Airlie Beach YHA, Whitsundays

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Things to do in Airlie Beach YHA, Whitsundays

Airlie Beach is your gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. Sail around the islands, take a day trip to the reef, go snorkelling in the fringing reefs, get an aerial view with a scenic flight or visit Whitehaven Beach. Bookings can be made with YHA Travel at reception. Discounts are available for YHA members, all backpackers are welcome to join.

Airlie Beach is well known as a 'party town'. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and nightclubs - all located within a 400 metre walk from the Airlie Beach YHA hostel. Dining out is easy with bar/bistros offering regular backpacker specials and cheap eats.

At the hostel

Board games night

Play against your friends every night of the week. See reception to pick a game of your choice.

Every night

Movie night

Sit back and relax at our movie nights in the TV room.

Wednesday & Friday Nights
TV Room

Pub night

Grab a voucher from reception and head down to the Beaches pub with your newly made travel buddies for a cheap feed.

Sunday and Thursday nights
Beaches Pub

Tours & activities related to this hostel

per person

East Coast Highlights

Travel Australia's popular East Coast and visit the 3 must-do attractions - Fraser Island, Whitsunday Sailing and Magnetic Island. Save even more by adding a 10 night YHA accommodation pack to use anywhere en-route!

East Cost Highlights package includes the most popular tours along Australia's East Coast. This saves you over $70 and also gives you peace of mind that you're on the best quality East Coast tours. 

Package includes:

  • 3 Day Fraser Island tour
  • 2 Day Whitsunday Sailing tour
  • 2 nights at Magnetic Island YHA, including ferry transfers and entry to Koala Sanctuary.

The East Coast Highlights package offers the flexibility to add Greyhound’s Hop on/Hop off coach pass from Sydney to Cairns or vice versa (valid 3 months from date of travel). You can also choose to add a 10 or 15 night YHA accommodation pack. (valid 3 and 4 months from date of purchase)

To help plan your trip, we have included a suggested Southbound Itinerary (Cairns to Sydney) and Northbound Itinerary (Sydney to Cairns) for you to download. This is simply a suggestion, the package is designed to be flexible so you can hop on and off wherever you like along the route.

It is recommended you pre-book dates, especially for the Fraser Island and Whitsunday tours, as they can be booked out during the peak season. Please put your preferred date for each of the 3 trips in the comments when making a booking as well as your YHA/HI membership number.

per person

Fraser Island Whitsundays package

Experience the best of the East Coast with this great value Fraser Island and Whitsundays 6 day adventure package. Includes 1 FREE night at Airlie Beach YHA

Travel from Brisbane up the stunning East Coast to explore the magic of Fraser Island and the breathtaking crystal clear blue waters and white sand of the Whitsundays. Get ready, you are about to make some memories!

Day 1: Make your way to Hervey Bay, the Gateway to stunning Fraser Island. Hervey Bay YHA offers a free shuttle from the Greyhound and Premier bus stop to the hostel. Stay at Hervey Bay YHA

Day 2 and 3: Your 2 day/ 1 night all inclusive tour to the world's largest sand island, Fraser Island, begins! You will be picked up from your accommodation between 7.00 and 8.00am before boarding the ferry for the 50 minute cruise across the Great Sandy Strait. Look out for playful dolphins, turtles or the elusive dugong. Make sure you have everything you need for the day as your 4WD tour starts as soon as you arrive on the island. 

From here, you will spend two action packed days discovering shipwrecks, ancient rainforests, freshwater lakes and pristine white sandy beaches. This unforgettable trip takes in some of Fraser Island's most famous locations, including Lake McKenzie, The Pinnacles Coloured Sands, Maheno Shipwreck, Indian Head, and Seventy-Five Mile Beach. At the conclusion of your tour, you will be dropped back to Hervey Bay YHA around 9.30pm.

Day 4:After spending the day exploring Hervey Bay, it's time to board the night bus and get on the road north as you make your way towards Airlie Beach to embark on a once in a lifetime 2 day/1 night sailing adventure.

Day 5: Use your FREE NIGHT at Airlie Beach YHA to explore the vibrant hub of the Whitsundays. With breathtakingly scenic walking trails, a huge lagoon with free BBQs, and world famous backpacker beer gardens, Airlie Beach allows your holiday to be as relaxed or adventure-seeking active as you feel like!

Day 6: Your 2 chilled out days of sensational sailing around the unparalleled Whitsunday Islands starts at 8.30am from Abel Point Marina. Spend the next two days snorkelling, swimming and relaxing. Of course, no trip to the Whitsundays is complete without a visit to the postcard-perfect Whitehaven Beach! On a budget? No worries! Bring your own alcoholic drinks on board the boat (no glass). After sleeping on the Great Barrier Reef and making memories to last a life time, you return to Airlie Beach by approximately 4.00pm.

What to Bring:

1 small overnight bag with clothes and toiletries. Don't forget swimwear, hat, towel, sunscreen, and of course, your camera.

Important Information:

This itinerary is based on using the Greyhound Bus service but does not include transport between Hervey Bay and Airlie Beach. Ask us about our exclusive discounts on Greyhound's East Coast Hop-on Hop-off pass.

Please let us know if:

  • You have any dietary requirements
  • You need a different itinerary from the one listed above- just tell us what tour dates you need and we will do our best to make it happen;
  • You are travelling on and need any tips, or tours booked. We are here to help;

Are you travelling the opposite direction? No worries, contact us directly and we can personalise an itinerary that works for you.

per person

Greyhound Pass Sydney-Cairns

Travel the East Coast with this popular Greyhound hop-on hop-off, 90 day bus pass from Sydney to Cairns or Cairns to Sydney. Save $22 with this exclusive YHA price. BUY NOW, TRAVEL LATER!

