Airlie Beach is a port town in Whitsunday Region (North Queensland, Australia), with population around 8,000. Port Airlie (aka Abel Point) is among the departure ports for Coral Sea cruises to Great Barrier Reef. Most regularly scheduled cruise ship calls to Airlie Beach are from Carnival Corporation-owned liners - from the fleets of Carnival Australia, P&O Australia and Princess Cruises.
Airlie Beach as tourism travel destination is extremely popular among backpackers and boaters. As the beach is relatively small and the surrounding waters are teeming with box jellyfish and marine stingers, to provide a swimming zone for visitors, the town council built a medium-sized lagoon (similar to Cairns'). Airlie Beach Lagoon is sized approx 4300 m2 (46300 ft2).
Whitsunday Islands were named by James Cook (1728-1779, British Royal Navy officer and cartographer). He named them in 1770 as he believed his passage through the region was on Whit Sunday (Christian festival day), without taking into account the International Date Line. Each year, local rsidents celebrate The Blessing of Fleet on Whit Sunday (Pentecost Sunday). Town's official between 1936-1987 was just Airlie. Busking (street performances) were legalized in June 2010.
Airlie Beach cruise terminal
Most tour boat cruises from Airlie Beach to Great Barrier Reef (and the all 74x Whitsundays islands) depart from Abell Point Marina, and only a few leave out of Port Airlie. Abell Point Marina has 507 berths (moorings). Cruise ships anchor near the Marina and ferry their passengers ashore via the ship's tender boats.
Abell Point Marina as facilities and amenities offers 3 restaurants (cafe bars), 1 event facility, 300 car parking lots, relaxation areas, newly developed parkland, helipad (helicopter landing area), boat maintenance facilities, services (laundry, showers, toilets, Wifi, car rental, diving, fueling, water and power supply, security, ship chandlery, waste collection).
The nearest airfield is approx 30 km (19 ml) away. Abell Point Marina provides berthing even for superyachts, having 100 fixed moorings for boats with LOA length between 25-70 m (82-230 ft). Marina's max draft is 5 m (16 ft).