If you are planning to visit the Whitsundays, or indeed if you already have, you will find yourself at Airlie Beach whether you like it or not. Personally, I wasn’t particularly taken with it, but that’s just me.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not awful or anything. It’s just that if you’re not aged 18-25 looking to party all night with a load of people you don’t know, then I would advise you stay elsewhere!
The strip is home to countless adventure-selling travel shops, as well as countless hostels. It’s highly unlikely you will have trouble finding a bed for the night in this place.
Because we still had our little house-on-wheels, we were able to pay a teeny fee to park in the Nomad’s campground/back garden/field space rather than checking into a dorm (thank God). Our lovely little camper had never felt so at home! We were completely surrounded by campervans, as far as the eye could see.
The difference between this campground and others we had previously stayed in was the distinct smell of a few too many beers and some things that are probably best left unsmoked…I’ll leave it at that.
The actual hostel was pretty nice though! They had an outside bar, hammocks, a couple of pools, and most importantly – Wifi in the reception area. Also available were private rooms and flats, which looked a little more glam than your average dorm room. All in all, there is something for everyone; unless you hate showering in flip-flops in which case there is nothing for you!
After examining our sleeping space, we went for a little wander around town. We had already booked our own Whitsundays trip back in Melbourne, so we had to keep our heads down and avoid the vast amount of sales people trying to reel us in off the street.
Once we got past this, we were good to go! There is a huge New World to meet all of your grocery needs, Maccy D’s so you can exploit the free wifi and $1 FroCo’s, a place that sells the best sorbet ever, and a few shops selling sunscreen, swimwear etc etc. There are also a couple of cute brunch spots that we clocked for the following day (they serve great smoothies there FYI).
The next morning we went to the beach. Very odd. Very odd indeed. Naturally, due to the sublime weather conditions, we thought the beach would be packed! We were soooo wrong, which is ironic given that the place is called ‘Airlie Beach‘.
It was actually a pretty little spot, but we soon discovered that we couldn’t go into the water due to stinger season which was a real shame. Clearly we were missing a trick here… After half an hour of walking in the wrong direction all the way to the end of town and back again, we finally discovered the ‘Lagoon’.
This funny little lagoon was extremely popular. Who knew? Well, everyone but it seemed!
To clarify, the lagoon is man made, i.e. nothing will sting or bite you when you pop in for a dip. It was so much better here, albeit a bit like trying to cool off in a warm bath. Anywho, at least you could actually get in the water! They even had fake sand so you could pretend you were a few metres away at the real beach…
Whilst we weren’t wild about Airlie Beach, it is absolutely definitely completely worth going so that you can set sail to The Whitsundays. More on this in my next post, stay tuned!
Have you ever been to Airlie Beach? What would you recommend to do there? Feel free to let me know in the comments 🙂