How to Spend 2 Days in Airlie Beach
A 2-day trip to Airlie Beach gives you time to explore the small town and get a taste of the nearby Whitsunday Islands. From soaring over the Great Barrier Reef to testing your sailing skills, here’s how to spend two days in Airlie Beach.
Day 1: Explore by Ground and by Air
**Morning:**Begin your visit to Airlie Beach with a stroll along the Esplanade—on Saturday mornings you’ll find markets selling jewelry, clothes, and crafts. If you’re visiting between July and September, you have a good chance of seeing migrating humpbacks on a whale-watching cruise.
**Afternoon:**Take to the skies and admire the Great Barrier Reef from the air on a seaplane or helicopter tour. These tours are typically a few hours long and are a great way to see Whitehaven Beach if you don’t have enough time to sail there; plus, most include free time to relax on the beach after landing.
**Night:**In the evening, opt for a private food-themed tuk-tuk tour, which typically take you sightseeing around town and to several restaurants, where you can try some of the best dishes of the region. Alternatively, take a sunset tuk-tuk tour and ask you guide for tips on where to eat afterward.
Day 2: Set Sail
**Morning:**You could spend the whole day sailing on a yacht, helping the crew as you cruise to Tongue Bay and the Hill Inlet Lookout. A shorter (and faster) alternative is spending just the morning driving a jet ski around South Molle Island.
**Afternoon:**Between the beach and the Esplanade, you’ll find a huge man-made lagoon where you can take a refreshing swim year-round. Another active option is visiting Conway National Park, just minutes from Airlie Beach, which has numerous walking trails winding through rainforest and waterfalls—you might even spot a Proserpine rock wallaby.
**Night:**Head back to the Esplanade and pick one of the strip’s many buzzing restaurants for a final meal. Naturally, fresh seafood is on the menu at most Airlie Beach eateries. If you’re up for a late night, this is where you’ll find the town’s best bars.