Things to do in Airlie Beach with Kids

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Whether you are a local or headed for a holiday on a Airlie Beach road trip, or just looking for what to do in Airlie Beach, we have curated a one stop shop list of things to do in Airlie Beach with kids! And a list it is. Overflowing full of options for all ages, wants and needs. Airlie Beach, Queensland is truly a dream destination for families. We have found water activities, day trips, local beaches, walking adventures, playgrounds and others.

There is much to love about Airlie Beach Australia. The subtropical climate means that the best time to visit Airlie Beach is simply anytime! It is warm year round, just be aware that stinger season occurs during October to May, but a stinger suit will protect you. Read on to see all the activities you can enjoy in this tropical and chill town.

If you chose to fly into Whitsunday Coast Airport, you can get this shuttle into Airlie Beach for only $22.

Aboriginal History of Airlie Beach

Indigenous peoples, who had lived in Airlie Beach for at least 9,000 years and possibly 45,000 years, first came into touch with white settlers in 1770, when Captain James Cook invaded the Whitsundays.

Sailing, he saw two Indigenous peoples on a beach with their bark canoe, reporting “On a sandy beach upon one of the islands we saw two people and a canoe (traditionally the Ngaro people) with an outrigger that appeared to be both larger and differently built than any we had seen on the coast” before continuing on to New South Wales.

Water Activities

Airlie Beach Lagoon

airlie beach with kids

This is one of the best things free things to do in Airlie Beach. Being 200 metres long and 50 metres wide, this lagoon is a great large space to enjoy the water – stinger and sea creature free! The lagoon has a man-made beach and shallow water. Making it perfect for the whole family. It also has plenty of grassy shaded areas to relax. With the local supermarket within walking distance, it’s easy to have an affordable picnic lunch too.

Find more information on the lagoon here


We think this is a fun adventure that belongs on your Airlie Beach things to do list. The Aquaduck is an amphibious bus, where you can explore surroundings by land and water on one vehicle. The tour goes for an hour, which we love as it makes a great activity to fill in time or if you are short on time. The driver/captain and tour guide will commentate on what sights you are seeing too.

Book your Aquaduck adventure here

Stand-Up Paddle and Kayaking

Things to do in Airlie Beach with kids

The water in Airlie Beach is just divine, so we think maximizing the enjoyment of this is important. Stand up paddle boarding and kayaking is a great activity for this! You can do these water activities solo, through a lesson or on a guided tour. This is available at Coral Sea Marina or at the Lagoon Beach. It is fun for older children and adults!

Reserve your board here

Local Beaches in Airlie Beach

Things to do in Airlie Beach with kids

Although the coastline is covered in beautiful beaches, you do need to have water safety in mind when running into the water, especially when it comes to North Queensland. We suggest you be aware of stinger season that runs from October to May, you can hire stinger suits for protection during these months. We also recommend being aware of the tides. But aside from these key points, enjoy the waters is the best Airlie beach activities.

Boathaven Beach

One of the best beaches Airlie Beach activities has to offer. This beach is located in the middle of town. It offers pristine white sand, gorgeous waters and stinger nets.

Hydeaway Bay

This bay is around an hour north of Airlie Beach, making it quite secluded and quiet. But while secluded, it doesn’t lack beauty and certainly worth the drive. Not only does it have amazing white sand, clear sparkling water but it also has views of islands and ofcourse the ocean.

Dingo Beach

The spot to be for snorkeling, and is a nice quiet spot. It has great facilities including a playground, toilets, picnic benches and local pub, cafes and shops nearby. This beach is very close to Hydeaway Bay, so you can combine these two for a fun filled day on the water.

Cannonvale Beach

This beach is great for those on the hunt for beaches near Airlie Beach. It’s about 3km out of town, you can get here by driving or perhaps by walking along the Bicentennial Walkway. It is a small beach, but it has a stinger net and BBQ facilities.

Day Trips

Whitsundays | Whitehaven Beach

This is one of the absolutes must places to visit near Airlie Beach. Whitsundays with kids is a memory that must be made. Whitehaven Beach is located on Whitsunday Island. It has the whitest sand in the world and immaculate clear water. There are lots of experiences on offer and ways to enjoy this place, we have listed some of the options in this section below. We can’t stress enough that this is one of the top things to do in Airlie Beach.

