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How to Spend 3 Days in Airlie Beach

How to Spend 3 Days in Airlie Beach

With three days in Airlie Beach, you have plenty of time to soak up the small town atmosphere, get out onto the Great Barrier Reef and at least one of the Whitsunday Islands, and venture into the nearby bush or rainforest. Here are a few ways to experience the very best of Queensland’s Airlie Beach in 72 memorable hours.

Day 1: See the Town’s Sights

Kick off your three-day Airlie Beach adventure with a stroll around the small town center, specifically the esplanade along the shore, lined with cafés, restaurants, and boutiques. If you are in town on a Saturday, you’ll find the Airlie Beach Markets there and can browse handmade items like jewelry and clothing alongside fresh produce. Nearby, Airlie Beach has a large man-made lagoon where you can spend the day lounging and swimming. Alternatively, book a private tuk-tuk for a guided tour around the town’s top spots, or choose an extended food-themed tuk-tuk tour that combines sightseeing with dining at some of the town’s best restaurants.

If you are visiting Airlie Beach between July and September, try not to miss the chance to spot migrating humpback whales. Whale-watching cruises depart in mornings and afternoons.

Day 2: Explore the Great Barrier Reef

Airlie Beach is best-known as the jumping off point for visits to the Great Barrier Reef, so make this your day to explore the world’s largest coral reef. In a single full-day tour from Port Airlie, you can visit two islands. Board a high-speed, air-conditioned catamaran for swimming and snorkeling at Whitehaven Beach, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the Whitsunday Islands, and then continue to the glitzy resort island of Hamilton, where you can browse the boutiques and enjoy the restaurants, or hike walking trails. These tours typically include the added bonus of a visit to Wild Life Hamilton Island, a wildlife park home to Australian animals, including koalas.

If you are traveling with a group, you can charter a private yacht to take your party out onto the reef and to Whitehaven Beach. Chartered yachts typically hold up to eight people.

Day 3: Go Deeper into Nature

Strap on some walking shoes and embark on a rainforest adventure. Guided tours can take you just outside of Airlie Beach to Conway National Park, home to multiple hiking trails, ancient rainforest, and wildlife such as paradise kingfishers and Proserpine rock wallaby. After a hike, tours typically continue to Cedar Creek Falls where you have can swim in the waterfall and have lunch while watching turtles. 

Another option for nature-lovers is a full-day crocodile and wetlands safari. Some tours will take you croc-spotting on a Proserpine River cruise as well as on a tractor-pulled wagon tour, and then offer a taste of bush life with traditional “billy tea” and “damper” bread followed by an Aussie-style barbecue feast.

Back in town, head back to the esplanade to round out your visit to Airlie Beach with dinner and drinks at one of the many restaurants that line the strip.

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5 Tours and Activities | All Airlie Beach Tours

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Whitehaven Beach and Hamilton Island Cruise

Whitehaven Beach and Hamilton Island Cruise

star-4
91
Visit two islands in the world–famous Great Barrier Reef on a full-day tour from Port Airlie, traveling in style aboard a high-speed, air-conditioned catamaran. At Hamilton Island, explore amenities such as walking trails, boutiques and restaurants, then check out Australian animals including koalas at Wild Life Hamilton Island. You'll also enjoy activities such as swimming and snorkeling at Whitehaven Beach, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the Whitsunday Islands.
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  • 9 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$154.34
From
$154.34
Taking safety measures

Whitsunday Crocodile Safari including Lunch

Whitsunday Crocodile Safari including Lunch

star-5
66
Explore the bush and estuaries of ‘wild Whitsunday’ on this full-day crocodile safari! Go croc-spotting on a Proserpine River cruise, and look for other wetlands wildlife on a tractor-pulled wagon tour. Take part in a Queensland mudcrab capture, and get a taste of bush life with traditional billy tea and damper. Feast on a fresh Aussie barbecue midday, and enjoy convenient hotel pickup and drop-off from Airlie Beach, Cannonvale or Proserpine. 
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$108.58
From
$108.58

Airport Transfers - One way share shuttle service

Airport Transfers - One way share shuttle service

star-4.5
12
We provide door to door Airport Transfers from/to Whitsunday Coast Airport (PPP) from/to Airlie Beach, Cannonvale, Jubilee Pocket and Shute Harbour. We stop at all ports, resorts, hotels, airbnb's and private addresses. As we use fully air-conditioned 13 & 24 seater busses this means fewer stops; therefore getting you to your destination faster than other services. We operate 365 days a year meeting every arriving and departing flight at the Whitsunday Coast Airport (Proserpine).
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  • 35 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$17.06
From
$17.06
Taking safety measures

Whitsundays Tropical Rainforest, Waterfalls and Airlie Beach Eco Experience

Whitsundays Tropical Rainforest, Waterfalls and Airlie Beach Eco Experience

star-5
58
Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands are famous for their spectacular natural scenery, but stepping off the beaten trail to explore independently can be dangerous. On this tour, enjoy an immersive experience in nature—with lunch and national park entry fees included. Following pickup at your Airlie Beach accommodation, seek out unique flora and fauna deep in the ancient rain forest—with free time for swimming at Cedar Creek Falls.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$91.52
From
$91.52
Taking safety measures

Private Airlie Beach Tuk-Tuk Tours

Private Airlie Beach Tuk-Tuk Tours

star-5
133
Explore Airlie Beach on a private tour by tuk-tuk for a fun twist on a traditional sightseeing tour. Just sit back and admire the city as a guide introduces you to the best locales. Select from various tour durations and themes, including a food tour or sunset ride, to suit your schedule and budget.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$23.27
From
$23.27
Taking safety measures