Hundreds of thousands of tourists stay in Airlie Beach accommodation every year. This makes it one Queensland's premier tourist destinations and the mainland hub of the Whitsundays tourist region. Airlie Beach is the hub of the Whitsundays sailing and island resort industries and it is the mainland service center for these. As such, it has to provide accommodation for backpackers both before and after their sailing adventures and other tourists arriving via the Whitsundays airport at Proserpine and on their way to one of the many island resorts in the Whitsunday passage.
Airlie Beach is on the itinerary of practically every backpacker that visits Australia and consequently, there are a number of hostels providing budget accommodation in the Airlie Beach region. At the other end of the scale, Airlie Beach is a tourist destination in its own right and attracts many international tourists who like the up market accommodation that Airlie Beach also provides. The hillsides overlooking the town center and the boat harbours are lined with many apartment style resorts which provide excellent family style apartment accommodation. Both of these two demographics meet in the town center and the village atmosphere is always cosmopolitan with alfresco diners frequenting the many cafes, pubs and restaurants.
Airlie Beach is the departure point for the island resorts and regular ferry services depart from Able Point marina in Airlie beach and the Shute harbour ferry terminal. Regular shuttle services are available to both departure points. The new Port of Airlie marina will also provide a terminal for departing passengers. Because of the compact nature of the Airlie beach area, most Airlie beach accommodation in within walking distance of all these attractions and the heart of the holiday action.
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