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Airlie beach must see?

Old Jan 19th, 2020, 02:26 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Airlie beach must see?

We will be at airlie beach from 8 am to 4pm feb 18 on a cruise. Are there any must sees through an excursion? Has anyone waited until you get ashore to find an excursion?
mamalirv is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2020, 09:22 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2020
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Well as you’re there, Whitehaven Beach/Hill Inlet is the obvious one. I wouldn’t travel out of my way to see them but they are nice and you’re already there so you may as well see it. Plenty of other islands as well available with a day cruise if you had time.
A day on Hamilton Island would be nice as well. If you’re golfers, there’s a crazy beautiful course on one of the islands if it’s available as an option. A scenic helicopter flight is probably the best way to get an overview of the area on a quick visit but means $$$$$.
ReefWorld is also an option but it’s a subpar reef experience IMO and a Loooong way offshore (80km or so) so may not be offered as a day trip anyway although there are options to helicopter there and back via Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet and the Heart Reef. Much better reef experiences are available from Cairns/Port Douglas or Hervey Bay.
Can’t think of much on land I’d recommend but others may chip in with more suggestions. I will say though that many of these are full day trips so you’d need to make sure any tour operator you used had a guarantee to get you back to the ship on time and I’d also book in advance.
sjmac42 is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2020, 11:50 PM
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Not sure if you know, but there is no beach at Airlie Beach. They've built a lovely lagoon on the foreshore which is free and popular. Nice swimming area with green lawns and seating areas. There are quite a few shops to browse, clothes, books, supermarket etc but not much else. A trip out to one of the islands would be nice if you want to do something with the day other than just meandering and having lunch. Whitehaven Beach is very popular.

I think if it was me I'd do a half day tour to Whitehaven Beach if you can find one. Then spend the rest of the day wandering about town, maybe have a swim in the lagoon or a drink in the pub.

Kay
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 12:24 PM
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We did a short coach tour of Airlie Beach - pleasant but not exciting. The driver offered to drop us off in the shopping centre or back at the ship. We took the shopping centre option, had a wander around the shops, coffee and café naturally. Then wandered through the market and back to the ship. From the shopping centre through the market to the wharf was a fairly short walk, about 1 km at a guess, so very easy to do.
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