9 Beaches Airlie Beach Locals Love

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Planning a trip to the Whitsundays? We’ve compiled a list of the best beaches in and around Airlie Beach that would satisfy even the most experienced beachgoer.


If there’s anyone who knows a great beach from an average one, it’s an Airlie Beach local. Home to some of the most stunning, picturesque views, island resorts and an assortment of thrilling activities, Airlie Beach is a fantastic place to visit, a destination you won’t forget.


We surveyed some of the locals from Airlie Beach to compile a list of the 9 best beaches that you should visit on your holiday! Filled with sapphire blue water and idyllic, pearly sand – Airlie Beach is a place where dreams come true.


Looking for the best beaches Airlie beach has to offer? Maybe even some beaches around Airlie beach? Bring a towel, pack some sunscreen, and don’t forget your swimmers – here are the 9 best beaches Airlie Beach locals love.


9 Beaches Airlie Beach Locals Cherish


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1. Cannonvale Beach


Situated just three kilometres west of Airlie Beach, Cannonvale Beach is the perfect spot for families. Sit down and have a cappuccino at the exceptional café on the foreshore or jump on the slide with the kids at the children’s playground – either way, there’s something for everyone. Cannonvale’s sheltered beach is practical, accessible, and beautiful. Along the water, you’ll find lovely spots for a picnic and public barbeques. Together, this beach is the complete package that is perfect for a day out and a popular breakfast spot for the Airlie Beach locals. Cannonvale Beach is one of Airlie Beach best beaches.


2. Airlie Beach


This can’t be a list of the best beaches around Airlie Beach without Airlie Beach itself. A source of immense pride for locals, WT Airlie Beach, is the perfect holiday spot. From sailing adventures to al-fresco dining, Airlie Beach is a must-visit location. You can also reach the lagoon by strolling along the bicentennial boardwalk and making your way to the water. Thanks to the children’s pool, sandy beach area and nearby playground, Airlie Beach is one of the best family-friendly attractions in the area.


3. Boathaven Beach


Like Cannonvale, Boathaven Beach is one of the few beaches in the Airlie Beach area with a stinger net offering safety and peace of mind. Located just around the corner from the Whitsunday Sailing Club – this is one of the beaches Airlie Beach locals just cannot get enough of. Spanning across 60,000 cubic metres of soft, white sand, Boathaven Beach is a faultless relaxation spot. An easy walking distance from the town of Airlie Beach, it’s no wonder the locals love it.


Speaking of relaxation, why not discover all the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and visit the area’s best keep secrets on our 3 day 3 night ALL INCLUSIVE Private Charter? Focus on yourself and sit back while we take care of absolutely everything. Our catamaran is suitable for up to 21 guests and has delicious meals cooked by our hosts onboard. Bring some friends and cold drinks – we’re going on an adventure.


4. Hydeaway Bay Beach


Looking for a beach with some space? Hydeaway Bay should be on your list too – spanning 1.5km long with amazing views of the surrounding islands and ocean; Hydeaway Bay is one of the best beaches near Airlie Beach. Around a 45-minute drive north of the town, Hydeaway Beach is fringed with shady trees and rocks that’ll keep you exploring for hours. Hydeaway Beach is quite literally a hideaway; enjoy one of the regions most secluded beaches for a memory you’ll never forget.


5. Dingo Beach


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If you’re looking for unique beaches near Airlie Beach, Dingo Beach is the place to see! Not far from Hydeaway Bay, about an hour outside of the main town of Airlie Beach, Dingo Beach offers peace and quiet. Enjoy yourself as the secluded, crystal clear waters send you into a blissful state of relaxation. It must be said that a visit to Dingo Beach is not complete without a stop at the local pub – a great place to chill with a cold drink after a swim. The seafood there is not to be missed either!


6. Horseshoe Bay


Situated in the northern region of the Whitsundays, Horseshoe Bay is a stunningly and distinctive beach located in the charming old-school town of Bowen, famous for its’ ‘Big Mango’. Surrounded by stunning overgrown crops and preserved reefs, Horseshoe Bay is one of the beaches Airlie Beach locals suggest if you’re a fan of snorkelling and diving. Home to many a beautiful fish underwater, you’ll be blown away at the natural beauty of it all. To round off your day out, visit the Horseshoe Bay Café and Beach Bar and soak it all in.


