What to do, 3 nights around Arlie

Old Oct 29th, 2023, 11:00 AM
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What to do, 3 nights around Arlie

Our sailing trip next month was just cancelled (mid-November). We have already booked an alternate trip but it is for fewer nights. We are now left with 3-4 nights to spend in a drivable distance from Arlie. We arrive around noon at the Proserpine airport on a Thursday and don't join our sailing trip until around 1 PM on the following Monday. We aren't sure we want to stick around Arlie. We are visiting from the USA and this is our first trip to Australia. We would rather see more of the country. How would folks suggest we spend our time? Is it worth driving down to the Cape Hillsborough National Park and Mackay area and possibly then heading inland to the Eungella National Park? Any suggestions on where to stay as well? We would like to mix it up a bit so we are open to glamping or other alternative style accommodations.

We are very young 66 year olds and have planned to hike/see wildlife/flora, scuba (trip out of Cairns already scheduled) as well as the sailing trip out of Arlie while in Australia. We are not huge city or museum people.

Thanks for your help.
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Old Oct 29th, 2023, 12:24 PM
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I spent a few days at Airlie Beach in November several years ago, and booked a couple of day trips on a dive boat for snorkelling in the Whitsunday Islands. You can go down to the harbour and book them yourselves. There are fringing reefs on the Whitsundays with lots of marine life, and one of the most beautiful beaches, Whitehaven, that I have ever seen. There are also catamarans taking guests to the islands.

I’m not endorsing this particular company, but here is a website that explains what you can do:

I see you are also planning to SCUBA on the GBR from Cairns. I did that too, and admit the fringing reefs in the Whitsundays aren’t as impressive, but had a couple of close encounters with sea turtles which made it all worthwhile. I also spent a couple of nights in a resort on one of the islands.

Last edited by Heimdall; Oct 29th, 2023 at 12:35 PM.
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Old Oct 29th, 2023, 03:11 PM
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Thanks. We already have a 2-day, 2-night sailing trip around the Whitsundays and will be spending one night at the end of that trip in Arlie. Since we have 3 nights unplanned before our sailing trip, we were hoping to explore other areas worth seeing within a drivable distance from Arlie. Do you or anyone else have suggestions on where we should go/do outside of the Arlie area?

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Old Oct 30th, 2023, 03:08 AM
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You could spend y​our time at Cape Hillsborough. There are some good walks and we got great photos of kangaroos feeding on the beach at dawn. You can meet the ranger there before sun up. From memory, there is very little accommodation in that area. We stayed in a cabin right by the beach. It was old and basic but okay for a night or two. Just don't expect much.

You could instead get a ferry from Airlie or Shute Harbour to ​stay on Hamilton Island. I've never been but it seems popular.

I think it​ might be too far ​(Google Maps is very optimistic in travel times) but another thought is drive to Townsville and stay on Magnetic Island. Great hikes, wildlife and nice beaches. Probably too far but you could check logistics​ - drive plus ferry. Though I've just realised we caught a passenger ferry, no vehicles. There would be a car ferry too but maybe not as often. ​Check you can take a hire car on the ferry. An option is to change your arrival flight.
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