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.