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Airlie Beach/Whitsunday islands
Airlie Beach is a 23 km. drive east
off the coastal Highway and is a colourful holiday town looking
out over Pioneer Bay and the perfect mainland base to explore the
Also some of the bars in Airlie Beach organize cane toad races, you can place your bet on which poisonous South American frog will cross the line first, very entertaining!
The Whitsunday Islands are surrounded
by a Marine Park and most of the 74 islands have National Park status.
The islands are remnants of a coastal mountain range that was submerged
when sea levels rose at the end of the last ice age.
The Whitsunday islands cater for all types of holidays;
family holidays, action-packed holidays, sailing, lazing on the
beach, romantic getaways, and this is also a popular destination
Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island in the Whitsundays and the only island with its own airport catering for direct commercial and charter flights, otherwise you will fly in to Whitsunday Coast Airport at Prosperine, which is only a short drive from Airlie Beach. Lots of activities can be enjoyed on Hamilton Island, including fishing, helicopter rides, scuba diving, parasailing and much more. There is heaps of accommodation on the island and a good choice of restaurants.
Daydream Island is a very small island with a resort orientated to familes named the Daydream Island International Resort. Heaps of activities here too.
Hayman Island is a small island of only 4 square km. and the northernmost of the Whitsunday Island group, it has a very exclusive resort too. Some great views and beautiful scenery is to be found along the walking trails on this island and great snorkelling and scuba diving is found in the little coves and along the coral beaches of this island.
Hook Island is the second largest island of the Whitsunday Island Group, and is filled with spectacular National Park and fabulous beaches. You can stay at the Hook Island Wilderness Resort or at the camping ground on the island.
Lindeman Island is one of the most southern Whitsunday Islands. There is a Club Med Resort and the rest of the island is National park.
Long Island is mostly National Park with bush walking tracks through rainforest. You will find three resorts on this island, Club Crocodile Resort and Long Island Palm Bay Hideaway at the north end of the island and South Long Island Nature Lodge at the south end.
South Molle Island houses the South Molle Island Resort and has some good walks around the island's National Park and of course, like any island here, fantastic beaches.
Whitsunday Island is the biggest of all of the Whitsunday Islands and has fantastic beaches, but the entire island is National Park and there is no accommodation on the island. You can camp at several camp sites on this island with Dugong, Joes, and Sawmill Beaches offering water supplies.
Annual events in Airlie Beach and Whitsundays
If you get to Airlie Beach at the right time of year you may be able to witness, or participate in, some of these annual events:
Whitsunday Fantasea Reef Festival - usually held first half of November, a non-profit community festival that has been held since 2001 and celebrates one of nature's most amazing creations - the Great Barrier Reef! Many activities are held, plenty of food and drinks are available and fireworks on the foreshore close it off.
HOTFM Great Whitsunday Fun Race - usually held early September since 1977, this is a huge weekend for Airlie Beach when 200 yachts of all kinds run in this fun race.
Hahn Premium Race Week - usually held in August at Hamilton Island, this is Australia's largest offshore yachting event. Large numbers of Aussie and international yachts converge on Hamilton Island for a week of sailing and partying.
Airlie Beach Triathlon - usually held in September, superfit competitors from far and wide flock to Airlie Beach. The Whitsunday Triathlon Club was formed in 1999 and ever since has organized this annual event. Activities include a sprint distance, 750 metre swim, 20 kilometre cycle, five kilometre run, beach volleyball and sport expo.
Airlie Beach Food & Wine Festival - in April the restaurants of Airlie Beach get together for a great evening filled with fine food and Australian wines. Proceeds from the event go to the Whitsunday Police Citizens Youth Club.