Be sure when visiting Whitehaven Beach that you head to the northern end where you will find Hill inlet, a lookout that oversees where the tides shift to create whirlpools of colour between the sand and water. We love that it’s an easy 15 minute walk too, short enough that the kids won’t even have time to complain!

View the Whitsundays from the sky with a 2.5 hour helicopter flight or a 60 minute scenic flight. You can also experience it from the sand by booking a day trip to the Whitehaven Beach club.

Ocean Rafting

Things to do in Airlie Beach with kids

This is one for adrenaline lovers. Being aboard the high-speed rafts means you get from beach to beach in no time at all. They offer day tours where you enjoy the thrill of the ride, but also a visit to Whitehaven Beach, a guided tour and stopping at various snorkeling spots.

Book your tickets to Ocean Rafting here

Whitsundays 60 Minute Scenic Flight

The scenic flight package includes an hour of flying high above the stunning Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef. It’s one of the most popular flying options, and it’s easy to see why once you’re in the air. The views include Shute Harbour, Hamilton Island, Daydream Island, Hook Island, the Great Barrier Reef’s Heart Reef and Hook Reef, as well as Whitehaven Beach,

Australia’s number one beach and one of the world’s most popular, and Hill Inlet, which has pure white sands and crystal clear, aqua waters. This picturesque flight takes in all of the region’s must-see sights and is a really remarkable experience.

Book your flight here.

Thundercat Adventure

Things to do in Airlie Beach with kids

Another adrenaline lover activity! Red Cat Adventures offers a day experience aboard the Thundercat that will have you riding around on a speedboat. The tour includes snorkeling in the best spots, a guided walk and tour of Hills Inlet and time at Whitehaven Beach.

Secure your spot for a day aboard a speedboat here

Camira Sailing

This is a catamaran sailing experience that offers a full day tour to Whitehaven Beach. You will sail around the beautiful islands, hike to a lookout, relax and ofcourse snorkel. It is all inclusive with morning and afternoon tea, lunch, drinks and full equipment hire.

Book your full day sailing experience here

Great Barrier Reef

Snorkel tour

One of the best things to do in Whitsundays for families is to head out on a tour of the Great Barrier Reef. There are many companies offering a variety of tour options, where you can cruise around the islands and experience the reef. The kids will talk for years of the vibrancy of the coral and the marine life that they will witness.

Lock in your cruise along the Great Barrier Reef here

Hamilton Island

This popular island location is a treasure trove for beautiful beaches, exotic marine life and abundant flora and fauna. There are plenty of activities on the island like swimming, bushwalks, water sports, mini golf, snorkeling and much more. It’s a great location for a day trip, or if you can fit it in the budget and itinerary, stay for a few days!

Find out more information on Hamilton Island here

Airlie Beach walks

Airlie Beach Bicentennial Walkway

This is one of the activities to do in Airlie Beach that costs absolutely nothing but a bit of sweat. It’s around 3.5km long and is a waterfront walk that allows you to have uninterrupted coastal views of the Whitsunday region. It takes around 45 minutes to do, but you can extend this if you stop and enjoy some of the many bars, restaurants and cafes along the way. This walk begins near the Lagoon and ends at Cannonvale Beach. We think it’s important to note that there are a few stairs which makes it not very pram friendly, perhaps not a very toddler friendly activity.

Airlie Creek Track

This 1.7km return tack winds up the hill where you can enjoy lush native greenery, plants and a range of animals. We recommend allowing about an hour to do the full track.

Honeyeater Lookout

This lookout is one of the places to see in Airlie Beach. It is 8km return, ensure you are warmed up and well prepared with water and snacks. Worth the hike, as it offers amazing views across the whole town.

Conway Circuit Great Walk

This is a longer trek, being a 28km walking track. The track is overflowing with amounts of rainforest and sneaky beaches. You will need to allocate about 9 hours to complete the track. There are campsites on the way if you wanted to turn it into a full on adventure. You can do smaller portions of the walk, like The Honeyeater listed above.

