Airlie beach is the perfect base to relax for a few days, as well as being THE Gateway spot to start your adventure sailing the incredible Whitsunday Islands!
I stayed 3 nights all in all in Airlie – 2 nights when I arrived and 1 night following the Whitsunday island boat trip.
It is a lovely town, filled with everything you could need. A big superstore resides in the centre if you are staying for a while and need to save the pennies cooking in the lovely hostel kitchens, restaurants if you want to eat out, café’s, cute clothes shops, and of course plenty of bars for the nightlife. Alongside the town is a nice long beach if you wish to find some quiet time, however swimming in the sea is advised against due to the jellyfish lurking around –particularly this time of year (December).
In spite of the jellyfish infiltrating the inviting sea waters, the real gem of Airlie is its Beach Lagoon – a free public park and swimming pool, landscaped to tropical perfection. Cairns is undoubtedly the crème-de-la-crème of lagoons in Australia, however this one does the job quite nicely too, with its lush green trees and tempting waters, spending a day here with new found friends is a very good way to while away the time.
However on that note, I did not make any long lasting friends in Airlie and chose not to venture out to the rowdy bars of an evening alone. Instead I found a cute late night open bar and read my kindle (Which I am addicted to). I love walking around a new town of an evening and settling down to people watch. This particular place I found myself in had a lovely view of the sea. An Aussie group sitting not too far away from me asked twice if I would join them, (Aussies are very friendly!) however, I was quite happy enjoying my own company for a while.
To conclude, I would say 3-4 nights is an ideal time to spend in Airlie, after this you will start to get a little bored. Enjoy flashpackers!
Next Stop – Hervey Bay for Frazer Island!