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The Great Barrier Reef is also just 47 nautical miles from the stunning Whitsunday Islands. Airlie Beach is the heart of Whitsunday Coast and the main shops and facilities can be found along Shute Harbour Road which is just a few metres from the beach.
Bowen, which is further along the coast, is a fruit picking area and a cool place to try a local mango!
Airlie Beach is a lively town with the marina and beach attracting an increasing number of new visitors every year. Known as a backpacker paradise with its tropical climate and ambience, this resort area is not to be missed. The area is nowadays not only frequented by backpackers, but there has also been an influx in family, corporate and “upmarket” clientele.
Whitehaven Beach, not far away, is said to be one of the most photographed beaches in the world, with its 7 kilometres of fine white silica sand.
For those who like swimming, Airlie Beach Lagoon is the place. Walkers will enjoy the Great Whitsunday Walk, which is 30 km of walking trails in Conway State Forest with the backdrop of the Coral Sea. Bowen has several historical buildings including an Art Deco Post Office and Courthouse. It is one of those undiscovered places and just a 40 minute drive from Airlie Beach.
There are eight award winning beaches and local growers produce a huge amount of salad vegetables plus the famous Bowen mango. When travelling along the motorway, do not make the mistake to ignore the signs on Bruce Highway which signals the turn off to Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays. This is a stop that is not to be missed and may very well be one of the best vacations you can ever have.