Airlie Beach

A ‘painted’ picture of the waters around Airlie Beach.

Ship’s tender boat

A shuttle service from / to the ship was constant and local fast tourist boats were used in support of the ship’s tender boats.

                                                                 MV 2001
One of the fast tourist boats were much larger than the tender boats, plus they were airconditioned.

First impression of Airlie Beach-boats and money.

The town of Airlie was created in 1935 and named after the town of Airlie in Scotland. In 1987 it merged with the larger town of Whitsunday and the area became known as Airlie Beach.
In 2016 the population was 1208 and the majority worked in the tourist industry, so they had a hard time due to the Covid lockdowns.

Units above restaurants and ‘sun’ shops as we walked towards the market area which opened whenever a cruise ship arrives, in addition to the normal market day.

It was a small, pleasant market and Maureen managed to secure a bargain.

Airlie’s Beach.
We had been advised not to swim in the sea from the local beaches.
From October to May it is the Stinger Season and I do not mean this type of
but more this type of Box jellyfish stinger – which can kill a swimmer.

A notice on the beach.

In 2001 the Premier of Queensland opened the Airlie Beach Lagoon, which had been built for people to enjoy the beach during Stinger time and to be able to swim in safe waters.
The water in the Lagoon is fresh and self-chlorinated, and the depth goes from paddling pools to two metres deep.
The whole complex is 4,300 sq mtrs (46,285 sq ft) and it free to be used by anyone. The facilities include showers, toilets & BBQs and it is smoke free and alcohol free.
The above picture is from an on-line advert, I did not take a helicopter ride.
                                               A general view of the Logoon.

There is sand for the children

I took this because it was a beautiful tree giving shade to a local couple having a picnic.

This holiday town’s main street with shop after shop.

For those who have moved to Airlie Beach often pick an area that overlooks the ocean and the beach even if they can’t swim in the sea.

As Maureen & I walked through the arrival pier area we were met by a Volunteer Cruise Ambassador (I only found out the title after I returned home).
Our Ambassador had retired from work in NSW and moved to Airlie Beach four years ago and joined the Cruise Ambassadors. He gave us a handy map of the area and explained the quickest way to the market – which pleased Maureen.

The people in the blue coloured shirts are the Ambassadors – the gentleman who spoke to us loved his job, even though I don’t think he was paid.

Below is the map which was on semi-stiff card and it was large enough to use as a fan.


The black spot just above the end of the point of land is our cruise ship.

Back to the ship for lunch and a quiet nap in a sun chair – it is exhausting enjoying yourself.

Airlie Beach is the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier reef.

Captain Cook visited the area in 1770 and it was he who named the passage through the islands as the Whitsunday’s Passage.
He thought it was Whitsunday when in fact in fact it was Whitmonday.
He also named the group of islands Cumberland Islands after the Duke of Cumberland who was travelling with Captain Cook in HMS Endeavour.

The islands are now known as the Whitsundays.
At that time the chronometer was being developed to aid sailors to work out their longitude and Captain Cook was in his third year of his voyage.
He had been ordered to observe the transit of Venus in 1769 from Tahiti. To reach Tahiti he had sailed from England via Cape Horn. 

He was also to seek out information about Terra Australis (the great south land) after he had visited New Zealand. 
In April of 1770 Captain Cook and his crew became the first known Europeans to visit the East coast of Australia. 
To reach New Zealand and Australia he had to cross what we now call the ‘date line’ when sailing from Tahiti.

HMS Endeavour‘s route 
Captain Cook thought the day he saw the Whitsundays was a Sunday when in fact it was a Monday, but the Sunday name stuck. 

HMS Endeavour  by Samuel Atkins in 1794.



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