Great Barrier Reef Places


Airlie Beach

Getting Here and Around

The Whitsunday Coast Airport near Proserpine, 36 km (23 mi) southeast of Airlie Beach, has direct daily flights to and from Brisbane and less frequent services to Sydney, on Virgin Blue and Jetstar. Whitsunday Shuttle Service and Whitsunday Transit buses connect the airport and Proserpine Railway Station to Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour, with services timed to meet all flights and passenger trains (drive time 30-40 minutes; A$11-A$15 one-way, bookings required). Greyhound Australia and Oz Experience offer daily services into Airlie Beach from Sydney, Brisbane, and towns between, and from Cairns. Queensland Rail operates around six northbound and six southbound trains weekly that stop at Proserpine Railway Station, about 25 km (15 mi) from Airlie Beach.

Koala Adventures is popular with the younger backpacker set, and runs three-day sailing trips around the Whitsundays on an 83-foot Whitbread round-world maxi racing yacht for A$469 or a luxury catamaran for A$349, including local charges, all meals, snorkeling gear, stinger suits, and two nights' accommodation on South Molle Island. Whitsunday Sailing Adventures runs several sailing, scuba, and snorkeling trips around the islands and Great Barrier Reef on a dozen-plus owner-operated vessels, including modern sailing cats and tall ships. Choose from dive and snorkeling trips, performance sailing, eco-friendly excursions, and two- and three-day sailing cruises with all meals, bedding, and snorkeling gear provided.