Airlie Beach:

where to eat, play and stay

Meghan Loneragan at  @mantrahotels , via  @citizensoftheworld  

Meghan Loneragan at @mantrahotels, via @citizensoftheworld 

If you're heading to the Whitsundays anytime soon, this travel guide I wrote for Citizens of the World will probably come in handy.


If you love that "I've just stepped into a postcard" feeling when you're on holiday, it might be time to head north to Airlie Beach. Sitting pretty in the centre of the Whitsundays, this picture-perfect resort town runs on a default leisure setting.

From the pristine waters to the lush rainforests, and all the Insta-worthy natural wonders in between, Airlie Beach offers a unique style of meditative adventure. The kind of getaway that your whole being will thank you for, from your mind to your body and most definitely your spirit.

EAT

La Marina Italian
1/33 Port Drive, Airlie Beach

Featuring breathtaking views to the Port of Airlie, La Marina serves up the perfect fusion of traditional and modern Italian cuisine. Relax among the restaurant’s chic décor as your hosts prepare gourmet pizzas, pastas, pork sausages and homemade meatballs, featuring the best local seafood, meats and fresh ingredients.

Hemingway’s
60 Shingley Drive, Airlie Beach

Enjoy your food locally-sourced with a side of sunset at Hemingway’s, a first class dining experience situated at Abell Point Marina, offering unforgettable waterfront views. Serving modern Australian cuisine, this Airlie Beach haunt is the ideal spot for a long lunch, lavish dinner or cocktails with friends.

Walter’s Lounge
Port of Airlie, F8/33 Port Drive, Airlie Beach

If flirting with the sea breeze while sipping cocktails before dinner sounds like something you’d be into, head to Walter’s Lounge. Sitting pretty on Port Drive, this restaurant offers both indoor and alfresco seating boasting views of sand and sea. Serving up European-inspired cuisine alongside an impressive wine list that boasts bottles from around the world—yes please— this classy bar is in the business of making sure you have a deliciously good time.

PLAY 

Cruise Whitsundays
24 The Cove Road, Port of Airlie, QLD, 4802

Not only does taking a cruise feel undeniably glamorous, it’s also the best way to explore Airlie Beach and its breathtaking surrounds. For an open water odyssey that’ll introduce you to the region’s awe-inspiring icons, Cruise
Whitsundays offer a range of tours including the ultimate outer Great Barrier Reef Adventures trip, and a half-day voyage to Whitehaven Beach.

But you don’t have to wait until your toes touch the sand to unwind in style, with Cruise Whitsundays the relaxation begins the moment you’re aboard. For trips to the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach, all vessels offer spacious air-conditioned lounges, large outer viewing decks and bars serving refreshments. In case that wasn’t enticing enough, cruises also provide a sumptuous (and seasonal) buffet lunch, catered by Fish D’Vine, one of Airlie Beach’s leading restaurants.

STAY

The Boathouse
33 Port Drive, Port of Airlie, QLD, 4802

Whether you’re heading to Airlie Beach to swim, sail, wine and dine, sight see—or all of the above—a stay at Mantra Boathouse Apartments will place you at the gateway to the Whitsundays and all it has to offer. Providing contemporary, chic two and three bedroom apartments on the Port of Airlie Marina, The Boathouse offers onsite facilities including a swimming pool, tennis court, BBQ area and children’s playground, ideal if you’re travelling with little citizens in tow. When you’re done working on your holiday glow at The Boathouse’s sundeck, you can take a stroll to the prominent Airlie Beach Esplanade, where an array of restaurants, bars and shops await.


This article was first published on Citizens of the World.