Portside Whitsunday

406 Shute Harbour Rd, Airlie Beach, Great Barrier Reef, 4802, Australia
Portside Whitsunday
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More about Airlie Beach


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The pontoon at Knuckle ReefThe pontoon at Knuckle Reef

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Clear blue skies with "cottonball clouds"Clear blue skies with "cottonball clouds"

Forum Posts

accomodation/ tours

by nikkihogarth

I have 4 nights to spend on Airlie beach/ whitsundays and would like some advice on what to do about accomodation. Would it be better for me to book 4 nights accom in Airlie and do day tours out to the islands or are there good places to stay on the islands themselves? Also can anyone recommended any good tours of the islands? Thanks!

Re: accomodation/ tours

by lynnehamman

there is plenty of accommodation available on the islands- but its also feasable to stay at Airlie. Airlie is very popular with young back-packers, and gets quite 'festive'. If you want a quieter, more laid back vacation- stay on one of the islands.
Here is a website that may help you:


Re: accomodation/ tours

by AllOverRover

When we went to the Whitsundays, we stayed at both Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island. Value for money-wise, you get a lot more for your dollar on the mainland. Whilst we enjoyed our time on Hamilton Island, we actually enjoyed Airlie Beach even more I think. It depends a little on what you're into.... if you really want a resort experience, perhaps have a couple of nights on an island? Perhaps you could split it up like we did?

Re: accomodation/ tours

by aussirose

Cruise Whitsundays is very good Frankie...great suggestion! We are planning a big downunder vt meet in the Whitsundays in September and we are taking 2 cruises with them. Also the Raggamufin yaucht day trip is fantastic...and the Yellow Sub trip from Hamilton Island is a good one. We did the 3 island trip too from Hamilton....and hubby & my daughter did their first scuba diving lesson which they enjoyed. Also as Allover said, I have stayed in both places...Hamilton Island and Airlie. Airlie is cheaper of course. If you are planning to fly then there are 2 options - Proserpine on the mainland and Hamilton Island so incorporating a couple of nights on each destination, Airlie & Hamilton would be a great idea.....perhaps flying into Proserpine and out via Hamilton. Of course if you plan to be in the Whitsundays on the September 11-13 weekend, then of course you are most welcome to join us :o)
Cheers, Ann :o)

Re: accomodation/ tours

by daena

I would recommend going to an island -you can get good cheap accommodation on Long Island - a ferry trip from Airlie- ask for last minute stays at Long Island at the tourist office in Airlie Beach s there are good discounts . A barrier reef day trip is worth the cost and they pick you up from airlie or the islands

Re: accomodation/ tours

by muzeve

Depends on what type of holiday you are wanting. The islands are great if you want to relax, airlie is great if you want to party. Heaps of good trips from airlie for one day or more, staying on islands or boats. Airlie is also a lot cheaper than the islands. I have done sailing trips to whitehaven beach, and day trips to 3 island-whitehaven beach, daydream island and snorkelling/ fish feeding at cook island, which is of course just a sample of everything, but still great value for about A$120 including great lunch and nibblies. Day trips to reef also good, as well as crocodile tours up the rivers. All very easy to book the day before, and some great prices. So as you can tell, I am saying stay in airlie, but if its the resort island style holiday you are after, go for it. You can do a lot of day trips from the islands as well.

Travel Tips for Airlie Beach

More Amazing Views at Airlie Beach

by cnango

Airlie Beach is such a beautiful place with the clear blue skies, beautiful bush and pristine beaches. These pictures were all taken at different times and from different angles from our hotel balcony.

Tex Mex in Airlie Beach

by betska about Cactus Jack's

Good atmosphere and very nice frozen margaritas. The meals were very large. My tasting plate however was a bit cold. Mum's Barramundi was delicious.

The bill all out was A$54 they had some kind of deal with the frozen margaritas.

Happy hour 5 till 7pm daily with a good cocktail/mocktail list. Prices $5.50 - $10
Beer $4 - $6.50

Wednesdays - Margaritas & Coronas Cactus Hour Prices all Night I would go for the barramundi.

