Today the names Whitsunday and Whitsunday Islands encompass the
large town of Whitsunday (created in 1987 to include the mainland
settlements of Airlie Beach, Cannonvale and Shute Harbour). Airlie
Beach is the mainland tourist centre of The Whitsundays; Cannonvale is
predominantly a residential area for the locals; Shute Harbour is a
major set-off point for aircraft and ferries to the islands.
Location: 1135 km north of Brisbane (Airlie Beach)
The centre of the Airlie Beach township is a myriad of gift shops,
eating places ranging from fast foods to quality restaurants, pubs and
bars, and shops catering for the needs of holiday makers. Located only
a few metres from the beach the shopping centre has a holiday feel. The
whole township has a distinctly tropical flavour.
Conway National Park
A peaceful coastal park overlooking the Whitsunday Passage,
protecting rainforest-clad mountains, forested hills and deep valleys.
The park offers superb views over the islands from Mount Rooper lookout
or the ridge above secluded Coral Beach.
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10km east of Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour is a buzzing marine transit
facility, one of the boarding points for ferries to the islands,
island/reef boating operations and moorings for private boats. Shute
Harbour seaplane air base is the largest in the southern hemisphere.