For information on cruising, diving, sailing and holidaying in the tropical Whitsundays
 
 

Sailing Whitsundays - Events & Occasions

MONTHLY EVENTS

Airlie Beach Markets

Held every Saturday morning from 7.00am on the Airlie Beach foreshore. These markets have on offer fruit, vegetables, clothes, books and locally made jewellery and crafts.

Polynesia Night/Seafood Buffet
Held every Friday Night on South Molle Island. Enjoy a Seafood Buffet followed by the traditional Polynesian dancers. You can either overnight on the island or use Blue Ferry transfers for the evening.

Markets on the Boardwalk
These markets are held every Sunday morning and are more crafty in nature. There is locally made jewellery and crafts. This is held behind the Magnums Bar on the boardwalk in the main street of Airlie Beach.

Full Moon Party
Big party night held every month on South Molle Island to celebrate the new moon. Transfers from Airlie Beach available.

 
EVENTS IN JANUARY

Jan 1st - New Years Eve
New Years Eve in Airlie Beach is a party not to be missed, thousands of people descend on the area determined to welcome the New Year in with style and rarely are they disappointed! The numerous bars and restaurants on the main strip of Airlie are open until the wee hours and offer many varied types of entertainment and cheap drinks until the main event occurs at midnight which is invariably a fireworks extravaganza heard for miles, be warned, if you are of the more refined disposition when it comes to celebrating the new year, stick to the more up market establishments and avoid the backpacker bars for it can become quite unruly at times.
When: 31st December
Where: Everywhere

Australia Day
Long weekend of activities for everyone. Celebrate the weekend in style with various markets and shows available including live music in all backpacker bars and outlets.
When: 26th January
Where: Airlie Beach

EVENTS IN FEBRUARY

*** Barramundi season opens - Hire a boat or join an organised tour on the Proserpine Dam and catch a fish or two. This will be a catch of a lifetime to remember. If going by yourself don't forget your permit.
EVENTS IN MARCH

Tourism Whitsunday's Business Expo:
An annual expo which showcases tourism Whitsunday's members products and services to the public, for those interested in investing in the region its an informative and diverse expo not to be missed.
When: 25 March
Where: PCYC

Artist Retreat Programme
Join Resident Greg Wardel for a week of artistic tuition on Hamilton Island. Great packages available including accommodation.
When: 19th - 26th March
Where: Hamilton Island

St Patrick's Day
Enjoy all the Irish festivities and parties at our local Irish pub, Paddy Shenanigans.
EVENTS IN APRIL

Wintermoon Folk Festival
A four day music extravaganza held 45 min south of Airlie Beach in Calen (at the foothills of Eungella national park) Wintermoon folk festival will have something for everyone with talented local and national performers on the program it promises to be a mix of music: Dancing: songs and verse as well as market stalls, bush dances, workshops and activities for the kids as well. The moonshine café will provide tasty food and the on site bar will cater to alcoholic refreshments whilst also supporting the local Calen ambulance service.

Wintermoon music festival Information:
When: 30th April - 3rd May
Where: Lot 5, Brodie's Road, Cameron's Pocket, Calen

Good Friday Seafood Feast
Celebrate Easter on Hamilton Island and enjoy a beachside seafood BBQ featuring fresh chili crabs, pippies, mussels and more.
Where: Hamilton Island
When: 9th April
EVENTS IN MAY

Blessing of the Fleet

A traditional local event that combines Christian traditions with our boating culture. Held early on Sunday morning at the Whitsunday Sailing Club a Christian blessing is given to the local yachts and power craft in order that they may have a safe and prosperous year.
When: Sunday 30th
Where: Whitsunday Sailing Club

EVENTS IN JUNE

Whitsunday Boat Show
The Whitsunday's Boat Show is fast becoming recognized nationwide as a premier boating event, over 8000 visitors are expected for a 2 day show which will encompass practically everything there is to do with the boating industry, from sail and power craft, mono and multihull, on the water displays, activities and power cruises as well as over 120 display booths erected in 2 temporary custom designed buildings at the able point marina in Airlie beach. This event is family friendly with food, entertainment and door prizes, demos and parades designed to keep everyone in the spirit of the weekend. For the first time in its history the oceanic boat show will extend to the complementary camping and leisure industries as well as the traditional marine attractions. Lots of fun and a must see event.
When: Queens Birthday weekend
June 12th Open: 9am to 6pm
June 13th Open: 9am to 7pm
Where: Able Point Marina, Airlie Beach.