Australia's East Coast is a popular route to travel, and using this hop-on hop-off coach pass is one of the best ways to see it. With multiple departures daily you can travel when it suits you, even overnight on some journeys. 

Once your pass is issued, you have the flexibility to reserve seats up until 24 hours before each departure either online or by phone. Greyhound coaches are safe, comfortable and travel along the Pacific Highway via the popular destinations of Byron Bay, Surfers Paradise, Brisbane, Hervey Bay (for Fraser Island) and Airlie Beach (for the Whitsundays).

Why rush? Make sure you take the time to stopover at Australia's best kept secrets… Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Townsville or Mission Beach.


You have 12 months from date of purchase to start travelling. Once you start you have 3 months to use your pass. 

Check out our East Coast package where we have bundled Fraser Island Tours, Whitsunday Sailing and Magnetic Island.

Pass is valid:

  • For 3 months (90 days) from the date of first departure from Sydney or Cairns
  • For use on Greyhound Services on the East Coast between Sydney and Cairns
  • Hop-on hop-off unlimited times in one direction only
  • Please state which direction you would like in the comments when making the booking. eg. Sydney to Cairns or Cairns to Sydney as passes must be issued in the right direction 

    There are also Melbourne to Cairns or Brisbane to Cairns Greyhound passes available.
per person

Magnetic Island Koala experience - 3 days 2 nights

Get up close and personal with Australian wildlife on Magnetic Island in Queensland with this 3 day/2 night adventure.

Get up close and personal with Australian wildlife on Magnetic Island in Queensland with this 3 day/2 night package. Travel by ferry from Townsville to one of Queensland's best kept secrets, where coral reefs fringe secluded beaches and wildlife is abundant.

Magnetic Island YHA has its very own wildlife sanctuary, where you can cuddle a koala, hold a blue tongue lizard and learn about Australia's native animals on your guided tour. There's even champagne breakfast with the animals on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays (optional extra). 

Spend the day snorkelling the coral reefs, relax at Horseshoe Bay Beach, feed the local rock wallabies, or explore one of the many walking tracks in the island's National Parks.

Please note: You can catch the local bus from the ferry terminal directly to the hostel. The bus costs approximately $3 and is payable direct to the driver.

per person

Whitsundays sailing tour - 2 day 2 night

Explore the beautiful Whitsunday Islands on some of Australia's most impressive overnight sailing boats. Save $15!

Explore the beautiful Whitsunday Islands on one of Australia's most impressive sail boats. Take time out to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and visit Queensland's stunning white sandy beaches.

This 2 day/2 night Whitsunday Maxi Overnight Sailing Adventure is the trip of a lifetime!

Explore the magical Whitsunday Islands, relax on the famous Whitehaven Beach and take a walk to Hill Inlet lookout. With daily departures you can experience the best snorkelling spots on the Whitsundays coral reef. You can also choose to go scuba diving (extra cost).

What to bring: Small overnight bag, swimming clothes, hat, sunscreen and camera. 

Please note: There are 4 maxi sailing boats to choose from depending on your departure day - Condor, Broomstick, Boomerang and British Defender.

Price is per person. 

Short on time? Check out our 1 night Whitsunday sailing trip.

per person

Whitsundays fly and cruise package

Experience the 74 Whitsunday Islands from the sky and sea. Take a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef plus an exhilarating boat ride to Whitehaven Beach. SAVE UP TO $15

Experience the 74 Whitsunday Islands from the sky and sea. Enjoy a spectacular view of the Whitsundays with a one hour scenic reef and island flight where you'll see Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet from the sky. Your flight also travels over the Great Barrier Reef including the famous 'Heart Reef'.

Following the flight, your day just keeps getting better! Jump on board an exhilarating boat ride with Ocean Rafting. Stop off at the top snorkelling spots and discover the underwater world teeming with fish. Relax on the pure white silica sands of Whitehaven Beach and enjoy a guided bushwalk to Hill Inlet. Your ocean rafting trip includes buffet style lunch plus all snorkelling equipment, including wetsuit hire.

This package has the best view of the Whitundays from above and below the water!

What to Bring: Swimming wear, hat, sunscreen and camera

per person

Whitsundays Sailing Tour - 2 days 1 night

Want to experience the Whitsunday Islands highlights but short on time? This package is the one for you! *FREE luggage storage!*

If you're a little short on time but still want to experience the magic of sailing through the Whitsunday Islands then this 2 day, 1 night trip is what you're looking for.

Sail the Whitsunday Islands, snorkel the most amazing fringing reefs and relax on unspoilt beaches including Whitehaven Beach. Each boat is BYO alcohol (bring your own) and you can choose to help out raising the sails or spend your day relaxing on the spacious deck. experienced crew will ensure your sailing adventure is one you'll remember for a lifetime.

What to bring: Swimming wear, hat, suncream, camera, small bag with overnight clothes and toiletries

Upgrade to private hostel accommodation and save!

Please note: Double room option must be booked in multiples of 2. Price is per person. Check out our 2 night Whitsunday sailing adventure if you're staying longer.

FREE things to do in Airlie Beach

  1. There are many walking tracks through the Conway Ranges National Park where you can see plenty of kangaroos, wallabies, birds, goannas, snakes and lizards.
  2. The Cedar Creek Falls are a short ten minute drive and offer spectacular views of the falls and a great fresh water swimming hole.
  3. The Airlie Beach lagoon is right in the centre of town where guests can swim all year round as well as sunbake. The Airlie Beach markets are held every Saturday as well as everyday that a cruise ship is in town.
  4. You can pick yourself up a sundress, new hat, fresh mango sorbet or even a Hungarian tower cake.

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