Our original plan for Airlie Beach was to be here from the 17th of July 22 until the 21st of July 22, but things don’t always go to plan. On the day we arrived we were notified that our Heron island trip was cancelled, as the ferry was unable to run due to poor weather. That left us with 3 nights with no accommodation and no plans.
So we had a decision to make. Do we stay around Airlie Beach longer or head south a bit? We checked out the weather and the decision was easy. The weather looked perfect in Airlie Beach for those extra days and there were storms further south. This seemed like a blessing in disguise to us as we were able to stay where the sun was shining.
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Stay in Airlie Beach
Due to the change in plans, we ended up needing to stay in two separate accommodations. We were really lucky to actually get two different perspectives.
What we loved
The balcony and the view from this accommodation were hands down our favourite parts. We spent a lot of time hanging out on the outdoor couch and enjoying the view. The balcony had a large comfortable couch, a high bar style table, and a large BBQ. We used the BBQ to cook some burgers and some chicken skewers and it was great to have a decent BBQ.
Are you seeing a theme here with our accommodations? We don’t have a bath at home so we try to pick accommodations with a bath when we travel. Again, the bath was freestanding and this one even had a great view of Airlie Beach.
This accommodation had allocated parking right out the front. The location of this AirBnB is really best if you have a car. It is high up, which means it is an uphill walk from town. So we were thankful to have a parking spot right out the front. We have also been travelling with a lot of stuff, so having the car close has been ideal.
What we loved
The Penisula was located right on the marina. This meant we were able to walk out of the apartment and easily walk to the marina and into Airlie Beach along a lovely flat pathed walkway. We liked this location better than the first place because of the fact we felt more comfortable walking places. I was able to walk to the Park Run on Saturday, which was a nice change.
If you don’t have a car, this is a much better location than up the hill.
The King Bed
At home, our bed is a king-size bed and when we travel we really notice when the accommodation has a queen bed. We loved the space we had in this bed and the bed itself was also really comfortable. It was also well styled and had a bedside table and lamp on each side. It is surprising how many places we stay will only have a bedside table on one side. I also give bonus points when there are power points on both sides and they are easily accessible like they were here. We always each have our phone and watch chargers, so this is really important for ease.
While this balcony was set up quite differently from the other Airlie Beach accommodation, we still really loved spending time out here. We definitely prefered the couch on the first accommodation, but we did find we used the table and chairs here a lot. We ate all our meals out here and Erika did some work on her computer too. The view and the weather were both so spectacular we couldn’t help ourselves.
We usually stay in AirBnB’s where you have self-check-in, so when we checked in to The Peninsula we were a little bit surprised with the personal check-in. The Peninsula is managed by a couple, Francine and Paul. Erika got an excellent run down at the reception desk and then Paul guided us to our parking spot and came up and gave us a tour. The TV set-up was new, so he showed us how to use it. Both of them were very helpful.
Of the two places we stayed, we would choose to stay at The Peninsula again. The location was the main factor in this decision. Being able to exercise and walk to cafes etc was the big difference between the two places.
Erika found The Fat Frog while doing some research because they used one of her favourite coffee brands Campos. I think we went here every day during our time in Airlie Beach, mostly just for Erika’s morning coffee. We did have brunch there one day and it was really delicious. The pulled beef served with my eggs Benedict was some of the best I have ever had.
My Rainbow Bakery Cafe was located across from the Coral Sea Marina. We decided to head there for breakfast and we walked down from The Peninsula accommodation and were able to get a table with a view of the marina. We ordered the Mediterranean flat bread and the croissant eggs benedict. Both were absolutely delicious. Well, I guess you can’t go wrong putting eggs benedict on a croissant, can you?
We stumbled across Alley Cat after our Whitehaven beach tour. We just wanted to order something online and pick it up on our way home from the marina. We ordered a fried chicken katsu don with curry sauce, mushroom bao, fried chicken bao and gyoza. We loved all of the dishes so much that we ordered them a second time. We really love bao but as it has become popular we have felt the price has gotten too high. This was excellent value for money for 2 bao at $12.90. If you are in Airlie Beach make sure you get dinner from Alley Cat at least once.
After a lot of research and discussion around what type of tour we would like to do from Airlie Beach, we booked the Cruise Whitsundays half day Whitehaven beach tour for the 18th of July 2022. The boat went over to Hamilton Island, where we swapped boats before we headed over to Whitehaven Beach. Whitehaven Beach is famous for its fine white silica sand and turquoise water.
We loved our time on Whitehaven Beach. It was the moment we really felt like we were on holiday. When the boat arrived, it pulled right up on the sand and dropped a platform down from the back and easily walked off the boat onto the squeaky white sand. We had 2 hours of free time on Whitehaven Beach and spent that time mostly laying on our beach towels, reading and listening to the gentle lapping of the waves. It was so relaxing. We never felt rushed as the two hours were a perfect amount of time.
Whitehaven Beach is one of the must-do things while in Airlie beach. We would also recommend you head out to the reef if you have never been before. We had been to the reef on other trips to North Queensland and that was why we decided not to do a reef trip this time.
We always love to find markets when we travel. It is a great way to support the local community and find some real treasures. We headed to the Airlie Beach markets on Saturday for a wander around and to see if we could find some breakfast. I found the Airlie pies van. I had seen this on the side of the road in Cannonvale several times during our stay and I knew I wanted to try one of their sausage rolls. Erika found the Bowen mango sorbet. We had some when we drove through Bown on our way to Airlie beach and we loved it so much. It is just pureed mango and as it was not mango season it was the best way to get a mango fix.
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
A couple of years ago we bought an inflatable stand up paddle board. We are still getting our confidence with it, so we wanted to bring it with us on this trip. We love the fact that we can easily transport it around in our small SUV. Even with everything we bought with us on this trip, we were about to fit the SUP in.
We were keen to get the SUP out when we got to Airlie Beach. On the way into Airlie beach, we saw signs to Hideaway Bay. So we headed there with the SUP and after deciding it was a bit choppy for the SUP we went over to nearby Dingo Beach. After 4 failed attempts at pumping up the board, we figured it out and I headed out. I hadn’t done it in a while so I had lost the confidence to stand up.
Once we moved to The Peninsula I was able to pump up the board and take it down to Shingley’s beach. I was able to walk it down from there and Erika could watch me from the balcony. I definitely gained more confidence this time and even tried to stand up.
Let us know in the comments below your favourite places to eat and things to do in Airlie Beach.