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downundergal Airlie Beach - A travel report by Kerrie
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Airlie Beach,  Australia - flag Australia -  Queensland
12061 readers

downundergal's travel reports

Whitsundays - a sailing, diving and snorkelling paradise!

  20 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4

Airlie Beach travelogue picture
Think turquoise blue water, add 74 islands scattered like jewels, throw in boats of all sizes, balmy tropical weather,accommodation and resorts to suit every budget. This sums up the Whitsunday islands located in The Great Barrier Reef.

Favourite spots:
Airlie Beach travelogue picture
I have lots of personal favourites. Nearly all activities are based on or around the reefs. For diving or snorkelling you cannot go past Blue Pearl Bays 1 and 2 off Hayman Island. This is an easy area to dive even if you are a beginner as it is shallow with coral bombies (coral columns) scattered around. Loads of fish and coral and no strong currents. For sailing there are loads of day boats. My favourite is the Maxi-Ragamuffin a beautiful ex racing yacht. For a gentler sail Jade a very stable catermaran. A total change with a touch of fun Fawlty Tours takes you out to some beautiful rainforest nearby.
Whitehaven beach is a must see. Pure white silicon sand it is absolutely beautiful.
If you wish to go further out take Fantasea's trip out to their reef pontoon. The snorkelling off the pontoon is fabulous and shows more hard corals rather than soft.
If you can stretch the budget a helicopter ride out to Heart Reef is worth every cent. It is unforgettable.

What's really great:
Airlie Beach travelogue picture
To appreciate the Whitsundays you need to spend your time on the water. I suggest either basing yourself in Airlie Beach and taking lot's of different day tours and/or go on a 2 or 3 night live aboard sailing tour. My favourite is the "Waltzing Matilda" a beautiful old boat with comfortable cabins and room enough to stand up whilst below decks. The other option is stay on the islands. Unless you are camping on somewhere on Hook you will pay big money for food, activites etc when you are there. If money is not an option go to Hayman. Voted one of the top 10 resorts in the world it is worth spluging on the west wing where all the all the rooms are actually on the fantastic pool and you can lean down from your balcony and touch the water. But it costs! Hamilton Island is really fun if you like your island holiday with nightlife thrown in. Daydream Island closest to the mainland is strictly for honeymooners or people with kids, likewise for Sth Molle.

Airlie Beach travelogue picture
The swimming lagoon is a recent addition to the town and much needed. Being located in tropical waters unfortunately Airlie Beach does have marine stingers such as the box jellyfish which can be lethal. The lagoon makes it possible to be able to swim here as in the past you needed to go offshore.

Airlie Beach travelogue picture
My favourite is the Whitsunday Terraces up a very steep hill but with stunning views to compensate. There are loads of places though including backpackers, caravan parks and little motels.

Airlie Beach travelogue picture
The town is basically one long street so you can start at the bottom with Charlies and work your up. Next stop Chatz and KC's and finishing with the nightclub at the top if you can still walk (or roll).

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KC's has been around for ages and has the reputation for great steaks. This is also the home of the original Hogs Breath for huge meals. Cheap meals can also be found at the hotel as well.

Published on Monday December 23th, 2002

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Wed, Feb 14 2007 - 02:55 PM rating by travler

I enjoyed reading this report, Maam.

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