Airlie Beach, Queensland
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Airlie Beach is a locality in the Whitsunday Region of Queensland, Australia. At the 2011 census, the suburb of Airlie Beach itself had a population of 7,868. Airlie Beach is one of many departure points for the Great Barrier Reef. Near latitude 20 degrees south, Airlie Beach, Proserpine and the nearby Whitsunday Islands enjoy a tropical climate and lifestyle.
The Whitsunday Islands, named by James Cook in 1770 are a sailors' paradise. Cook named the islands as he believed he passed through the area on the Christian festival day of Whit Sunday. It is now widely accepted that he didn't actually pass through on this date, as he had failed to take into account the yet to be brought into existence International Date Line à la Phileas Fogg.
Each year the residents of Airlie Beach celebrate The Blessing of the Fleet on Whit Sunday or Pentecost Sunday.
Airlie Beach is a tourist destination, extremely popular with backpackers. Its beach is small and the sea is inhabited by marine stingers, the box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) from November to May. In order to provide somewhere for the visitors tourists to swim, the local council, has built a small – medium sized swimming lagoon on the foreshore, similar to the lagoon found in Cairns. The Airlie Beach Lagoon is 4,300 m2 and 4.5 million litres of fresh, self chlorinated water.
The Great Barrier Reef is easily accessible from Airlie Beach, with an array of different types of tours available. Majority of these tours depart from Abell Point Marina but a few depart from the recently completed Port of Airlie. The Abell Point Marina contains 507 berths.
It is almost certain that the town was named for the parish of Airlie, in Scotland, as the name was suggested by the chairman of the former Proserpine Shire Council, Robert Shepherd, who was born in nearby Montrose, Scotland. The official name was Airlie from 1936 until 1987, when it became Airlie Beach.
Airlie Beach Post Office opened on 2 November 1959.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Airlie Beach, Queensland.|
- "Airlie Beach". Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland.
- Whitsunday Shire Council