Cedar Creek Falls

As far as Airlie beach sightseeing goes, we think Cedar Creek Falls definitely belongs on that list. It is a 30 minute drive from the town and a lovely drive at that. This freshwater swimming hole and waterfall is a beautiful place to cool off. From the car park to the falls is only a short walk, making it nice and accessible for the family.

Book an all-inclusive day tour of Cedar Creek falls here


Airlie Beach Foreshore Playground

airlie beach with kids

Brimming with activities, Airlie Beach with kids is truly a joy and it just gets better with this gem. At the end of foreshore you will find an unreal playground. A playground that is for all ages and ability levels. It is brimming with huge slides, climbing structures, nets, bridges, swings and a smaller structure suited for the little ones. You will see and experience 6.3 million dollars of state of the art playground brilliance. An absolute must Airlie Beach to do with the kids!

Other fun kids activities in Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach Markets

For those looking for what to do in Airlie Beach with the family, the Airlie Beach Markets are a must visit. It is overflowing with local arts and fresh produce, a perfect place to get some souvenirs and enjoy the outdoor coastal vibe of the town. Enjoy some Airlie Beach Entertainment with live music too.

Click here to find out more information on the Airlie Beach Markets

Tuk Tuk Tours

Things to do in Airlie Beach with kids

This is a great way to explore the town for those who want to save their feet for all the other adventures. They adventure along the Bicentennial boardwalk and through the township, all while the driver will guide the tour with commentary.

Plan your Tuk Tuk experience here

Bredl’s Wild Farm

When searching Airlie Beach what to do, you can’t go pass an animal experience. Animals always provide such joy, which is why we love this one of the things to do in Airlie Beach with the family. The kids will love the koalas, snakes and crocodiles, and will enjoy the education of different Australian animals.

Check out Bredl’s Wild Farm

Whitsunday Crocodile Safari

With so many activities Airlie Beach has to offer, don’t look past a crocodile safari experience. There are tours along the Proserpine River where you can hunt for crocodiles as well as other birds and marine animals. This is a guided tour as well so the whole family will enjoy learning facts about the wildlife.

Check out the awesome crocodile experiences here

Whitsunday Gold Coffee

Coffee lovers gather around, on your search for Airlie Beach things to do, this is a must! This location is home to one of Australia’s largest coffee plantation. Surrounded by 140,000 arabica coffee trees, you can enjoy a tranquil and very fresh cup of coffee. They also have an indoor kids play area with a playground and rides.

Plan your visit to fresh coffee heaven here

Places to eat with kids in Airlie Beach

The Deck Airlie Beach

The Deck in Airlie Beach is a relaxed venue serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, meat and seafood, burgers, pizza and coffee. Perfect for families looking for a quick bite or a meal to sit down to, this is certainly not a place to miss when you’re in Airlie Beach.

Website: Click here

Address: 277 Shute Harbour Rd, Airlie Beach QLD 4802

Beagles Pizza

Beagles Pizza in Airlie Beach serves BBQ ribs and pies with gourmet toppings. The restaurant is easy-going with outdoor tables. We recommend checking this out when you’re in the area, as it will not disappoint.

Website: Click here

Address: 4/293 Shute Harbour Rd, Airlie Beach QLD 4802

Jubilee Tavern Airlie Beach

The Jubilee Tavern in Airlie Beach serves steak, chicken schnitzel, pasta, seafood, fish and chips, sandwiches, vegetarian options and much more.

Website: Click here

Address: Shute Harbour Rd &, Loop Rd, Airlie Beach QLD 4802

Family accommodation Airlie Beach

Things to do in Airlie Beach with kids

This idyllic coastal town has plenty of family accommodation Airlie Beach options. With a quick online search, you can find lots of Airlie Beach resorts for families. From standard to luxury style, with options for all kinds of budgets, there is no shortage on Airlie Beach family resorts.

Affordable accommodation Airlie Beach

Whitsundays BNB Retreat

Offering a barbecue and hot tub, Whitsundays BNB Retreat is set in Jubilee Pocket, 6 minutes’ drive from Airlie Beach and 2.3 km from Abell Point Marina. Free private parking is available on site. Each room comes with a flat-screen TV. Certain units have a seating area for your convenience. A balcony or patio are featured in certain rooms. There is also free WiFi on the property.

