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Whitsundays without a timetable

Thursday, November 27, 2008
Airlie Beach is known as Gateway to The Whitsundays and the Heart of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. It sits on the mainland at the centre of the 2000km stretch that is the Great Barrier Reef.

The Whitsunday Islands were named by James Cook in 1770 as he believed he passed through the area on the Christian festival day of Whit Sunday, but it is widely accepted that he neglected to allow for the international date line, so was really a day out.

Airlie, and the adjacent Shute Harbour, are embarkation points for the reef and the Whitsundays. There are 74 islands making up the group, but if you have time, you might consider spending time in Airlie before heading out, particularly if you fancy staying in a prime waterfront location.

Peninsula has the only five-star absolute waterfront apartments, penthouses and marina berths in Airlie Beach. It's a short walk along the Bicentennial Walkway to the lively town of Airlie, but far enough away to be peaceful and tranquil.

There are one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments and penthouses and all have a marina berth making it the perfect base for visits to the reef and Whitsundays. Most penthouses have mezzanine floors and all apartments have live-on balconies with views across the marina, the Coral Sea and the northernmost Whitsundays. Furnishings and appliances are of a high standard, and there is fully ducted air-conditioning for summer months and there is a great pool.

If you don't have your own boat, the Peninsula staff will steer you in the right direction to hire one. You can pack a picnic and set off to find your favourite spot and pull up anchor when you're ready to find a new favourite spot.


Airlie Beach on the coast of far northern Queensland.


Peninsula Airlie Beach rooms start at $319 a double a night.

Whitsunday boat hire is available from a half-day to a week. Cost is from $190 a day and no license is required. A tank of fuel is included in some rentals. Reservations can be made through Peninsula Airlie Beach.

Virgin Blue has flights to The Whitsundays.

One-way fares from:

  • Brisbane $79
  • Sydney $179
  • Melbourne $205
  • Canberra $219
  • Adelaide $285
  • Perth $345

There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares are one-way on the Internet. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at November 27, 2008 and are subject to change.

Prices correct at November 27, 2008.

For further information

Peninsula Airlie Beach
144 Shingley Drive
Airlie Beach 4802
Ph: 1300 551 727
Fax: (07) 4964 1699

Virgin Blue
Ph: 136 789

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User comments
I am heading back to Airlie Beach in April again. I have been to the Islands and they may be great but expensive. Backpackers are everywhere and they can provide an interesting holiday. One of my best holidays was travelling with a bus load of Eurpoeans from Cairns to Darwin and they were young and I was 48. I still keep in touch with many of them. A holiday is what you want to make of it. Airlie Beach has much to offer and it has improved the "beach" area since I was there last. You can have day trips to the Islands, but I think renting a yacht would be the ultimate. It is on my list of things to do....
Can you please tell me who sings 'Sail away with me' (I don't know if this the actual title) on the Whitsundays without a timetable story? Thank you.
Don't be fooled. Airlie Beach is not a beach. in fact St Kilda Beach in Melbourne could be described as a more beautiful beach (and for anyone who has been to St Kilda Beach it ain't all that) Don't get me wrong the Whitsundays is one of the most beautiful places in Australia. But spend that little bit extra and stay on one of the islands or hire a yacht. Airlie Beach may be a haven for the Backpackers but for a nice holliday its nothing

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