Airlie Beach is a launch pad for those exploring the Whitsunday Islands – an archipelago that speckles the water just off the east coast of Queensland.
But it’s also got plenty to offer itself. This chilled-out beach town goes down well with backpackers and families, thanks to its watersports and sailing centres, plus the good helping of bars and restaurants.
Luckily, a choice of daily direct flights from Brisbane puts Airlie Beach in easy reach.
Around 1 hour 45 minutes long.
Jetstar Airways, Tigerair Australia and Virgin Australia.
Brisbane to Airlie Beach flights take off up to 3 times a day.
You’ll fly from Brisbane Airport to Proserpine Airport, AKA Whitsunday Coast Airport. It’s just outside Airlie Beach.
The really cheap flights from Brisbane to Airlie Beach usually come courtesy of budget airlines like Jetstar Airways.
Airlie Beach is a great warm-up for a trip to the Whitsunday Islands. It dishes up sandy beaches, suntrap bars and sailing clubs – and all just a ferry ride away from the Whitsundays.
You could start by hiring a kayak or stand-up paddle. This whole swathe of the Queensland coastline is made up of pockets of sand and bright turquoise waters. Shute Harbour is a must-see for snorkellers, thanks to its sprinkling of fish-friendly reefs. And Conway Conservation Park serves up rainforest trails and camping.
Of course, most people head straight for the Whitsunday Islands just offshore. Some of the prettiest beaches on the planet decorate this island chain.
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