Explore Hiking Around Airlie Beach: Scenic Trails and Outdoor Adventures

Looking to break a sweat while enjoying breathtaking views during your stay in Airlie Beach? You're in luck! Airlie Beach offers several hikes within walking distance of your accommodation. Here’s our guide to the best hikes around Airlie Beach that you can access without a car.

Honeyeater Lookout

Type: Out and back (return walk) 
Total Distance: 7.5 km 
Time: Allow a minimum of 2 hours 
Difficulty: Hard 
Elevation Gain: 364 meters

How to Get There: The Honeyeater track starts about a 15-minute walk from the heart of Airlie Beach on Kara Crescent. Head to the end of Kara Crescent and turn left onto the gravel private road. After a few steps, you'll see a prominent wooden staircase on your right, marking the trail's beginning.

Before You Start Your Hike: Consider the time of day, especially in the summer. Although the track is shaded, avoid hiking in the peak heat of summer days; opt for an early morning trek instead. Wear sturdy shoes, bring plenty of water, and don’t forget your camera. If you want to make a day of it, pack a little picnic to enjoy at the top. Pause at the information post at the trail's entrance to get your bearings and understand the route ahead. About 2.2 km into the trail, you'll need to make a turn to reach the lookout point, so it's good to be prepared from the start.

What to Expect: Prepare for a challenging climb on the way up, as the track involves ascending to the peak and descending on the return journey. If you feel like giving up halfway, remember to keep pushing – the incline eases up a bit in the second half of the climb. The trail is a blend of dirt and rock, winding through the breathtaking rainforest of Conway National Park. You'll be greeted by a lush canopy teeming with birdlife, so take some time to catch your breath and soak in the surroundings. After a 4 km uphill battle, you'll reach a clearing and lookout at the mountain's saddle – congratulations, you've reached your destination! Rest on the wooden bench, savoring panoramic views of the lush mountains, the turquoise waters of the Whitsundays, distant islands, and Cannonvale below. When it's time to head back down, return the way you came, remembering to take it slow – the track can be slippery, especially in wetter seasons.

Airlie Creek Track

Type: Out and back (return walk) 
Total Distance: 1.9 km 
Time:1 hour 
Grade: 1-4 
Difficulty: Moderate 
Elevation Gain: 81 meters

How to Get There: The Airlie Creek Track begins about a 10-minute walk from the heart of Airlie Beach on Waterson Way. To start the trail, head to Waterson Way where you’ll find the car park and signpost near the roundabout behind Woolworths.

Before You Start Your Hike: Make sure to fill up your water bottle, put on a hat and sunscreen, and consider using bug spray, as mosquitoes can be a problem near the creek. It's important to consider the time of day, especially during the summer months from December to February. Although the track is fairly shaded, the heat and humidity during the middle of the day can make walks much less enjoyable.

What to Expect: The track winds its way up through the bushland behind Airlie Beach, starting with a very easy incline that gradually increases as you go. The path takes you through a forest of subtropical plants, with a variety of birds chirping above. Look out for the rare Whitsunday Bottle Trees and the endangered Proserpine Rock Wallaby during your hike, both of which are unique to the Whitsundays region! The best time to take on this hike is after rain when the creek comes to life. However, even during the drier months, you’ll still find a beautiful trail accessible to most fitness levels.

Bicentennial Boardwalk

Type: Out and back (return walk) 
Total Distance: 7.7 km 
Time:Allow a minimum of 2 hours 
Difficulty: Easy 
Elevation Gain: 92 meters

How to Get There: The Bicentennial Boardwalk is accessible from either end, starting at the Airlie Beach Lagoon or Cannonvale Beach near the Fat Frog Cafe. You can join the pathway at any point along the way, making it easy to enjoy a scenic stroll without committing to the entire route.

Before You Start Your Hike: This walk passes numerous cafes, restaurants, bars, toilets, and water fountains, so minimal preparation is needed. We recommend applying sunscreen and wearing a hat, as there is limited shade along the track. Additionally, consider the time of day, especially during the hot summer months. The walk is particularly stunning in the early morning or late afternoon.

What to Expect: The Bicentennial Boardwalk offers a scenic and leisurely walk perfect for all fitness levels. The path winds along the stunning coastline, providing picturesque views of the Coral Sea and the Whitsunday Islands. Starting from the Airlie Beach Lagoon, the boardwalk takes you past the Coral Sea Marina, where you can admire the yachts in the area. As you stroll, you'll find several spots ideal for taking breaks, snapping photos, or simply enjoying the views. The walkway is well-paved and mostly flat, making it accessible for families, strollers, and even wheelchairs. Keep an eye out for turtles and dugongs in the area, as they are frequently spotted.

Local Tip:If you make it all the way to Cannonvale Beach and your legs are tired, you can either turn around and head back or walk a short distance to the nearby bus stop on Shute Harbour Road. There's a bi-hourly bus service that can bring you back to town.

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