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How to Spend 1 Day in Airlie Beach

How to Spend 1 Day in Airlie Beach

Although Airlie Beach is best known as the departure point for sailing trips around the Whitsunday Islands, the small town has its own distinctive charm. Even with only a day in Airlie Beach, you can still get a taste of island life and enjoy views of the Great Barrier Reef. Here’s the best way to spend the day. 

Morning: Get in the Water

Even with limited time in the area, you can get a taste of the Whitsundays by driving your own jet ski to South Molle Island. Tours typically depart in the early morning from the Port of Airlie Marina, a short walk from the town center, and include time to explore the island’s National Park or relax on the beach before getting back onto your jet ski and riding back to the Port of Airlie. You’ll be back in time to enjoy lunch and a stroll around the town before embarking on your next adventure. Between July and September, a whale-watching cruise is a must for wildlife lovers. 

Afternoon: See the Reef from Above and Below

Seaplane and helicopter tours are a great way to see Whitehaven Beach on a time budget—they also offer the chance to admire the iconic Great Barrier Reef from above. Short helicopter tours fly you directly to Whitehaven, where you typically spend around an hour before returning, while most half-day seaplane tours land by Hardy Lagoon and include a glass-bottom boat ride with stops for swimming and snorkeling. Seaplane tours typically conclude with some free time to relax on the white sands of Whitehaven Beach before flying back to Airlie Beach. 

Night: Tuk-Tuk Between Restaurants

Round off your day in Airlie Beach on a sightseeing tour with a twist. There are a variety of private tuk-tuk tours on offer; sunset tours take you around town at the most scenic time of day, when the town is lit by the glow of the setting sun, while food-themed tours take you to several restaurants around town to sample the best dishes at each. Tuk-tuk drivers are full of local knowledge so be sure to get some tips on where to toast your Airlie Beach trip with a drink or two.

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3 Tours and Activities | All Airlie Beach Tours

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One Way Only - Airport Transfer share shuttle service

One Way Only - Airport Transfer share shuttle service

star-4.5
14
We provide as much as possible, door to door Airport Transfers at 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 buses this means fewer stops; therefore getting you to your destination often 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
$16.45
From
$16.45
Taking safety measures

Whitehaven Heli Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Whitehaven Heli Tour

star-5
37
Whitehaven Beach is a sliver of white-sand and clear water heaven, but it usually takes a few hours to reach the secluded spot by boat. With this tour, quickly reach the beach by helicopter from Whitsunday Airport. Get aerial views of the Whitsunday Islands on a roughly 15-minute flight, spend some free time on the beach, and head back to the coast. You’ll have plenty of time left in your day for another adventure.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$335.63
From
$335.63

Private Airlie Beach Tuk-Tuk Tours

Private Airlie Beach Tuk-Tuk Tours

star-5
142
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
$22.43
From
$22.43
Taking safety measures