When travelling the East Coast of Australia it is easy to think that you will be blessed with good weather. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Just like every other country we have our good months and bad. Living in the tropics we have 2 very definite seasons – The dry… and the WET. Don’t get me wrong though even in wet season the Whitsundays are still hard to beat, with hot weather all year round, beautiful blue skies and a perfect backdrop for your overnight sailing trip…
However, just because it’s a bit wet, doesn’t mean your trip needs to be as well! There are plenty of other activities to do in Airlie Beach if your trip gets cancelled or postponed. Or just if you love the rain and want to spend more time in it.
1. Ocean Rafting
Even when every other boat is cancelled, this trip is pretty much guaranteed not to get cancelled. The boat is considered the fastest boat in the Whitsundays and is similar to a speed boat. Ocean Rafting is a great trip to go on any day of the week, however it is particularly good to go on if it’s windy and other trips have been cancelled. However, be pre-warned that it is an adrenalin rush when the winds are high and anybody with neck or back injuries will not be allowed to go out on the boat. This trip allows you to see the beautiful Whitehaven Beach and a snorkel spot around the islands, all while enjoying the thrill-seeking adventure that this boat has to offer. You have a choice of two different adventures with Ocean Rafting – one with more snorkelling, and the other with more beach time, and it’s an absolutely fantastic day with great staff who can educate you about the Whitsunday Islands and the beautiful environment surrounding you.
2. Cedar Creek Falls
These falls are absolutely stunning after the area has had a bit of rain, and one of the many natural beauty’s around the Whitsunday area. Cedar Creek falls are one of our Top 3 secret locations in Airlie Beach and are located about 30 kilometres South-East of town and are generally only accessible if you have your own transport. However, it’s definitely worth a visit if you’ve got the day off and the weather isn’t great. There’s a picnic area, a swimming hole that you can swim in, not to mention the fabulous falls themselves!
3. Visit one of the many cafe’s and bars that Airlie Beach has to offer
If you’ve been to Airlie Beach before then you know that there’s no shortage of food and beverage places around. The main strip of Airlie Beach has an astronomical amount of bars and restaurants and range from easy take-away food, to 5-star luxurious food. Sidewalk Cafe or Mr. Bone’s are great places to start your morning with great coffee on the Esplanade or facing the lagoon respectively. Little Vegas Burger is also a new joint where the burgers are second to none. If you’re looking for a cheap place to drink with a chilled out atmosphere then you can’t go past Shed Bar at our very own Nomads Airlie Beach, it’s out the back of the property where they have live music played most nights. If you’re looking for somewhere to go at night and really party it up, then Mama Africa’s and Paddy Shenanigans are great places to finish your night off.
4. Go for a walk
Not only is this option healthy, but there are also a variety of walking tracks around Airlie Beach. Conway National Park is right on the edge of Airlie Beach and provides a lot of lookout points that can overlook the Whitsundays.
There are many walks that range from an easy kilometre walk around the edge of the foreshore, to a 3 day, 30 kilometre walk through the Conway National Park. If the weather isn’t desirable, we recommend just a short walk to a lookout point to enjoy the beautiful views.
5. Do something different
Depending on what sort of bad weather the Whitsunday’s is throwing at you – there are still a number of options that you can do. For example, if it’s windy, then head inland and do the Whitsunday Crocodile Safari. If it’s cold, then why not try a scenic flight with GSL Aviation or Air Whitsunday? Or if it’s overcast – why not head out on a fishing charter? There’s plenty of options in and around Airlie Beach for other tours.
6. Explore the surrounding area
If you’ve got your own vehicle then this one is easy. Proserpine is only a half hour drive away from Airlie Beach and although it doesn’t specialise in tourism, the small town has a lot to offer. From its numerous pubs, to the Proserpine Dam where you can go fishing – it won’t disappoint you if you’ve got some time to kill. Colour Me Crazy is a great little place to go shopping in Proserpine that lures its customers in with its crazy colours and array of different knick knacks. Caffe Cucina and Cafe 22 are great little spots to stop at along the highway and offer a great coffee break for travellers. Midge Point is another hidden beauty located about an hour South of Airlie Beach. It’s a tiny coastal town with only a pub, post office, convenience store and takeaway shop – however the beaches are lovely and you can really enjoy the fresh country air and the lifestyle it has to offer. Up north, you had Dingo Beach, Hideaway Bay, and even Bowen – one of Australia’s best film locations. Dingo Beach and Hideaway Bay are both lovely places to relax, while Bowen is home to the giant mango and the set of Baz Luhrman’s Australia. There are plenty of other places that I haven’t listed, like Conway Beach and the Proserpine Whitsunday Gold Coffee Farm, however these are just some options for you to enjoy.
7. Get yourself pampered
The annoying thing about travelling is generally all your beauty needs fall by the wayside while you’re busy enjoying your life. However, when you’ve got a spare day, how about taking advantage of it by getting pampered? There are a number of options in Airlie Beach from getting your hair cut and coloured, waxing, to getting a luxurious massage. Airlie Scissor Sisters is an affordable hair salon that will spruce up your tired hair and make you feel fresh again, and Pampurs and Wax Pot offer massages and waxing for all your needs.
8. Write a postcard
Because let’s be honest – who doesn’t want to open their letter box and find mail from their loved one? Sit down by the lagoon or wherever you fancy and write away. Let your loved ones know that you’re safe and enjoying your trip – and then write the honest ones to all your friends back home or to the people you may have met along the way. Actually, expanding on writing a postcard – why not just contact people in general? It’s hard to reply to everyone when you’re busy travelling, and a day of wicked weather is just the time to sit down, relax with a beer and get all your communication out of the way.
Often when you’re travelling, you find that you’re jumping from bus to hostel, to tour, to train to flight and the list goes on. Take a moment to really enjoy Australia and its laid back lifestyle. Read a book or listen to music. Do yoga if you want to! Whatever makes you really relax and enjoy the time and money you have spent travelling. Don’t forget to take time to smell the roses and enjoy the atmosphere!
10. Plan the rest of your trip
Whether you’re heading North to Cairns (see our top 5 things to do in Cairns when it rains here) or South to embark on a 4WD tour of Fraser Island, the girls at the Mad Travel Desk at Nomads Airlie Beach would love to help you book your next destination and can also give you advice on travelling inland or internationally. Is there anything they can’t do? Whether it’s just your bus pass, your accommodation, or you’d like extensive knowledge on the trips available in New Zealand, they’d be more than happy to help you out. Just because the weather isn’t great in Airlie Beach, doesn’t mean that the sun isn’t shining in Melbourne. Sit down and have a chat with them about your budget, and what you’d like to do in Australia, and they’d be more than happy to help you out.
As you can see, when your Whitsundays trip doesn’t work out to plan, it doesn’t mean that you have to leave the Whitsundays in a hurry!
Stay at Nomads Airlie Beach and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere that people come from all over the world to enjoy!
Main image: Ocean Rafting