Knuckle Reef Cruise

by aussirose

Well a trip to the Whitsundays is not a holiday unless you do some snorkling, diving, coral viewing and plenty of eating & drinking.

And what better way than to book a day trip out to Knuckle Reef....a pontoon in the outter reef that has it all!!

Even if you have never snorkled before....the team there look after you and with the guide and plenty of float stuff....all you need to do is to look down and enjoy the coral and colourful reef fish :o)

We had a fantastic day out at Knuckle Reef with Cruise Whitsundays and I can totally recommend this trip!!

Knuckle Reef

by lou31

Knuckle Reef lies about 100 k's out on the Greater Barrier Reef. To get there you board the luxury liner Seaflight with Cruise Whitsundays for a full day of fun activities, great food and wonderful surroundings.
All meals including morning and afternoon tea plus a scrumptious lunch are included in the price. Free tea, coffee, milo and biscuits are available all day.
Some of the free activities on the pontoon are snorkling, reef viewing from a glass bottom boat and a semi submerged vessel. Swimming, sunbathing and there is a fun waterslide as well.
Added extras include skuba diving, helicopter flights and massages.
Seaflight leaves at 8am and returns at 6pm. Free coach transfers to Abel Point Marina from local destinations are also included.
Cost is $199 per person. This may sound expensive but with all food included plus a full days entertainment it is a bargain and not to be missed.

1st Leg of the Tour: Airlie Beach

by RachelSmith

"Airlie Beach"

Ok... just incase you didn't read the Queensland section, in brief, we came here with the parents for a surprise visit. What can i tell you??

Airlie Beach is the typical backpacker resort. Pretty much a main street filled with the obligatory bars, hostels and shops. We of course opted for a lagoon-front villa... which actually turned out to be not so much a villa than a budget motel-type suite. Ah well... we weren't there to stay in the room!!

We had a few options to chose from on seeing the Whitsunday Islands, but being from West Cumbria, we opted for one that concentrated on Whitehaven (for those of you that didn't realise, Whitehaven, England is where i was born and my parents married)... So after a bit of travel-desk research we decided on the Whitehaven Express trip. Well worth the $99. There were a few other options, but this was definitely the right choice. We had a full day out on the boat, stopping at Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach... had a nice BBQ lunch on the beach, then got a chance to snorkel on the fringing reef off one of the other islands. The view from Hill Inlet is absolutely stunning... and i can confirm that this has no resemblance to Whitehaven, Cumbria. I don't know what it was named after, but i would hazard a guess that if it was named by a 'Cumbrian deserter' , he would not be going back home!!! We only had about 20mins to enjoy the view from Hill Inlet, but you could literally look out for hours. Just beautiful (see pic below).

Anyway... as for Airlie... there's really not much to do if you're not part of the drink-every-night crowd... so given the lack of choice, we joined them. There was some rugby match on, so my dad opted for Beaches - an absolutely typical traveller bar... we were probably the only family in there... but my parents can be relatively cool, so we enjoyed it all the same!!! In fact, my mum and Ali went home early, leaving me and my dad with a couple of jugs of alcohol... and while i was in the loo, he proceeded to get chatted up by a drunken Austrian woman!!! All very amusing, but i suppose you'd have to be there.

There's not much else i can tell you about this particular visit, but there will be more on Visit 2!!


This is Whitehaven... and although this picture is pretty amazing, i actually don't think it does any justice.

"More Whitehaven!"

This is the view we had to put up with for 2 hours. Oh such torture!!!!!
Here's a tip that you'll probably hear a million times if you visit... if you have any jewellry, rub it with the sand and it will come up sparkling... something to do with the fineness of the grains... and it does work!!!


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 Portside Whitsunday

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Portside Whitsunday Airlie Beach

Address: 406 Shute Harbour Rd, Airlie Beach, Great Barrier Reef, 4802, Australia