Whitsunday Coast

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Whitsunday Coast

The sun, sea and sand all add together to make the Whitsunday Coast the ideal place to relax. Enjoy the great atmosphere and nightlife in a spectacular setting. A beach lover’s paradise where everything is on hand to make your stay in this area one you won’t forget. Close to the Great Barrier Reef and just 26 km from the Whitsunday Islands, there is plenty to see. Backpackers and families alike will enjoy the many attractions such as the Airlie Beach Lagoon and the amazing croc safaris up the Proserpine River.

The Region

The Whitsunday Coast lies between Mackay and Bowen and includes the delightful Airlie Beach. Close by are the 74 Whitsunday Islands together with spectacular coral reefs. The Great Barrier Reef is also just 47 nautical miles from the stunning Whitsunday Islands. Airlie Beach is the heart of Whitsunday Coast and the main shops and facilities can be found along Shute Harbour Road which is just a few metres from the beach. Bowen, which is further along the coast, is a fruit picking area and a cool place to try local mango! Airlie Beach is a lively town with a marina and a beach attracting an increasing number of visitors every year. Known as a backpacker's paradise with its tropical climate and ambience, this resort area is not to be missed. Nowadays, the area is experiencing an influx in family, corporate and “upmarket” clientele, too. Whitehaven Beach, not far away, is said to be one of the most photographed beaches in the world, with its 7 km of fine white silica sand. For those who like swimming, Airlie Beach Lagoon is the place. Walkers will enjoy the Great Whitsunday Walk, which is 30 km of walking trails through Conway State Forest with the backdrop of the Coral Sea. Bowen has several historical buildings including an Art Deco Post Office and a courthouse. It is one of those undiscovered places and just a 40 minute drive from Airlie Beach. There are eight award winning beaches and local growers produce a huge amount of salad vegetables plus the famous Bowen mango. When travelling along the motorway, do not make the mistake of ignoring the signs on Bruce Highway which signals the turn off to Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays. This is a stop that is not to be missed and may very well be one of the best vacations you can ever have.

Do & See

Airlie Beach and the surrounding area is full of things to do, from wildlife safaris to snorkelling. There are many places to go diving, fishing, kayaking and sailing, and there are plenty of companies willing to help you hire equipment and vessels. Saturday morning markets and Sunday twilight markets are a tradition in the area and provide great entertainment with street performers and live music.


Seafood reigns supreme at the Whitsundays along with the traditional fare of steaks, pizzas and a variety of international cuisine. Enjoy the mouth-watering fresh food and wine while soaking in the gorgeous surroundings which is a big part of the Whitsundays experience. In Airlie Beach you will find a vast array of cuisines from five star restaurants to more simple establishments such as fish and chips on the beach. You will for sure find your favourite restaurant since there are restaurants catering to every taste here, be it fresh local seafood, Mexican, Italian, Moroccan, Asian, European or modern Australian, you will find it all here at the beautiful Whitsunday Coast.


There is no lack of beach cafes and restaurants along the Whitsunday Coast and you will for sure find something for every taste. Airlie Beach is the heart and soul of the Whitsundays where you can relish tasty treats, delicious smoothies and ice-creams.

Bars & Nightlife

Airlie Beach is buzzing and vibrant. It’s party central while other places along the coast tend to be a bit quieter. There are plenty of bars where you can start the evening off in style before moving on to some busier and louder clubs that are very lively and are often open to the small hours. With large numbers of backpackers throughout the season, every night at Airlie Beach is a party night. The nightly entertainment at Shute Harbour Road is awash with cabaret singers and live bands and so you can catch up on your sleep tomorrow!


There are various excellent shopping areas along the Whitsunday Coast which can provide travellers with all they need from food supplies to souvenirs. There are also several markets held at the weekends which will be very useful if you’re looking for fresh produce.

Tourist Information