The Airlie Beach Lagoon is 4,300sqm and is filled with 4.5 million litres of fresh,
self-chlorinated water. Located parallel to the Main Street, on the
foreshore of Airlie Beach. It is built on a raised breakwater, giving
an excellent view out to the Coral Sea and Whitsunday Islands.
And it's FREE!!
The Airlie Beach Lagoon has a rich history, and it starts well before
8 January 2001, when it was officially opened by the Premier Peter
One of the local newspapers, the Whitsunday Times, celebrated
25 years of publication in 2006, and their commemorative publication
recounts the Lagoon's history as follows:
– The Shire Chairman made the historic announcement that Council
would build and/or lobby for a deep water, stinger free lagoon on
Airlie's main beach. The call consolidated years of community pressure
to implement a range of similar concepts.
– Local community, leading businesses and tourism organisations
were all working hard to raise funds toward the lagoon – 'Loot for the
Lagoon' became the catch cry at many a fundraising event.
– In January, Shire Chairman Glen Patullo was pulling out all
stops to get Airlie's lagoon funded and built. The shire borrowed
$200,000 to get the project going and the community was raising many
more thousands with the help of Fantasea's David Hutchen and his 'Loot
for the Lagoon' campaign. The public gave huge support. However,
potential funding for the lagoon was threatened as a developer's lease
on Muddy Bay expired in August, ending plans for a resort and marina
on the shire – along with a promised contribution for Airlie's long
proposed swimming lagoon.
– By the year's end, Council had appointed new consultants to do
a feasibility study on the proposed Airlie lagoon. The study was to
form part of an application for State funding in February 1996.
– By late March, Council was reviewing several plans for half and
full sized swimming lagoons. By May, Council was slammed for proposing
a shire-wide referendum on the lagoon as part of its annual rates
billing process, as it was suggested this would set lagoon plans back
yet another year.
– By September, the new Labor tourism minister Bob Gibbs had
given strong initial support for the Airlie Beach Lagoon. Vision
Airlie was continuing active lobbying, and while the impact assessable
study was pending, Vision Airlie coordinator Justin Gamble presented
the project to the Premier.
– After years of hard fought coastal lobbying, consultation,
design changes, impact studies and community fundraising, the Airlie
Beach Lagoon was finally given the go-ahead in June. By September, the
Beattie government had allocated $8 million to the project. Despite
the objections of a minority of residents or business owners adjoining
the lagoon's site, the region's 'silent majority' welcomed the
– History of earth-shaking proportions was made on 17 April as
Premier Peter Beattie watched over the first works at the Airlie Beach
Lagoon. Mayor Mario Demartini, joined in with Deputy Premier Jim Elder
and construction officials."If anyone should be remembered for this, it's the likes of Bill
Smith, David Hutchen, Tony Moscato and John McCulloch," former Cr Tony
Price said. "They should have bloody statues put up for their
December saw a new date being set for the much anticipated opening of
Airlie's lagoon – the project had progressed rapidly and below budget
with a community celebration planned for mid February.
– On 8 January, the now famous Airlie Beach Lagoon was officially
opened to the public by Premier Peter Beattie.
Airlie beach Lagoon Entrance
Airlie beach Lagoon
Airlie beach Lagoon Northside
Airlie beach Lagoon beachend