A fan of golf? Bowen is rated one of North Queensland’s top golf courses and is frequented by Airlie Beach locals. For a fun but slightly competitive adventure, you can’t go past the NQ Golf Tour 2021. Catering for players of all skill levels, golfing is a great way to break up the day and get some exercise in. So have a swing in paradise as you enjoy the fresh air of the countryside and the personality of small local towns.


7. Whitehaven Beach


Whitehaven Beach is a beach known around the world for its stunning natural beauty. Consistently voted as one of the best beaches globally, Whitehaven Beach is one of the beaches Airlie Beach locals couldn’t recommend more, especially for international tourists. However, visiting the region and not stopping by Whitehaven Beach is a sin – with incredible turquoise water and soft white silica sand, Whitehaven Beach is paradise on Earth. With over 7m of pristine shoreline, go for a swim, sail, hike, or snorkel to truly soak it in.


As the jewel of the Whitsundays, we recommend you make the most of the experience. A Whitehaven Beach – Full Day Tour (ex HTI) cruise will pick you up direct from Airlie Beach and deliver you right to the doorstep of the Whitsundays most famed beach. The expert crew will take care of everything for you as you sail past a mesmerising swirl of sandbars and turquoise sea. Hike to the lookout, lie on the beach or enjoy a gourmet burger – a full-day cruise of Whitehaven Beach gives you a total 6 hours to explore and appreciate.


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8. Chalkies Beach


Speaking of picturesque scenery, Chalkies Beach is Airlie Beach locals best keep secret. Located just across from Whitehaven, Chalkies is almost as visually spectacular, without the crowds. This is one of the beaches Airlie Beach locals love to visit for a snorkel and swim due to the incredible views and close proximity of the Great Barrier Reef and the same white silica sand found at Whitehaven. As the sandy bottom extends to the next anchorage, snorkelling is prime at mid to low tide.


Pay particular attention to the anchorage here as the bank is steep. You will need to get your anchor on the 5-metre mark, or you will drag the anchor.


Explore in Style


Do you feel like there are too many great places to see and not enough time? Enjoy the best views of the Whitsunday Islands and beaches around Airlie Beach with a Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour. You’ll experience panoramic views of the world-famous beaches near Airlie Beach as you fly around the sky and witness the fantastic contrast of natural colour. With 75 minutes’ worth of time in your private helicopter, supported by in-flight pilot commentary to point out the little nuances only Airlie Beach locals know, you’ll be able to experience all of Airlie Beach’s best beaches!


9. Catseye Beach


Looking for a bit of luxury on your trip to the Whitsundays? Catseye Beach is one of the beaches Airlie Beach locals love to recommend for visitors to the area. Located on Hamilton Island, Catseye Beach is a charming utopia is fringed with palm trees, just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Beach Club resort. If you’re looking to spice up your day or even just keep the kids busy, you’re in luck. Catseye Beach has many water sports equipment available for hire right on the beach – test out your paddle boarding or kayaking skill. It’ll be fun!


Maybe you’re looking for a slower-paced, luxurious time away on Hamilton Island. If this is you, consider the Reefsleep (ex Hamilton Island) Double experience. Offering a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend the night sleeping under the stars at the Great Barrier Reef, look on in awe as the sounds of the tranquil Coral Sea lull you into a deep sleep. Here in the outer reef, the sea breezes and the star-lit sky blazes as the natural elements combine to create the ultimate sleepover. Don’t miss this opportunity.


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Airlie Beach Best Beaches


Begin your adventure today! Visit the beaches Airlie Beach locals love – if anyone knows, it’s them. Regardless of the type of holiday you’re after, the scenery of the beaches around Airlie Beach is unmatched.


Treat yourself and explore the stunning, natural beauties of Airlie Beach. If you wish to find out more about the beaches Airlie Beach locals frequent or want to lock in a once-in-a-lifetime tour of the area, get in touch . You won’t regret it.