Whitsunday's Annual Show
Yearly show day held in Proserpine, just outside of Airlie beach. Attractions include stalls, rides, wood chopping, arts & crafts hall, horse riding, agriculture displays, livestock displays and of course show bags. Plenty of local bands on hand to entertain as well.
When: Third Friday in June
Where: Proserpine

Coca Cola Hamilton Cup
The oldest and largest outrigger canoe race in Australia. More than 2000 paddlers from around the world come for this marathon canoe paddling. Sprint races of 500m to marathons of 16km. The last day is completed by a huge closing celebration in the Marina Village.
Where: Hamilton Island
When: 4th - 8th June

Great Barrier Feast
The ultimate food and wine weekend on an island. Cocktail parties, food and wine classes, cuisine showcases and signature dishes produced by world renowned chefs.
Where: Hamilton Island
When: 11th - 14th June

EVENTS IN JULY

*** Whale watching season opens, runs through to the end of September.

Ken Duncan & Friends Northern Exposure Winter Photography Programme
Join Ken Duncan one of the world's leading landscape photographers and several of his famous photographic friends on Hamilton Island for a complete photography course featuring sessions at The Great Barrier Reef and famous Whitehaven Beach. The Northern Exposure photography programme in 2003 was a sell-out within weeks of being released. Don't miss this hands-on and creative series of workshops including practical sessions in an array of photographic techniques culminating in some spectacular aerial shots.
Where: Hamilton Island
When: TBA

Bastille Ball
Local formal ball for the business community of the town.
Where: PCYC
When: TBA
EVENTS IN AUGUST


Hogs Breath Race Week
This year is the 15th Hogs Breath Race Week in Airlie Beach. One of the main reasons for the success of the Race Week at Airlie Beach is the low cost for teams to race for a week. There is also a more diverse social life attached to racing on the mainland and that pleases the crews no end. They are the ones who pass the word around about the fun of racing in Airlie Beach. There are also plenty of activities through the week for everyone else as well.
Where: Airlie Beach
When: 13th - 19th August

Hahn Premium Race Week
Around 170 yachts compete in the week long regatta that attracts the world's best sailors including an array of America's Cup and World Champions, mixing sailing enthusiasts from all over the world. There is also the 'Whitehaven Beach Party', Moet and Chandon lunch, Hahn Beer Dinner, Mardi Gras and then the race week is completed with a concert performed by Jimmy Barnes and Johnny Diesel.
Where: Hamilton Island
When: 20th - 29th August

Whitehaven Beach Party
You will find most of the local yacht charters and day cruises all congregate at Whitehaven Beach for this day. There are representatives from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Parks, local celebrities, live music and of course the beer tents. Great day out for the adults.
When: 26th August
Where: Whitehaven Beach

EVENTS IN SEPTEMBER

Whitsunday Fun Race
A Local tradition, the Whitsunday fun race is as much a land event as it is a yacht race, hundreds of tourists and locals alike enjoy the mayhem that is the fun race, as the name implies it is not such a serious event as a chance for a party. Local maxi yachts as well as smaller vessels and motor boats compete in several different divisions for various prizes. Entertainment includes street parades, a "Miss Figurehead" contest for the most buxom beauties that grace the bow of the competing yachts as well as bands and an end of race party held at the Whitsunday sailing club. On that evening there is a party to celebrate the winners, along with live bands and fireworks to end the long day.
When: early September
Where: From Airlie Beach.

