Frequently Asked Questions

A little bit about us

Can we talk to a real person in Airlie Beach about our tours in the Whitsundays

Yes. All website bookings are handled by our staff located in Airlie Beach.
Airlie Beach Tourism was established in 1988 at its current address and has been assisting travellers and tourists with tours in the Whitsundays for over 30 years.

Where are you located and what days are you open

Airlie Beach Tourism is located at street level in the Heart Hotel and Gallery building in the Main street of Airlie Beach. We are open from 08:00 am until 06:00 pm 7 days a week. Our address is : Shop 3/277 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach.

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The Whitsundays and Airlie Beach

Where is the Whitsundays?

The Whitsunday region is located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, and is made up of the 74 Islands of the Whitsunday Group, the Great Barrier Reef and the mainland town of Airlie Beach (The Gateway to the Whitsundays). Airlie Beach is located on the Central East coast of Queensland, Australia between Mackay and Townsville, and is approximately 625km south of Cairns and 1100km north of Brisbane.

Which airlines service the Whitsundays?

Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia fly direct from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns to Whitsunday Coast (Proserpine) or Great Barrier Reef Airport (Hamilton Island).

How do I access the Whitsundays from the various airports?

Coach, Shuttle and Taxi transfer companies meet each flight at the Whitsunday Coast (Proserpine) Airport and can be pre-booked or booked on arrival. Shuttle services are usually arranged through your accommodation or Airlie Beach Tourism if accommodation is booked through us. These services take you to your accommodation in the Whitsundays.
Ferry services with Cruise Whitsundays meet each flight from Great Barrier Reef Airport (Hamilton Island) connecting to Daydream Island and Port of Airlie in Airlie Beach.

What clothing should I pack?

With a sub-tropical climate and an average temperature of 27 degrees celsius we would suggest to come as casual as you like as you will probably spend most of your time in your swimsuit soaking up the sun, swimming and snorkelling. Don’t forget a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, thongs/flip-flops, sand shoes (they’ll probably get wet), and perhaps jeans and a jacket for cooler winter evenings. If you are planning on spending a night out on the town, casual dress is all that is required.

Is Heart Reef in the Whitsundays and can I swim or snorkel there?

Yes, Heart Reef is located in the Whitsundays within Hardy Reef, however you can not swim or snorkel there. Heart Reef can only be seen from above. Talk to us about the variety of scenic flights available to see this natural wonder.

Will I be able to visit the Great Barrier Reef from the Whitsundays?

Most definitely, the Whitsundays feature the Great Barrier Reef Experience at its best. Located 75 klms from the Mainland, the Reef is not affected by contamination from the mainland as are other locations where the Reef is closer to river and estuary outlets. To see the Reef at its best, visit Hardy Reef from Airlie Beach. Why not stay overnight on the pontoon at the Reef? You can do it all in the Whitsundays.

Can I swim in the water and what are the odds of getting stung by jellyfish or marine stingers?

Yes you can swim in the Whitsunday waters however we recommend wearing a full length lycra suit during the higher risk period (October – May) which reduces the risk of stings and is great sun protection too. Look at it this way… when you get into your car you put on your seat belt just in case, thats why we wear stinger suits. Of the 8 million users of the Great Barrier Reef/North Queensland region each year, the percentage of Irukandji stings is minimal and far fewer Box Jellyfish stings occur. Whitsunday locals often swim during the ‘stinger season’ without any stinger suit protection, however it is best to heed the advice of your tour operator and wear a stinger suit to ensure increased protection and safety.

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