Getting there & around
The closest major airports are at Proserpine and on Hamilton Island. The small Whitsunday airport (4946 9933) is about 6km southeast of town; see right for flight details.
Greyhound Australia (13 14 99) and Premier Motor Service (13 34 10) have bus connections to Brisbane ($155, 18 hours), Mackay ($29, 2½ hours), Townsville ($54, five hours) and Cairns ($95, 11 hours). Con-X-ion (1300 308 718; www.con-x-ion.com; adult/child one way $50/26) connects Mackay airport and Mackay bus terminal with Airlie Beach twice a day. The long-distance bus terminal is just off the Esplanade.
Locally, Whitsunday Transit (4946 1800) connects Proserpine (Proserpine Airport), Cannonvale, Abel Point, Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. Buses operate from 6am to 10.30pm and stop along Shute Harbour Rd.
There are car rental companies are along Shute Harbour Rd. Try Airlie Beach Budget Autos (4948 0300; 285 Shute Harbour Rd).