Start your morning with breakfast at Fat Frog Beach Cafe. A favourite with both visitors and locals, Fat Frog has a perfect waterfront location in Airlie Beach. Breakfast dishes include the Green Frog with pea, broadbean and mint fritters; and the Fat Frog with bacon, chorizo, steak, poached eggs and sweet potato wedges. It also has menu options for kids and even the family pet. They truly treat everyone like family at Fat Frog Beach Cafe.
Work off your breakfast at Conway National Park, which is home a variety of landscapes, including private beaches, tropical rainforest, open forest and mangroves. Two easy trails to explore from the national park’s day use area include the Coastal Fringe Circuit and Hayward Gully. But if you have some bushwalking experience, check out the 5.4-kilometre (3.4-mile) Mt Rooper Circuit, which has amazing views of the Whitsunday Passage and islands.
Head back to Airlie Beach’s main street for lunch at The Deck Restaurant & Bar. A relatively new establishment, it’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. It serves pizzas from 11am until late. The pizza menu features combinations like prawn and chorizo, balsamic-glazed chicken and North African vegetarian. The lunch menu also includes popular dishes like fish and chips, and mediterranean pasta.
Spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the best of Airlie Beach. Wander the main street, with its many independent and chain store clothing boutiques. Then relax at the Airlie Beach Lagoon, which is a free self-chlorinating lagoon. There are three different pools for toddlers, children and adults wanting to swim laps. The lagoon is surrounded by picnic tables, with ocean views and open grassed spaces as well. If you prefer ocean swimming, visit Boathaven Beach.
Fish D’Vine proclaim that they’re a must do experience in Airlie Beach, as they serve the ‘Whitsundays on a plate’. Their signature dish is called the Seafood Indulgence, which is a feast for two or more people. It’s a two-tier tower that’s overflowing with hot and cold seafood, including tiger prawns, Tasmanian smoked salmon and scallops. The Rum Bar also aims to serve the best mojitos outside of Cuba and stocks over 560 rums from around the world. If you want to keep the party going, Magnums has been Airlie Beach’s #1 party bar for over a decade.
For your second morning in Airlie Beach, head to Village Cafe Restaurant & Bar for breakfast (or brunch if you partied at Magnums the night before). All the best breakfast dishes are served here, including a big breakfast, pancakes with a blueberry compote, French toast with cinnamon sugar and maple syrup, and eggs benedict.
Now it’s time to do a day trip from Airlie Beach and explore the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday islands. Cruise Whitsundays is a reputable eco-certified tourism operator that offers both Great Barrier Reef day trips and ferry transfers to Hamilton Island.
The day trip includes a visit to their Heart Pontoon on Hardy Reef.
Here you can snorkel, do a certified dive, spot marine life in the underwater observatory or semi-submersible, or relax on the sun deck. Alternatively, do a scenic flight to see the infamous Heart Reef from the air.
Another option is doing a day trip to award-winning Whitehaven Beach. Its pure white silica sand and Coral Sea turquoise waters are world famous. The beach stretches for seven kilometres (4.3 miles). Whitehaven Beach is located on Whitsunday Island, which is coincidentally the largest of the Whitsunday islands. While visiting the beach, make sure you check out the views from Hill Inlet.
Located poolside at the luxurious Coral Sea Resort, celebrate your last night in Airlie Beach at the award-winning Clipper Restaurant, Bar & Lounge. There’s a five-course tasting menu available, which comes with or without paired wines. The dinner menu also includes a lot of seafood and meat options, including a 48-hour braised beef short rib, beetroot-cured salmon gravlax and king fish ceviche.