Airlie Beach Reviews
It's as cheap or expensive as you make it Jan 04, 2013
A great base for lazy days at the lagoon and trips to the Whitsundays. There are lots of places to eat and drink with varying prices and tastes. Fresh fish and seafood is top choice but there are also many hostel bars serving the usual burgers and steaks. You get what you pay for. See my other reviews for some great eateries.
The family friendly lagoon is huge with three separate pools and is stationed by lifeguards. Lots of space to laze around both in the sun or shade with changing rooms and cold showers in the centre of town. You can choose to lay on the grass or the tiny manmade beach looking out over the turquoise sea. Shade under the many palm trees is also an option as the sun can be very powerful.
Everything is within walking distance and there are many shops selling both male and female clothing. Another huge part of Airlie is the abundance of tour operators. My advice is to shop around as using discount cards or hostel counters you may receive more benefits. The two hostels that I visited were spacious and clean with gorgeous bathrooms. A hotel really isn’t needed in Airlie but book early to avoid disappointment.
The bars seem loud and raucous every night of the week but the hostel bars provide entertainment games also. My favourite bar was Phoenix – see my review.
Everybody must visit Airlie Beach!!
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Best nightlife in OZ!! Aug 17, 2011
Airlie Beach... where to begin? I arrived here back in early February on the OZ Experience bus and almost instantly fell in love with the place! I've been here since, and needless to say, I never quite made it as far as Cairns!
There's something special about Airlie that I can't quite put my finger on. It draws you in, seduces you, and makes leaving very difficult indeed.
There are numerous hostels scattered along the main street - Base X, Nomads, Beaches, Magnums, YHA - to name but a few. I spent 6 weeks in Beaches before finding a house to share with a couple of friends and loved it there. It's a party hostel, with live music and djs playing every night!
Everything in Airlie is close at hand, so you never have to travel far for what you need. There are pubs and restaurants on your doorstep, two nightclubs, two pharmacy's, a supermarket, 3 bottle shops, a newsagents, McDonalds, 2 ice-cream shops, a tattoo parlour, hairdressers, massage and beauty parlours, clothes shops, travel agents, Internet shops/cafes, and two adult shops (if you're that way inclined!)
Airlie Beach Lagoon is a wonderful tropical oasis set just off the main street and boasts amazing sea views. It's the perfect place to top up your tan, take a dip to cool down, catch up with friends and fellow backpackers, or just watch the world go by. There are picnic tables and toilets close by and there is also a children's pool supervised at all times by lifeguards.
The nearest shopping centre is in Cannonvale - a 5/10 minute bus ride away. They have Coles, Target, a hairdressers, butchers, chemist, fish shop, bottle shop, a couple of cafes, newsagents, post office, shoe shop etc. So whatever you don't find in Airlie, you'll find in Cannonvale!
Now, a little bit about the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. There are 74 in total - one more stunning than the other. I've been on two boat trips while I've been here, and I can honestly say, there's nothing quite like the feeling of getting out on the water on a picture perfect day and soaking up the sun and atmosphere that the Whitsundays offer. Whitehaven Beach is something special altogether. You kind of have to see it to believe it, if that makes sense. It's like you're in another world - somewhere far removed from reality - like something you'd see in a movie that isn't actually real. But it is. It's truly magnificent. A must for anyone visiting this part of Queensland.
And if you're a backpacker, like myself, then the nightlife in Airlie is something to be rivalled! I challenge anyone to say they haven't had a brilliant night out "Airlie Style"... Like I said before, Beaches is the ultimate party hostel, where most backpackers kick off their evening. They offer Happy Hour specials from 7.30-10.30 Down Under Bar & Grill (DUB to the locals) is also another good one to start off in - with two happy hours 5-7 and 9-11. And then there's Paddy's Shenanigans Irish bar... Being Irish myself, I have to admit, I love the place! It's certainly not the most "Irish" of Irish bars, but they offer some very talented live music every night, and they play the National Anthem at closing. So for anyone missing home a little bit, then a trip to Paddy's should sort you out! The two night clubs - Evolution and Mamma Africa's stay open til 5am, and belt out all the latest tunes!
So there you have it... my time in Airlie is coming to an end, but I will be back. That much is certain. I've had the best 6 and a half months of my life here, and would recommend a visit to anyone travelling up the East coast.
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