:: CRUISERS NOTES ::
GREAT BARRIER REEF
Airlie Beach is a relaxed sea-side town known as the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. For cruisers, Airlie is a great stop when traveling north for the season to take a break, shop to send presents home, provision – and organise maintenance and repairs.
There are numerous sea-side eateries from which to satiate the senses whilst enjoying the superb ocean views – along with the recently refurbished ‘Lagoon’ sea-side pool in which to chill and unwind.
The Conway National Park hosts the refreshing Cedar Creek Falls – and just up the back of the township itself there are many bush walks, such as the ‘Honey Eaters Track’ to stretch the legs and take in the magnificent views.
There are a plethora of touristy rides and events – and if you’ve timed it right you can experience one of the many Festivals, Race Week or the famous Shag Islet Cruisers Rendezvous!
100 Magic Miles – of the Great Barrier Reef and The Whitsunday Islands
Author: David Colfelt
Airlie Beach hosts two excellent marinas if you need to go into them, however anchoring out front in Pioneer Bay is convenient and easy with a dinghy dock provided at the yacht club.
PORT OF AIRLIE:
Airlie Beach’s newest marina also hosts the Cruise Whitundays Terminal, a variety of excellent restaurants (we love Walters Lounge!), retail shops, berths and fuel jetty. It’s an easy 5-minute walk into the heart of Airlie – where you can provision from Woolworths, Chemists and peruse a plethora of shops.
ABEL POINT MARINA:
Located over the hill from Airlie township itself Abel Point Marina is a good 30-minute stroll around ‘The Boardwalk’ back into town. For provisioning it can be better to take the dinghy to the VMR ramp (30-minutes allowed) and shoot over to Coles in Cannonvale, where you will also find the Post Office, Chemist, Doctors and X-Ray services along-side the Shopping Centre.
Abel Point also hosts a Chandlery, Marine Electronics, Diesel Mechanics, Refrigeration service and repairs and haulout facilities along with fuel and water dock and various restaurants.
Whitsunday Sailing Club is located at Airlie Point just along the park from the main street. Cruisers can obtain a temporary membership allowing use of showers, amenties and washing machines. There is also a dinghy dock located behind the breakwall. The yacht club is a great place for sundowners, and to connect with other cruisers and racers.
Woolworth’s and Cole’s are the main supermarkets found in the region, however for fresh produce you can’t go past the Saturday markets held on the foreshore. The fresh fruit and veges are locally grown and the freshly baked bread at the Bakery is just divine!
- Woolworth’s is located in the centre of town, an easy 5-min walk to your dinghy.
- Cole’s in located over the hill in Cannonvale. You would be best to take your dinghy around to the VMR located in Cannonvale.
- Markets are held during the weeks when Cruise Ships are in, and every Saturday on the main beach foreshore.
When shopping for yourself, or catching up on birthday and Xmas gifts to send home to loved ones – it pays to know the good places to go!
Colour Me Crazy:
Lusciously located in Proserpine, Colour Me Crazy is a veritable den of antiquity – and quickly became one of my favourite go to stores! At only 20-minutes from Airlie it is well worth catching a ride out there. The girls are delightful and love to make shopping fun!
You will find beautiful jewellery, beads and gemstones, exquisite clothing, candles, notebooks and journals, a plethora of bags and purses, colourful crockery and collectables, fabulous cushions and bedding – from Bohemian to modern, contemporary and funky – garden gifts, gift cards – this place it a must see!
T 07 4945 2698
Grotty Yachty Clothing & Nautical Gifts of Airlie:
Another excellent store located in the heart of Airlie town, Grotty Yachty is a nautically inspired gift store stocking an incredible array of creations from local Artisans. We love this! From painted coconuts to beautiful silk scarves and clothing, jewellery, funky phone cases, yachtie bags, handmade gift cards, vinyl prints, stunning landscape canvasses – just beautiful! Grotty Yachty are the principal suppliers of the now famous ‘Women Who Sail Australia’ Burgee and the ‘It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere Sun-downers’ Flag – be sure to stock up and let your colours fly!
Of particular note, these guys also stock an expansive array of t-shirts and will print to order, your design or one of theirs – and send it nationwide. A great service and a great place to wander!
