Imagine waking up from a nap in your balcony hammock to a view of crystal clear aquamarine ocean as far as the eyes can see. The sound of palm trees swaying in a tropical breeze and the ocean lapping below. You are staying at Coral Sea Resort in Airlie Beach. This is my favourite holiday destination to explore the Whitsundays.
Airlie Beach is the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. A small but rapidly expanding tourist town in sub-tropical Queensland (Latitude 20 15.5S Longitude 148 43.2E), about the same distance from the equator as Hawaii. The weather includes a rainy season (January to March). The number of rainy days is in the order of 80-100, fewer than most capitals in Australia, with only a few days of rain a month from May through to November. You should note official weather bureau figures typically come from Hamilton Island (which is offshore and not typical). Daily maximum temperatures peak just below 32 (Celsius) in November through March, with maximums in June and July around 25. Minimums are around 24 in the hot season, dropping down to around 15 during winter. It rarely gets cold. Its easy to get there. If staying at Coral Sea Resort Airlie Beach you can either fly 2 hours from Sydney straight to Hamilton Island with Virgin or Jetstar then a nice 40 minute Cruise Whitsundays ferry transfer to Able Point Marina – click here for timetable and costs or you can fly from Sydney to Whitsunday coast (Proserpine) via Brisbane then a 20 minute shuttle bus straight to your resort. Also the budget airline, Tiger airways is now doing direct flights to Prosperine. Airlie Beach is an ideal base to enjoy a vast array of activities such as, Sailing, Fishing, Stand up Paddle Boarding, Jet-skiing, Paragliding and Fishing to name a few. It’s a favourite town of course for backpackers as it’s considered to have the best options on scuba diving for those on a budget. But it also offers pure luxury options if you are in the market to enjoy holidaying in style. The truly sensational way to see such plethoric beauty in the Whitsundays is Sailing around the islands on a private chartered crewed yacht or crewing your own. Other day trips such as heading to the Great Barrier Reef Pontoon for snorkeling and scuba diving, Ocean Rafting day trip, Scenic Helicopter flights over the Whitsunday islands and Great Barrier Reef as well as drops offs for picnics at one of the world’s most stunning locations, Whitehaven beach. There are also Tours through the bush to Cedar Falls, Crocodile Tours up the Prosperpine river ,home of at least 200 Crocodiles. Failing that and you would like just to walk, why not try the Bicentennial walkway. You can start at the Whitsunday Sailing Club head along the foreshore past the Lagoon area and town, up the boardwalk to Coral Sea Resort, all the while taking in the breathtaking ocean views of the bay and out to the islands. Its a must, to stop by at Coral Sea Resort bar for a light refreshment or even one of their trade mark Cocktails and rest by the pool. When feeling hydrated, head on further to Able Point Marina, home to some stunning Luxury Super Yachts. From the Marina it’s a nice stroll past Shingley Beach and Whisper Bay luxury units. The path continues onto Cannonvale Beach where if you are lucky can spot some Turtles bobbing their heads up and down. Take a swim at Cannonvale Beach before heading back the same way or you can always take a short bus trip back. The trip is around 4 kms walk each way so take water bottles and good walking shoes. It does get very humid in the tropics and it is essential you drink a lot of water throughout the day especially if its your first visit to the tropics. If you don’t you may find yourself feeling poorly from dehydration and unable to do much but stay in your air conditioned room! I have been to the Airlie Beach at least 30 times in the last 17 years. Yes you could say I’m a devoted fan!! One of my favourite visits was when it was the Whitsunday Race week commencing usually around the first week of August . If you love Sailing especially racing, this is the time to visit. Or if you don’t race then arrive a the end of that week and jump on board a yacht for the Great Whitsunday Fun Race. I am very fortunate that my father owns a lovely old 56ft Timber Ketch which is anchored just off Coral Sea Resort . We loaded up with refreshments (of course plenty of alcohol ha) and platters of sandwiches, cheese & fruit. Lots of friends came on board, approx 25 of us. Our two Captains Dave and Joe who are excellent sailors took us out for what would be a very memorable and fun day out. After the full day sailing and fun racing, the party continues at the Whitsunday Sailing club outside with Live Bands and a couple of hundred people danced the night away. Needless to say several sore heads the next morning!
But of course we had the luxury of resting by the pool at Coral Sea for the day of doing not much but swimming, tanning, massages booked through the resort in its private massage room ah yes just heaven and of course early afternoon cocktails again before enjoying a delicious mouth watering feast of seafood from the menu, if you click here you can see a sample of what they offer. Tantalising yes? There is so much more I can tell you here but I think it would take too long!!! For starters why not check out www.coralsearesort.com for accommodation and you can book all your day trips through the resort tour shop, make life easy and enjoy what I guarantee to be one of your most memorable holidays!