AIRLIE BEACH - MORE INFO
This beautiful forest contains lowland tropical rainforest remnants and picturesque rocky creeks. Volcanic activity millions of years ago created this rugged landscape and the offshore islands.
Walking through this wildlife haven is a unique experience as the seasons come and go with different sights, smells and sounds. You may see the blue flash of a Ulysses butterfly after rain, smell lemon myrtle flowers in summer, or hear the distinctive call of the wompoo fruit-dove when the trees around you are fruiting.
You will pass majestic tulip oaks on the first day, walk through lush palm valleys and moss gardens on the second, and finish on the third with views of the Whitsunday Islands through open woodland.
As of November 2012, the Whitsunday Great Walk is now open to mountain bikes with sections of the 36km dual-use trail graded 2, 3 and 4 for mountain bikes.
Many tour companies will combine a scenic flight over Heart Reef with other breathtaking spots in the Whitsundays, including Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet. A certain highlight of any visit to the Whitsundays.
Heart Reef was discovered in 1975 by one of Air Whitsunday's pilots and is now an internationally-recognised attraction of the Whitsundays and features on many postcards and brochures promoting the Whitsunday region and the Great Barrier Reef. Many an amateur photographer has been amazed by the fact that their own photos look just like the brochures!
Heart Reef has been the site of many proposals and declarations of love over the years. If planning on making the ultimate romantic gesture, let your pilot know your plans and they'll be able to help you with some extra flight time over the famous icon.
Conway National Park:
Conway National Park is a peaceful coastal park overlooking the Whitsunday Passage, protecting rainforest-clad mountains, forested hills and deep valleys. The Gia and Ngaro Elders, Traditional Owners of the Conway Ranges, say 'Wadda-moolie' (welcome) to their traditional country. It is home to Proserpine rock-wallabies and two of Australia’s mound-building birds: the Australian brush-turkey and orange-footed scrubfowl. Bush camp beside a secluded pebbly beach overlooking Daydream Island (walk-in camping area only - sites are limited). Camping fees apply. From Mount Rooper lookout, take in superb views over the islands: Hamilton, Dent, Long and Henning. The view from the ridge above secluded Coral Beach is worth the effort of reaching there. From the picnic area on Shute Harbour Road, explore the forest.
The Airlie Beach Lagoon:
The Airlie Beach Lagoon is situated right in the centre of Airlie Beach and has become the focal point of the area. When you want to meet someone you meet "at the Lagoon". If you want a great day of relaxation with no admission fee, "spend a day at the Lagoon". And the most rewarding thing of all is that the people of the Whitsundays have taken the Lagoon to their heart as much as tourists and visitors.
The Airlie Beach Lagoon was officially opened by the Premier of Queensland on 8 January 2001. The experiences on offer are not just a result of the physical facilities but rather a combination of natural and man-made attributes that allow a visitor to enjoy Airlie Beach's "Beach", with all its security and support.
The lagoon is surrounded by grassy knolls, perfect for a spot of sunbathing, or finding a quiet spot in the shade to read a book. The sandy beach area at one end provides a safe stinger free environment for the children to play in the shallows and the lagoon is surrounded by landscaped gardens for added aesthetic appeal. A children's pool is situated at one end.
Hill Inlet in the Whitsundays is a stunning inlet located at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. As the tide shifts, the white sand and blue hues of the inlet blend seamlessly to create a breathtaking mosaic.
Hill Inlet is best viewed from the lookout at Tongue Point on Whitsunday Island. Most people moor their boats in Tongue Bay, take a dingy ashore and make the short uphill walk to the lookout for breathtaking views. If possible, try to reach the lookout when the tide is low to fully experience the beautiful fusion of colours that emerge. Not all operators visit Hill Inlet and the Tongue Point lookout on a Whitehaven Beach visit, so be sure to check before you book if you'd like to go to the lookout.
There are several ways to experience the beauty of Hill Inlet. Many companies offer day trips to Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet by ferry, power boat or luxury yacht. Most overnight sailing trips also stop here.
It’s also possible to view Hill Inlet from the air by helicopter or seaplane.
The Mount Rooper Circuit in Conway National Park passes through low woodland growing in shallow, stony clay soils. Lophostemons, grass trees and wattles are prominent. The grass trees can grow to four metres. Their pale yellow flowers produced on spear-like stalks provide food for many insects.
Mount Rooper Lookout has a panoramic vista of the Whitsunday Passage and islands. A two kilometre track connects to the Swamp Bay track where open forest gives way to lowland rainforest.
A rocky outcrop halfway down this track forms a natural lookout over Swamp Bay. Signs here describe Indigenous use of selected plants in this area.
The Swamp Bay track follows the creek at the foot of Mount Rooper. The creek, like most here, flows only in the wet. The refreshing view is across Molle Passage to the Molle islands.
Abell Point Marina:
The Marina comprises 507 wet berths with a redeveloped Marina Village that hosts restaurants and tapas cafes and is located just a short stroll away from the luxury resort accommodation and boutique shopping of Airlie Beach. Protected by it's uniquely designed iconic breakwater, Abell Point Marina is the largest marina of its type in Australia, giving it the well earned reputation as the tourism, transport and recreation hub of the Whitsundays region.
Abell Point Marina is perfectly positioned to experience the magic of the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef, a destination on the wish list of sailing, yachting and tourism visitors alike. You can experience The Whitsundays out of Abell Point Marina with a diverse range of tours including day trips, overnight tours and multiple night adventures to discover the stunning beauty of the Whitsundays 74 Islands.
Conway State Forest:
In Conway State Forest along the rugged Conway Range, explore lowland tropical rainforest, picturesque creeks and lofty peaks overlooking Airlie Beach. This forest is home to 20 rainforest plants found only in this region and offers a refuge for wildlife. The buff-breasted paradise-kingfisher migrates from Papua New Guinea to breed here. Discover the forest's secrets on a short or long walk. Three walks begin from the carpark, ranging from the two kilometre Kingfisher circuit to the 30 kilometre, three-day Whitsunday Great! Walk (which is closed during February and March). Camping fees apply and bookings are essential. Look for brilliant blue Ulysses butterflies. Get a sense of the history of the region from old snigging tracks used for carting timber in logging days. Tracks may be closed in wet weather; check conditions before setting out.
It's not every day that a town gets a new beach, but Airlie Beach is proud to announce the opening of the brand new Boathaven Beach! Part of the new Port of Airlie development, Boathaven Beach is situated on the new peninsula known as The Beacons, and boasts 60,000 cubic metres of soft, white sand, a northerly aspect and is the area's first true all-tide beach. Visitors and locals alike are loving Boathaven Beach already.
Enjoy a day of swimming, sunbathing and lap up the views out the Coral Sea and islands beyond, before popping over to the adjacent marina and shops for a bite to eat or an ice cream along the main street.
Airlie Creek Track:
he 850 metre Airlie Creek Track slowly winds up the hill behind Airlie Beach along a gravel path, featuring rare flora and fauna such as the Whitsunday Bottle Tree and the endangered Proserpine Rock Wallaby which are only found in this region. The track winds you through tranquil forest which is home to magnificent fig trees, sub tropical plants, beautiful native birds and ends up at scenic natural rock pools. The walk back offers views of the beautiful blue Coral Sea and Whitsunday Islands with leafy frames.