Airlie Beach, as per the name is a beach town that has several beaches accessible by land. Of course, the main reason most people visit Airlie is to visit Whitehaven Beach, though that is not actually located in Airlie Beach.
This article focuses on the beaches you can access without hopping onto a boat.
Airlie Main Beach
Located just off the main street and lined with palm trees and grassy parkland is the main beach of Airlie. This is a naturally formed beach that curves around palm trees and grassy picnic areas.
Swimming here is not really recommended due to having no stinger nets. Though outside summer you will be fine to jump in for a quick dip.
This beach is where the new years eve fireworks are held every year.
There is also a number of council supplied BBQ and seating areas which makes it perfect for a small or large gathering.
Airlie Beach Lagoon
The lagoon has a sandy beach section on the south-eastern end which is perfect for those who would prefer not to risk being stung. This is really perfect for children as there are lifeguards patrolling the area.
The lagoon is an alcohol-free zone and it is enforced, so leave the beer behind if visiting the lagoon. There are lots of seating areas, a children’s playground and a few BBQs which makes for a perfect family day out.
Lagoon Carpark Beach
There are two car parks to access the lagoon and the smaller car park near the doctor’s surgery has a small beach right in front of it. This beach, like the main beach, has no stinger nets so swimming is not really advised.
At this small beach, you can hire paddle boards and small sailing boats to go exploring around the front of Airlie.
Boathaven Beach is a man-made beach that was constructed as part of the Port Of Airlie upgrade. The beach is large and has a netted off swimming area which reduces your risk of jellyfish.
The beach is backed by large multi-million dollar homes and has plenty of parking nearby at the sailing club. This is definitely the locals favourite beach in the area.
Located inside Coral Sea Marina, this picturesque beach is certainly a unique vantage point. Looking out at millions of dollars worth of yachts while lying on a beach is something quite different.
Swimming here s certainly not recommended as marinas are notorious for having a higher concentration of jellyfish than beaches that are exposed to the ocean.
You can hire a paddle board here and get a little closer to the yachts if you like and being inside a marina, the water is always extremely calm.
There are a few BBQ picnic areas here and it’s generally quiet because it’s just out of town.
Cannonvale is the suburb just outside of Airlie where most people who work in Airlie Beach live. There is a nice beach with a stinger net area, BBQs, seating areas, a children’s playground and grassy areas.
This beach is also much more dog friendly than the others. Most locals in the area will walk their dog through here to take advantage of the incredible twilight views.