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See the Whitsundays like a local for free

May 7, 2019 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

It is time to escape the cold and enjoy the tropical Whitsundays? Mike Koch, Author of the budget travel guidebook Australia Free 3, has been on the road travelling for the last seven years and has found three bucket-list worthy gems near Airlie Beach that you can enjoy for free. 

At the end of a long dirt road, around fifty kilometres from Airlie Beach, you will find a peaceful, long sandy beach at Hideaway Bay. This is a beautiful spot where the locals say the only thing you can catch is peace and quiet. You might even be lucky enough to sight some of the local wildlife, including turtles, dolphins, dugongs and whales. When you are there, make sure you check out Cape Gloucestor, home to a great, eco-friendly beachfront resort (Montes), which is the perfect spot for a relaxing lunch.

Another of nature’s best-kept secrets is Cedar Creek Falls, a tranquil place filled with birds and butterflies that is thirty kilometres south of Airlie Beach. The waterfall is a short one hundred metre walk from the car park, making it a great spot to go with the whole family. It is just perfect for a refreshing swim in the stunningly clear waters, where you also have a chance to swim with the local turtles.

Koch says you should also visit the Whitsunday Sailing Club in Pioneer Bay at Airlie Beach. “If you go there on a Wednesday afternoon, around 3pm you may be lucky enough to get a ride on board a yacht for their ’round the bouys’ race”, says Mike. This is an amazing opportunity to go for a sail at twilight in the beautiful waters of the Whitsundays and might even encourage you to book a yacht to cruise around the islands yourself. This is very popular and places are limited, but it is definitely worth the experience.

“I would say there definitely can be a mental block for us locals that domestic travel is too expensive, but as I have discovered and proven in Australia Free 3, there are so many ways to save money and still enjoy the staggering beauty right in our own backyard”, says Koch.

“You can see and do so many things in every state that will blow your mind and not cost you a cent. I think more and more young families are discovering this as they pack up their little ones to do the great big lap of Oz, which is great to see.”

You will find 1,500 free things to see and do, just like this, plus 1,500 free places to camp and rest, all across our country in Australia Free 3 ($55 RRP), which is available in all good bookstores and online at

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