The town of Airlie Beach in Queensland’s Whitsunday’s region provides three things for the Whitsunday tourism industry. Primarily, Airlie Beach is the commercial centre of the tourism industry in the Whitsunday Islands. All the island resorts are supplied from there and ferry services operate to all the islands to bring visitors who arrive via Whitsunday Airport at Proserpine to their chosen holiday destination. The local airport in Airlie Beach provides helicopter transfers to many of the offshore island resorts. Airlie Beach has excellent mainland shopping, banking, post office and supermarket facilities for the region and the local hospitality industry includes apartment style resorts, hotels, restaurants of all descriptions and plenty of trendy and chic cafes for that morning latte.
The second contribution that Airlie Beach makes to the tourism trade is its boating facilities. With two large marina complexes, Airlie Beach is the home of the local bare boat charter industry as well as the local three day crewed sailing trips and also dive and fishing charters. Able Point Marina is home to hundreds of charter boats of all sizes and descriptions. During the peak periods when boats are departing for their daily charters, or returning in the afternoon, the marina precinct is always a hive of activity. Many large charter companies operate from here including Queensland yacht Charters, Whitsunday Sailing Adventures and Southern Cross Sailing. Ferry services to the outer islands from Able Point marina are operated by Cruise Whitsundays and from Shute Harbour by Fantasea Cruises. A new marina known as the Port of Airlie Marina has recently been completed and is now starting to offer similar services to Able Point.
Airlie Beach’s third contribution is to the apartment and backpacker accommodation industry. Over the past thirty years, Airlie Beach has continually added to its accommodation inventory. Airlie Beach is one of the few places in Queensland that is visited by all backpackers. Because of this the number of hostels in the town has continually increased. Local hostels provide accommodation, entertainment and dining facilities as well as organising local tours and charters for their patrons. The resort apartment industry in Airlie Beach is huge. The main town of Airlie Beach lies in a natural amphitheater with the commercial centre on the flat land beside the water and most of the apartment resorts built on the surrounding hillsides overlooking the town and the Coral Sea to the north. Apartment style accommodation is fully furnished, serviced and has on site management. Some of the resorts have their own restaurants and all have pools and spas for the enjoyment of their patrons.
Airlie Beach has some beautiful attractions for the enjoyment of its visitors. Because it does not have a great beach, the local council has constructed an enormous lagoon swimming pool which is situated right on the ocean front and connected to the marina via a waterfront boardwalk. The pool is surrounded by tropical gardens and shaded by waving coconut palms. It is always surrounded by a bevy of bikini clad backpacker babes. It is only fifty metres from the main street of Airlie Beach and is right in the town centre. Airlie beach is also surrounded by National Parks and hillsides covered in dense rainforest.
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