Book your room for Whitsundays BNB Retreat here

Reef Gateway Hotel

Reef Gateway Hotel is located at Airlie Beach, 2.9 km from Cannonvale Beach, and features a restaurant, free private parking, a bar, and a casino. This facility has an ATM as well as a children’s playground for guests. Evening entertainment and room service are available at the hotel.

Air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a shower, complimentary amenities, and a wardrobe are provided in the guest rooms. Each unit has a private bathroom, a hairdryer, and bed linen.

Book your room at Reef Gateway Hotel here

Mid-Ranged accommodation Airlie Beach

Mantra Club Croc

Club Croc Hotel Airlie Beach is conveniently located on Shute Harbour Road, just a short walk from Whitsunday Shopping Centre and a 5-minute drive from the main street. It has a traditional Queenslander appearance with modern furnishings and comforts. The rooms have views of the garden, pool, or ocean.

The hotel has limited free WiFi per 24 hours (more access is offered for a fee), a 24-hour desk, complimentary car parking, a beautiful lagoon pool and spa, nearby BBQ facilities, and a fitness facility.

Book your room for Mantra Club Croc here

Mango House Resort

Mango House Resort is a 5-minute drive from Shute Harbour and offers self-contained accommodation with an own balcony overlooking the pool and grounds. It provides complimentary internet access.

All air-conditioned units come with their own washer and dryer, as well as a fully-equipped kitchenette or kitchen with a microwave and refrigerator. Each apartment features a large seating space with a conventional television.

Guests can dine at the barbeque area. The tour desk may make recommendations for local sites and assist travellers with travel arrangements. Jubilee Tavern is directly across the street and serves lunch and dinner.

Mango House Resort is located in Conway National Park, about a 25-minute walk from Airlie Beach. Proserpine Airport is 35 minutes distant by car.

Book your stay at Mango House Resort here

Luxury accommodation Airlie Beach

Coral Sea Marina Resort

Coral Sea Marina Resort, located on the absolute waterfront and just a short walk from Airlie Beach village, provides a calm atmosphere for both business and pleasure guests. The outdoor pool, restaurant, reception, lobby, and all common spaces of the resort will be restored in late 2019.

The hotel accommodations include premium suites and flats. The majority of the accommodations have excellent ocean views, and all rooms are serviced daily.

The Coral Sea Marina is a short walk down the waterfront promenade and is home to super yachts as well as a variety of tours and activities that provide access to the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef.

Book your room at Coral Sea Marina Resort Here

Airlie Beach Hotel

Airlie Beach Hotel offers completely air-conditioned accommodation in the heart of Airlie Beach town centre, with an outdoor swimming pool and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Each room at Hotel Airlie Beach has an LCD TV, a mini-fridge, and an en suite bathroom with a shower, a bath, and a hairdryer. The private balcony has outdoor seats and views of the city or the sea.

Abel Point Marina, from where snorkelling, diving, fishing, and sailing trips depart, is a 3-minute drive from Airlie Beach Hotel. Airlie Beach Lagoon is 300 metres distant. Day trips to Whitehaven Beach can be arranged through the tour desk. There is free safe undercover parking.

Book your room at Airlie Beach Hotel here

Airlie Beach with Kids

So what to do at Airlie Beach? Well now you have an abundance of ideas and activities when you hit Airlie beach with kids. There is so much to do on Airlie Beach for kids – with water and land experiences aplenty. From Airlie Beach walks, to water activities, to island hopping, to the indoor and outdoor adventures, there is more than enough fun for everyone.

We would love to know what you think the best things to do in Airlie Beach are!

Looking for more things to do in Queensland with kids?

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Alex Mergler

Alex has been writing for his mum's website since he was 10 years old and now he runs his own website, Get Out with Kids. He attends high school and works part time at McDonald's. Born in the UK but growing up in Australia he has a passion for travel, and has visited more than 25 countries. He has a Cert III in Hospitality and holds the Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate. With this background he is well qualified to write the website's restaurant reviews and travel articles. When he grows up he aims to be a pilot and is currently studying for his Recreational Pilot License.

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