Base yourself in the small coastal town of Airlie Beach the gateway to 74 islands in Whitsundays. It has a great vibe. You can hear live music, eat great food and go on great adventures.
Airlie has a music festival every year but you don't have to wait for it. You will find sweet sounds coming from band's and muso's in most bars.
If your a foodie, you will find everything from pub grub, fresh sea food and steaks to vegan and Vietnamese.
You can also have your own BBQ and swim in the lagoon. Head to one of the beaches and hale a Tuk Tuk to take you around town.
Tuk Tuk progressive dinner
Sailing Club Sunset
Drinks with friends
For a small town Airlie has accommodation galore. From hotel's, motels, Airbnb to Caravan Parks.
As we are back in the Whitsundays. It has been part of our lives for several years. We wanted to share some of the reasons we return.
Tuk Tuk Sunset
*Big4 Adventure: This is the place to be if you have kids big or small. They will be wowed with the mega water-slide park and huge lagoon-style pool. If you can get them out of the water how about tennis or mini golf? The usual jumping pillow is a must as is the pedal carts. Take a breath in the evening with an outdoor movie.
The park has 26 acres of lush landscape gardens to relax in if that's more your thing. It's also only a short walk to one of the shopping centre's which is handy.
Address: 25/29 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach, QLD 4802
*Seabreeze Tourist Park: Seabreeze has a tropical Bali theme and is set on 13 acres.
They also have a lagoon-style pool for all to enjoy. You will notice a wide range of bird life here from Cockatoos, Kookaburras to Whistling Ducks.
Close to Airlie Beach, Able Point Marina and a scenic board walk into town. This is a well placed park for shopping as well as activities. Contact them to see how you can store your van so you can go to the islands.
Address: 234 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach, QLD 4802
We have been lucky enough to have been out in a friends tinny and spotted them. Goose bumps and smiles from even the manliest among us. Humpback whales pass between June and September. You might also see Green Sea Turtles and Dolphins.
* The Fishing Is Amazing. Go out on a fishing boat, hire a tinny or take your own. You will find Mackerel, Cod, Coral Trout and Spangled Emperor to name a few. Mackerel Bay and the north side of Hook island seems to be a hot spot. Head to the Peter Faust Dam for Barramundi fishing or just through a line in off Shute Harbour jetty as we did.
Cruise Whitsundays head to two pontoons out on the reef. Heart Pontoon is 39 nautical miles from the mainland and is a great place for you to experience the underwater world around you. Take a breath as you dive down with your snorkel or splash out on a diving adventure. They have Sea-bob Jets to keep you up to speed with some of the sea life and an underwater observation area.
Reef Sleep is a two day one night experience on another pontoon. A unique place to watch the stars, listening to the ocean while you fall asleep in your swag for the night.
Hamilton Island Paradise pool
Swim-up Bar on Hamilton
Croc at Hamilton Island Zoo
Our Hamilton Island Wedding
Spend the day on Hamilton island. Take advantage of the swim up pool, beach and zoo. You could even get married there (we did).
Tongarra and Apollo are but two of the many sailing boats that will take you on the ride of your life. Experience the reef over 2 days and 2 nights.
Larry at Blue Pearl Bay
Sail around and stop on some of the islands. Sunbath on Lanford Island. Swim in the clear blue waters. Snorkel at Blue Pearl Bay, off the 5 star resort of Hayman island and see the colourful fish and coral. Finish your days watching the sunset as whales frolic in its fading light.Sailing Whitsundays (see here) has many tours to choose from.
Langford Island lookout
Park your vehicle on the mainland and sail to a secluded island for a night or two. Some caravan parks in Airlie Beach and surrounds will store your van, car or boat at minimal cost. You can also park at the harbour depending on your vehicle. Take your own boat or take a ride on Scamper the Whitsundays island camping water taxi. They have camping kits you can hire, all the equipment and gear you need for a trip of a lifetime.
A few island camps include Hook Island, Whitsunday Island, Whitehaven Beach and Henning Island. You will usually find a basic long drop type toilet a bench or two and a magnificent view.
1 Camp spot Hook
Another camp spot on Hook
Whitehaven Beach is world famous. Voted number two in the world in 2017 for best beach. Fly in by sea plane, helicopter or take a boat, either way you get to take in the stunning aqua blue waters. Spend the day relaxing or swimming in paradise.
Sue on Whitehaven
You can also camp on this national park paradise. Looking over the bright white silica beach tucked away in eucalyptus woodland.
How about a Tiger-moth flight over the islands, include a heart stopping loop de'loop. Take a sky dive with a view like no other. You can also learn to fly a helicopter yourself as Larry did. Book yourself a helicopter or sea plane. Fly over the Heart Reef or land on a islands and have a picnic.
This is a great spot out of town to have a swim and cool down. After the summer rains, the falls flow rapidly over the cliff. Flowing or not the water hole is frequented by locals and visitors alike. Bring your swimmers, you wont be disappointed.
Flowing a little
Cedar Creek falls
The Whitsundays, it's islands and the Great Barrier Reef are breathtakingly beautiful. Airlie Beach is the heart of it all, beating to it's own rhythm. This is why we continue to come back. Whether its to rest or play, the choice is yours!