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Airlie Beach is a thriving coastal town in Queensland. Often referred to as the gateway to the Whitsundays, this tropical playground makes it impossible for visitors to be short of things to do in Airlie Beach, especially with kids.
With a mix of free activities, experiences to get the adrenaline going or relaxing tours to inform, families will be able to customise their Airlie Beach vacation experiences to suit their interests.
This action-packed “resort for kids” is complete with an enormous waterslide park, heated pool, toddlers’ water play zone, petting zoo, mini-golf, movie nights, café and kids club. Your kids will be in heaven and so will you!
Shute Harbour is a short drive from Airlie Beach through the Conway Ranges National Park. The Harbour is one of the largest in Queensland, and it’s home to dolphins, small boats, birdlife and tons of fish.
The jetty is a local fishing hot spot, which is great for travellers who don’t have boats.
3. Spend A Day At The Airlie Beach Lagoon
The Airlie Beach Lagoon is a vast communal space complete with beaches, palm trees and pools to suit all swimming abilities.
There’s a great kids section down near the playground, and the shops are only a short walk away if you want to grab something for lunch.
Many people spend most of their holiday beside the lagoon because it’s like a resort, but free!
4. Take A Day Trip To The Great Barrier Reef From Airlie Beach
Cruise Whitsundays operate out of the Port of Airlie Marina. Geared towards kids, their boat trip out to Reef World will take you to a kid-friendly snorkelling site right on the reef’s edge.
For those who don’t want to get in the water, there is an underwater viewing conservatory. Everything is set up for comfort, education and entertainment – and most importantly, lunch is provided!
5. Spend Time On An Island Resort
The Whitsunday Islands are home to several resorts, each catering for a different sort of holiday.
For families, we recommend visiting Hamilton Island and Daydream Island because both of these resorts cater to families in more ways than one.
Hamilton Island has loads of pools, golf buggies to get around, ten-pin bowling, a fantastic beach with water sports activities and a koala nature park.
Daydream Island’s recent refurbishment has made this resort’s island facilities better than ever. Check out the living reef observatory and book in at the kid’s club so the adults can enjoy the pool and water bar.
Here are some island day trip tours you will love:
The new Foreshore Playground has a skywalk play area with a climbing net, tunnel slides and sky cabins.
A fourth thrill-seeking playground is Logans Adventure Playground in Cannonvale which features a 30m Tandem Flying Fox and a giant spider web among other climbing, tunnel, swinging, spinning and balancing equipment.
10. Get The Adrenaline Pumping On A Jetski Tour
For older kids and teenagers, they might like a fun-filled 1.5-hour jet ski tour. Mum or dad can drive the jet ski along the Airlie coastline, viewing the islands with the kids as passengers.
Turtle spotting is a feature of this family-friendly tour, and if you’re lucky, you might also spot dugongs and seasonal humpback whales (July – Sept).
11. Enjoy The Local Beaches
Another great activity for kids during your family holiday in Airlie Beach is to explore the many different beaches the town has to offer. Kids can build sandcastles, paddle in the shallows, or even go snorkelling and swimming.
12. Browse The Markets
Airlie Beach is well known for its vibrant markets along the Airlie Beach Esplanade, which are held every Saturday. Kids will love browsing the stalls and picking out souvenirs to take home. You will find everything from handmade arts and crafts to fresh seafood and local produce.
13. Have A Picnic
Enjoy the beautiful weather and a spot under a shady tree by having a picnic during your Airlie Beach family holiday. There are many beautiful parks and gardens in town, so you can find the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the scenery. Kids will love running around and playing games in the park.
14. Stroll The Airlie Beach Bicentennial Walkway
The Airlie Beach Bicentennial Walkway is a great way to see the stunning coastline and get some exercise. The walkway winds its way from the Lagoon through to Cannonvale Beach, taking around 45 minutes to walk one way.
15. Charter a yacht around the Whitsunday Islands
It’s hard to imagine a more fantastic way to experience the Whitsunday Islands than from a private charter yacht.
When you sail the Whitsundays, you get to experience resorts, national parks, snorkelling, sunsets and starry nights from your own floating hotel.
The best bit is you can travel at your own pace to visit secluded islands and beaches, spending quality time as a family.
FAQs For Visiting Airlie Beach
Is Airlie Beach good for families?
Yes, Airlie Beach is a great destination for families. With its stunning natural beauty, family-friendly activities, and safe swimming areas, it offers a wonderful experience for all ages.
How do I get to Airlie Beach?
Airlie Beach is easily accessible by both air and road. The closest airport is the Whitsunday Coast Airport (Proserpine Airport), which is serviced by domestic flights. From the airport, you can take a shuttle bus or taxi to reach Airlie Beach. If you prefer driving, Airlie Beach is approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Proserpine and about a 3-hour drive from Townsville.
When is the best time to visit Airlie Beach?
The best time to visit Airlie Beach is during the dry season, which runs from May to November. During this time, the weather is generally sunny and pleasant, with lower humidity and less rainfall.
Author Bio – Emily & Shane Korosec and their 2 kids live in Shute Harbour, a tranquil pocket just 10 minutes from Airlie Beach. They own and operate Whitsunday Rent A Yacht. The one thing they love more than exploring the Whitsunday Islands is sharing them with their friends. They believe the Whitsunday Islands are one of the best places on earth and that every Australian should enjoy these treasures on their doorstep.