Airlie Beach – Gateway to the Whitsundays Islands

Airlie Beach is located on the Northern coast of Queensland and is used as a departure point for the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands. 

With an average annual temperature of 23 degrees it’s no surprise the area welcomes over 700,000 domestic and International tourists every year each with a desire to explore this coastal town and its surrounds.

Originally known only as a departure point for sailing holidays, the area now offers a range of different activities from Skydiving for your thrill seekers, snorkeling and scuba-diving to just lazing around at one of the many beachfront accommodations for the laid-back traveler. 

There are plenty of local Cafes and restaurants offering a wide range of cuisines or enjoy a cocktail while you watch the sunset after a day of exploring.

The Airlie Beach lagoon is located on the foreshore with views out to the Coral Sea and is a stunning feature of the area. The lagoon was created with an aim to provide the countless visitors a safe place to swim between November and May as during this time an unwanted visitor also comes to Town, the Box Jellyfish. 

One of the top activities for the area would have to be the opportunity to jump on-board one of the many cruise boats and head out to explore the Whitsunday Islands but make sure you leave plenty of time as there are 74 islands to explore!

The majority of cruises depart the Coral Sea Marina and with a range of half day, full day, snorkeling, island hoping or stay on-board trips on offer, you will very quickly understand why this location is so popular. 

Get in touch with a Ucruise representative for more information or to help with your next Whitsundays cruising adventure!

Cafes, Restaurants and Bars in Airlie Beach

The Deck Restaurant and Bar

The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the bar is open from 10am until late every day of the week.

277 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach – 07 4948 2721

La Tabella Trattoria

A very popular Italian restaurant open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Offering house made pastas, deserts and locally sourced produce. Definitely worth a visit while in town. 

7/6 The Esplanade, Airlie Beach – 07 4948 1888

La Marina Italian Restaurant and Bar

Another great Italian option to consider is la Marina. Offering a large range of house made options, signature cocktails and deserts all with the added bonus of stunning views over the Port of Airlie.

1/33 Port Drive, Airlie Beach – 1300 526 274

Café One 3

Open for breakfast and lunch, a little hidden gem favoured by the locals. 

13 Waterson Way. Airlie Beach – 0419 783 313

Little Vegas Burger Bar

For more of your American diner experience you’ll need to give Little Vegas a visit. With an American inspired menu this restaurant has remained in the top 10 burger bars in Australia for a number of years.

3/259 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach – 07 4948 2853


Known locally to have the best coffee in town, Garuma is a German and Portuguese restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the week.  

1/346 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach – 07 4990 6734

Getting there


Fly into Whitsunday Coast Airport located in Prosperine. Virgin Australia and Jetstar both offer flights to Prosperine Airport and from there you have a 30-40 minute drive or shuttle transfer to Airlie Beach.

Hire Car

Numerous hire car companies operate in the Whitsundays area including Hertz, Avis and Eurocar. Delivery and collection can be organised to suit you and your travel plans. 

Coach or Bus transfer

Both Greyhound and Premier offer couch transfers from Brisbane to Cairns and will stop at most major towns along the way.