Airlie Beach Triathlon Festival
The Whitsunday Triathlon Club was a formed in 1999 by a very small band of enthusiasts who immediately set about organising a triathlon. The first event was so successful that it is now an annual event and acclaimed as the best triathlon in North Queensland, attracting competitors from all states, including such names as Miles Stewart, Nicole Hackett, Melissa Ashton and Courtney Atkinson, to name but a few.
incorporating PRD 8th Annual Airlie Beach Triathlon (750m/20km/5km), 3rd Annual Ergon Energy Junior Triathlon (ages 5-13), Inaugural Coral Sea Resort Open Water Swim (750m or 1500m) and Inaugural BeachVolleyball Challenge.
When: 16th to the 17th September
Where: Airlie Beach

Bowen Family fishing classic
A weekend devoted to every Australians favorite pastime, fishing!
An event for the whole family with stalls, local high school fashion parades and a lolly drop for the kids as well as live bands and entertainment on Saturday and Sunday night with an on site bar.
When: 18th to the 19th September
Where: Bowen

Great Barrier Reef Jazz Festival
Three day festival balanced with a casual outdoor feel but filled with an array of internationally recognized jazz artists. Last year this festival was joined by Tony Suban, Grace Night, Bruce Johnson, David Jones and Helen Russell.
When: TBA
Where: Hamilton Island

Run the Whitsunday Great Walk
Enjoy a different trail running experience and escape to the tropical refuge of the Whitsundays. The Whitsunday Great Walk takes you on a 28km journey through Conway State Forest, starting at Brandy Creek, and finishing at the Airlie Beach Lagoon. It is a demanding course with many steep uphill sections. Running time will be approximately 1.5 times longer than a flat 28km. Be one of only 74 participants to wear the name of a Whitsunday Island as you Run the Whitsunday Great Walk.
When: 24th September
Where: Airlie Beach

HOG Rally
Harley-Davidson established the Harley Owners Group in 1983 in response to a growing desire by Harley riders for an organized way to share their passion and show their pride with over a million members from all over the world.
Airlie Beach welcomes the Harley Owners Group to town for their annual rally - it's going to be Huge !
When: 28th September - 2nd of October
Where: Airlie Beach

EVENTS IN OCTOBER

Paddling through history
To be held in Airlie Beach in October.
A unique event that celebrates over 6000 years of indigenous maritime culture.
Paddling through history will have art displays, traditional song, dance, storytelling, ceremonies and kids stuff as well. Plenty of free entertainment and opportunities to learn about the local maritime history. There will be a traditional welcome with the mixing of sand and water and a smoking ceremony will be held at the Airlie beach markets on Saturday morning.
When: TBA
Where: Airlie Beach
EVENTS IN NOVEMBER

Fantasea Reef Festival
Fantasea reef festival is a nine day festival that celebrates our biggest national treasure: the stunning Great Barrier Reef. Visitors and locals alike can participate in beach volleyball, street parades, markets and beach parties. The main events in the program are listed below:
Fantasea fireworks night: Friday the 4th
Fireworks light up the Airlie Beach foreshore, a perfect vantage point for the 30min long display is on the parklands surrounding the lagoon.

Lions Monster Market:
Peruse through the various stalls and sample the tasty homemade food on offer
.
Saturday 5th

Rotary Airlie Beach Street Parade:
Colorful street displays from local business's/organisations as well as a sausage sizzle for the family.
Saturday 5th

Seafood Sunday:
Sunday the 13th (the second Sunday)
An outdoors barbecue that centers on the regions celebrated seafood. Crabs, prawns, bugs and lots more will be on the menu.
When: 4th - 13th November
Where: Airlie Beach

Food & Wine Festival
Stalls down on the beach front sponsored by the local restaurants offering a variety of their best meals. Plenty of food and wine for all to enjoy.
When: 5th - 12th November
Where: Airlie Beach Foreshore

EVENTS IN DECEMBER

Christmas Day
Enjoy lunch at a choice of restaurants in Airlie Beach or on the islands. Alternatively you maybe looking for something a bit different, how about joining a cruise out the Great Barrier Reef for the day. Something for everyone.
When: 25th December

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