive a safety briefing and life jacket from your qualified guide. Then, set off on your jet ski safari aboard modern Sea-Doo skis, which are extremely fun to ride and suitable for both experienced and novice riders. During the safari, enjoy the informative commentary of your guides as you soak up the scenic surroundings of Airlie Beach in a unique way. Take home memories of your experience with plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

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Airlie Beach: 2-Hour Sunset Cruise with Sparkling Wine

3. Airlie Beach: 2-Hour Sunset Cruise with Sparkling Wine

Depart from the Coral Sea Marina in the Northern Village, which is only a short walk from the main street of Airlie Beach. You will cruise around Pioneer Bay and then get up close to many of the points of interest along the Airlie Beach coastline. If you are lucky, you will be able to spot turtles on the way, and on Wednesdays you can see the locals on their weekly yacht race. Watch a picture-perfect sunset and observe Airlie start to light up at dusk, whilst enjoying a glass of bubbly.  The Sundowner is a fully covered purpose-built catamaran designed for socializing. Unlike a yacht, it has a flat surface and no trip hazards. There is ample room to move, and high heels are welcome. Plenty of seating is available on board, and every seat has a great view of the Ocean.

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Whitsundays Ocean Rafting Tour: Snorkel, Walk & Whitehaven

4. Whitsundays Ocean Rafting Tour: Snorkel, Walk & Whitehaven

Take off on the ride of your life in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. Ride, beach, snorkel, and bushwalk as you embark on the perfect Whitehaven Beach tour, visiting both ends of the world-famous beach. Climb aboard the fastest day boat in the Whitsundays as you depart from Airlie Beach. Experience a fun ride, adventure, and education on super fast semi-rigid inflatable vessels capable of speeds of up to 35 knots (65 kilometers per hour). Select the North Whitehaven option for an eco-adventure popular amongst avid snorkellers. This includes two different snorkel destinations, a visit to the stunning beach at Hill Inlet, and a guided National Park walk to the lookout above the silica sand of Whitehaven. Select the South Whitehaven option for more beach time. Enjoy at least two hours relaxing on the white silica sand, and a guided walk to Hill Inlet for breathtaking views of the tropical waters. Snorkel for over an hour amid corals and fringing reefs. Either way, enjoy the only tour in the Whitsundays to have direct access to Hill Inlet beaches at Whitehaven. And have peace of mind by traveling with an advanced ecotourism-certified, climate change business and green travel leader.

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Whitsundays: Ocean Rafting Tour with Snorkel & Scenic Flight

5. Whitsundays: Ocean Rafting Tour with Snorkel & Scenic Flight

Experience the best of the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef in one day: from the water and the air. Visit the Whitsundays’ most iconic destinations. These include the famous Heart Reef, Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet, and secret, exclusive snorkeling locations. Ride, beach, snorkel, and bush walk, all in one day. Visit both ends of the world-famous beach. Departing from Airlie Beach, take to the skies and experience a once-in-a-lifetime, 60-minute scenic flight. Soar over the islands and Great Barrier Reef, including famous Heart Reef and Whitehaven Beach. Guests will have a bird’s eye view of many of the 74 Whitsunday Islands, flying over Whitehaven Beach and picture postcard Hill Inlet before heading out to the Great Barrier Reef and experiencing one of the most photographed reef locations, Heart Reef. The comfortable fixed-wing aircraft offers big window viewing, pilot commentary, and the best views of the Whitsundays. Then, take off on the ride of your life in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. Departing from Airlie Beach, climb aboard the fastest day boat in the Whitsundays. This means it is not only an adventurous ride, but distances are covered in a shorter time, leaving more time for activities. The semi-rigid inflatable vessels are super fast allowing guests to experience a fun ride, adventure and education amongst the natural beauty of the Whitsundays. At the northern end of Whitehaven Beach, enjoy a guided bushwalk to spectacular Hill Inlet Lookout to view and capture photographs of the stunning swirling silica sands and aqua water. This operator is the only tour to have direct access to all areas of the stunning and iconic Hill Inlet beach to ensure you enjoy the most memorable experience of this special place. If you have selected the 'North Whitehaven' option: This eco-adventure is a favourite amongst avid snorkellers because it is the only Whitsunday adventure which includes two different snorkel destinations. Not only that, but it includes a visit to the stunning beach at Hill Inlet, north end of Whitehaven Beach, and a guided National Park walk to the lookout above the silica sand of Whitehaven. Guests explore the restricted area of beautiful Hill Inlet at Whitehaven Beach.  If you have selected the South Whitehaven Option: This tour visits both the northern and southern ends of Whitehaven Beach with more beach time. Enjoy at least two hours relaxing on the world famous white silica sand, a guided walk to Hill Inlet Lookout and experience the Southern Whitehaven Lookout, enjoying breathtaking views of Pentecost Island and the tropical waters of the Whitsundays. Snorkel for over an hour at Border Island, Dumbell Island or one of the “secret” snorkel spots, enjoying the amazing hard and soft corals of the fringing reefs.