T 0411 271 387
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
The climate is amazing in Far North Queensland, perfectly suited to year round cruising. If you don’t mind the possibility of shelthering from the odd cyclone in the Wet Season, we have found some of the best cruising in these months. The winter season tends to be the high season when cruisers and holiday-makers abound – and The Whitsundays host an array of fun festivals to delight your senses!
Whitsunday Writers Festival
Airlie Beach Running Festival
Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival
3 August – Comedy Gala 2017
3 – 6 August – Whitsunday Reef Festival
5 August – Bowen Community Racing Celebration Race Day
10 – 17 August – Airlie Beach Race Week
19 August – Great Whitsunday Fun Race
19 – 26 August – Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
21 – 25 August – Bryan Kest – Power Yoga
24 – 27 August – SICYC Rendezvous
1-3 September – Wintermoon Spring Festival
3 September – Airlie Beach Triathlon Festival
16 September – Bowen Family Fishing Classic
23 – 24 September – Run the Great Whitsunday Trail
8 – 12 November – Airlie Beach Festival of Music
12 November – Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim
SICYC – Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club:
This event is an absolute highlight on the Cruising agenda each year. For four days in the last week of August every year, hundreds of cruisers gather at Shag Islet, Gloucester Passage in the Whitsundays, to celebrate the wonders of cruising life, great friendships – and most importantly to raise money for much needed research for Prostate Cancer. Oh hang on – to PARTY!!!
And the fun is endless! A dedicated team of ‘Shaggers’ organise the myriad of educational, fun and frivolous events throughout the Rendezvous – from safety seminars, to beach yoga, haircuts for prostate, to the massive fancy dress party night (think Jimmy Buffet and Parrots Head) and the recovery day Pirates Party held at the gorgeous Cape Gloucester Resort.
Thousands of people the world over are members of the SICYC. The concept of the club is that you become Vice Commodore of Your Own Nautical Location – and mostly spend your time attending fun social events… wonderful!
If you are cruising the Whitsundays in the last week of August (24-27 in 2017), we firmly encourage you to attend the Rendezvous!
MARINE SERVICE PROVIDERS
Marlin Marine & Chandlery
Chandlery and Rigging
T 07 4946 6453
Whitsunday Diesel & Marine
Volvo Diesel Mechanic
T 07 4946 7126
Hard Standing (Tidal)
T 07 4948 2607
Sailmakers, Dodger, Bimini, Stackpack design and repair
T 07 4948 1868
Recover squab, cushions and seating
T 07 4946 6507
Whitsunday Ocean Services
Antifoul suppliers. Inflatable Dinghy, Liferaft, PFD, EPIRB sales, service & repair.
T 07 4948 1366
AB Marine Electronics and Electrics
Navigation Equipment, Lighting, Audio, Refrigeration
Abel Point Marina
T 07 4946 4070
Airlie Marine Electrics
Alternators, Anchor Winches, Batteries
Abel Point Marina
T 07 4948 1010
All Marine Services
Volvo and Yanmar Diesel Mechanics
Abel Point Marina
T 07 4946 5411
Hawkes Boat Yard
Abel Point Marina
T 07 4946 6700
Quadrant Marine Chandlery
Abel Point Marina
T 07 4946 4033
T 07 4946 4470
Suppliers of batteries via FNQ Batteries Mackay
T 07 4940 2600
Bearings and Seals
T 07 4945 3233
Beach Plaza Coin Laundry
The Esplanade, Airlie Beach
T 07 4946 4977
MEDICAL SERVICE PROVIDERS
Whitsunday Doctors Service
Airlie Beach Foreshore
T 07 4946 6241
Mobile Doctors Service
T 1800 372 968
T 07 4813 9400
Whitsunday Health Clinic
Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Acupuncture
T 07 4946 7910
T 07 4946 4922
T 07 4948 3407
Smile Makers Whitsundays
T 07 3067 6366
T 07 4946 4906
We hope these notes assist you with your cruising needs whilst discovering this wonderful region. If you have anything further to add, or great places you have found – please touch base and I will gladly update the notes.
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Wishing you Fair Winds and Happy Days,
Meg & Darren