Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is surrounded with banana plantations, green mountains and rainforest. If you want to visit the Whitsundays, Airlie Beach is the obvious departure point. Airlie Beach has several hostels, massive beer gardens, pubs, clubs and a huge swimming lagoon, where nothing much happens during the day. Airlie Beach offers it all, the party scene, as well as, the adventures activities, like excursions into Conway National park or a sailing trip to the Whitsundays. However, according to the many travel guides:

“the heart of Airlie still beats of the rhythm of unskilled sailors, taking to the sparkling seas and jungle-clad isles with bleary- eyed wonder”.

Airlie Beach is a vibrant town, with a tropical atmosphere and you instantly tune into your holiday mode. Stroll through the boutiques and cafes off the main street. Moreover, every Saturday there is a morning market where they sell art, fresh fruit, vegetables and much more. As you arrive into the tiny yet bustling town of Airlie Beach, prepare to be blown away by the views!

Where to stay in Arlie Beach?

Most backpackers, who are travelling to Arlie Beach, stay at Nomads/Base Airlie Beach hostel. This is one of the most popular hostels in Airlie Beach. This hostel is located right in the centre of town. I have stayed here myself and I really enjoyed my time here. It has a relaxing atmosphere, with a lovely swimming pool and a volleyball court. At night time you can go to the Shed Bar or Boaty’s, which is the perfect place to tantalize your taste buds and enjoy a cold drink.


As mentioned before, Airlie Beach is the gateway to the 74 Island that make-up the Whitsundays. Visiting the Whitsundays is something that almost every backpacker who travels to Australia has on his or hers Bucket list. These tropical islands, on the east coast of Queensland may rightly be called a treasure on earth.

The Whitsunday Islands have everything you are looking for in an island: beautiful corals, imposing rocks, rainforest, the whitest beaches on earth, unique animals (like six species of turtles) and the Coral Sea that turns blue- green. The Whitsunday islands lie just off the coast in Queensland, next to the Great Barrier Reef. People from all around the world make their way to the Whitsundays to visit one of the most beautiful beaches on earth: Whitehaven beach and explore the stunning beauty of Heart reef. Interestingly, the Great Barrier Reef actually protects the island from large swells. This makes the environment ideal for sailing, swimming, diving/snorkelling and relaxing in hidden bays.

Many of the Whitsunday islands are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. Another interesting fact is that only eight of the 74 islands are uninhabited. Obviously the Whitsundays Islands are a tourist magnet, but with so many different islands you always have the opportunity to go to a place where there are hardly any to no people. Drop off with a ferry, set up your tent, go on an adventure in the rainforest and literally feel Robinson Crusoe.

Sailing trips to the Whitsundays

A lot of backpackers explore the Whitsundays by doing a sailing trip to the Whitsundays. With 74 white sandy islands, stunning beaches, hidden coves and inlets and an abundance of wildlife, a Whitsundays sailing tour is an unmissable part of any Australian East Coast trip There is a massive range of Whitsundays sailing tours. I would personally recommend booking your sailing trip with an agency and months in advance. As mentioned before travel agencies have all the information about all the available Whitsundays trips (from daytrips to stunning Whitehaven beach to overnight tours) and can help you find the perfect tour suited to your budget. I did some research and I created an overview of the most popular Whitsundays Tours and I included some website links of travel agencies who offer the tours for the best price. So, check it out!

Overview of the most popular Whitsundays tours:

Budget friendly, Whitsundays Tours

1. Big time budgeting? This is the Whitsundays best budget-friendly trip, offering an unforgettable sailing experience! Habibi is the best choice for the budget backpacker. This 75ft Ketch offers 2 great days and nights of cruising around the Whitsundays. Habibi is great value for money for those on a budget who are still seeking an awesome experience. Picture yourself lazing on the deck sailing around the wonderful Whitsunday Islands and step foot on the one and only Whitehaven Beach! This social trip on board Habibi will be full of sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling and exploring, all while making new friends and having the ultimate Whitsundays experience.

If you want to save money, check out the following websites to get more information and the best price!

2. New Horizon is the ideal trip for those with a sense of fun and a craving for adventure! Being one of the most popular tours on the East Coast of Australia, backpackers travel from all corners of the globe just to take part in this once- in-a-lifetime Whitsunday adventure that will have you laughing, exploring and making memories to last a lifetime! Snorkel or dive amazing coral reefs, take an exhilarating ride on a jet boat, “walk the plank”, zip down a mega slide, or paddleboard around secluded bays – New Horizon has it all! This is just the start of the activities you can get your hand on while sailing the Whitsundays on New Horizon!

If you want to save money, check out the following websites to get more information and the best price!

Social boat for exploring the Whitsundays

Are you looking for the biggest party boat in the Whitsundays? Jump on board Atlantic Clipper! If you want to spend your days exploring all the hottest areas of the Whitsunday Island and your nights socializing with a group of fun, like- minded travellers, Atlantic Clipper is for you! You will have the time of your life aboard this spacious and comfortable boat which boasts a huge water slide, air-conditioning and an action-packed itinerary full of fun and adventure!

If you want to save money, check out the following website to get more information and the best price!

Relaxing boat to explore the Whitsundays

Wings, is the ultimate way to see the Whitsunday Islands on an unforgettable 2 day trip! Over 2 days you will sail in blue tropical waters, relax on the beautiful white sands of Whitehaven Beach, chill out or sunbake on the large front decks taking in the scenery! Wings thrives on spending more time on the beach than other boats, and when you are not beach-hopping, enjoy the air-conditioned interior of the boat. Wings II offers the ultimate catamaran adventure!

If you want to save money, check out the following website to get more information and the best price!

A Luxury Whitsundays Tour

Ride to Paradise is the ultimate way to explore the Whitsundays – a little bit of luxury, and a lot of fun! Ride to Paradise Resort Stay includes 2-nights of accommodation at the exclusive Paradise Cove Resort on the beautiful Whitsundays mainland. Spend your nights on land and your days at sea on board the fast and fun Wildcat, visiting the Whitsunday Islands. Visit iconic locations such as Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet Lookout, and several beautiful snorkeling locations.