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Airlie Beach: Outer Great Barrier Reef ReefWorld Pontoon

6. Airlie Beach: Outer Great Barrier Reef ReefWorld Pontoon

Departing from Airlie Beach, cruise through the Whitsundays on a high-speed, luxury vessel. Enjoy morning tea as you pass by deserted islands, secluded bays and beaches en route to the outer Great Barrier Reef. The vessel features spacious lounges, full air-conditioning, huge outside view decks and a duo of bars that will gladly serve you your favourite refreshment, including both alcohol and soft drinks. Arrive at the permanently-moored, spacious and innovative pontoon on the outer Great Barrier Reef. The water quality and diverse marine life is unrivalled. Meet hundreds of fish species and admire a variety of hard and soft coral. This makes for unbelievable snorkelling and diving if you wish (at an extra cost on the day). Spend the time as you please: make use of the undercover seating and tables, sun decks to top up your tan, freshwater showers and changing rooms. Visit the underwater chamber if you prefer to see the underwater world below without getting wet. Take a ride on a semi-submersible boat. Optional extras also include scuba dives and scenic helicopter flights. Indulge in a delicious tropical-style buffet lunch and drinks from the bar as you please (extra cost). The return journey back to Airlie is a beautiful end to the day.

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From Airlie Beach: Two-Island Safari

7. From Airlie Beach: Two-Island Safari

Hop on a free shuttle bus in the Airlie Beach area and head out on a guided jet ski adventure. Explore the area around the Whitsunday Islands, encountering the diverse native wildlife and enjoying the sun and the sea.  Meet your qualified tour guide and head out on a worry-free jet ski ride where no previous experience or license is necessary. Listen to your guide's informative commentary as you cruise down the scenic waterways around Daydream and South Molle Islands for two hours. Learn about the diverse wildlife native to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Whitsunday Island Marine Park. Spot sea turtles, dugongs, seabirds, and seasonal humpback whales (July–September). Take home loads of memories with the photos of your adventure shared with you for free on Facebook.

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Airlie Beach: Whitehaven Full-Day Eco-Cruise with Lunch

8. Airlie Beach: Whitehaven Full-Day Eco-Cruise with Lunch

After pickup from your accommodation, head to the marina in Airlie Beach by bus. Board the custom-built catamaran and enjoy fresh, homemade, gluten-free brownies as a morning snack. The first stop is at one of the area's many beautiful reefs to go snorkeling. Be blown away by the vivid colors, bountiful fish, and coral formations of the Great Barrier Reef's outer fringes. This spot offers a quieter way to experience the UNESCO-protected reef. Then, head to the second snorkeling spot on the northern tip of Hook Island. With your guide, discover the area's underwater valleys, caves, and a variety of marine life. Continue to Whitehaven Beach for a buffet lunch of zucchini frittatas and quiche lorraine served with cold sliced meats, cheeses, salad, and fresh bread. After lunch, join a guided bush walk and history talk to Hill Inlet Lookout, located at the northern end of the beach. Admire the world-famous spot where white sands and turquoise waters blend in a unique swirling effect. Enjoy some free time to relax on the beach and soak up the scenery. An afternoon snack of fresh fruit will be provided before the scenic journey back to Airlie Beach by boat. Be dropped back at your accommodation at approximately 5:00 PM.

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Airlie Beach: Sunset Sail to Whitsundays

9. Airlie Beach: Sunset Sail to Whitsundays

Embark on an adventure and set sail on a 2-hour sunset sail across the bay. Be welcomed on board with a glass of bubbles.  Relax on the green cushioned seats on deck. Help pull up a sail, or two if you feel like it or just chill on deck and take in the tropical sunset.  Enjoy some snacks on the platter consisting of crusty bread, cheeses, fruit, and dips. This experience is perfect for a romantic evening and a journey to remember. Experience the boat Providence V that was in a Hollywood movie called Survive the Savage Seas and is one of the most picturesque sailing boats in the Whitsundays. The boat is built from North Queensland timber and is a replica of the old Grand Banks fishing boats,  a Bluenose or Gloucester schooner.

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Airlie Beach: Full-Day Sail to Whitehaven and Snorkeling

10. Airlie Beach: Full-Day Sail to Whitehaven and Snorkeling

Jump on board a classic 62-ft gaff-rigged schooner and feel the breeze as you sail across to Whitehaven. Help out to pull up the sails or relax in the sunshine on the deck. Enjoy some morning tea with home-baked chocolate brownies. Sail across the Whitsunday Passage and take a leisurely pace towards Tongue Bay. Look out for turtles swimming through the warm water. Anchor close to shore and walk up to Hill Inlet. Take in the views of the white sands and turquoise waters of Whitehaven Beach and discover why it’s been voted one of the 10 best beaches in the world. Head back to the boat for a picnic lunch of wraps and homemade frittata. Set sail again and continue to the snorkeling spot on the fringing reef. Savor a refreshing fruit platter in the afternoon and perhaps buy a cocktail from the onboard bar.

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Frequently asked questions about Airlie Beach

Other Sightseeing Options in Airlie Beach

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What people are saying about Airlie Beach

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,184 reviews

Scotty and Jaki were awesome, we had a great laugh and they were very down to earth. Snorkeling was incredible and we had a fantastic day!! Whitehaven was spectacular and we would highly recommend this tour to anyone!

JJ and Maddy were very friendly throughout the tour. Saw some really pretty and colourful corals, cute and big fish. The trip was very organised. Definitely would recommend

We had a great time. The places we went were stunning and the boat and the crew where very friendly and fun.

OUR 1st time on a Segway and in the rain - my brother and I had an AMAZING time

It was an amazing day and the tour guides were lovely!