As the highest zoned piece of real estate in Airlie Beach, Airlie Summit’s panoramic views of the glassy azure bay below are one of its most defining features. Yet, this haven of retreated and relaxed living has an equally impressive greener side. Backing onto Conway National Park, Airlie Summit residents have 7.2 hectares of open, luscious green space right at their fingertips. With immediate access to over 40 interconnecting walking tracks and open spaces to while away leisurely afternoons in nature, being intimately connected to preserved and extraordinary natural environments has never been easier.
Conway National Park is a serene coastal expanse spanning approximately 75km of coastline. Home to the Conway Range, the large area encompasses biodiverse lowland tropical rainforests that provide refuge to six rare or threatened species and three species only found in the area. With secluded beaches, rainforest-clad hills and amazing panoramic outlooks over the scenic Whitsunday area, the Conway National Park is the perfect place to get away from it all. The impressive natural environment of luscious flora includes open forests, paperback and pandanus woodlands, mangroves, vine thicket and rainforests that are all home to Conway’s diverse inhabitants.
Conway National Park also boasts myriad biking and walking tracks. Whether you enjoy a tough and challenging trail or a family friendly bike ride, you’ll adore these tracks with stunning natural views and island backdrops. A popular adventure trail is the Conway Circuit, which serves as a 27.1km bike ride (approximately four hours long) through the national park. The track features difficult and steep sections, suitable for experienced mountain bikers who want to be rewarded with stunning creek crossings – perfect for a cooling swim during the ride. If mountain biking isn’t your thing, you can still experience part of the Conway Circuit through a 3.5 hour, 9km Segway guided tour that includes morning tea alongside the stunning Impulse Creek. The track can also be enjoyed as a walk by simply following the track from the Forestry Road end and turning around when you see fit. Whichever way you choose to take it, you’ll enjoy views over the beautiful surrounding islands and wildlife encounters with the local fauna – from endangered rock-wallabies to Ulysses butterflies.
For a short yet sweet walking track, the Coastal Fringe Circuit Track is a 1.2km stroll through the lowland rainforests starting from the day-use picnic area. While it may not have the spectacular views of some of the other tracks, the beautiful native flowers and plants are captivating in their own right. For slightly longer walks, the Swamp Bay trail, a 4.2km walk offers an epic outlook of the Molle Islands, while the Mount Rooper Circuit, a 5.3km trek up steep inclines rewards you with a panoramic view of the Whitsunday Passage. Alternatively, for a relaxing and quiet afternoon, the hidden jewel of Cedar Creek Falls, located between Airlie Beach and Proserpine on Saltwater Creek Rd, is a perfect oasis. Stepping through the beautiful white cedar trees will bring you to a natural rock amphitheatre with a cascading waterfall and crystal-clear rockpool surrounded by palm trees, wild orchids, butterflies and singing wildlife. Take a cool shower under the waterfall or sink into the water of the rock pool, immersing yourself in natural beauty.
There are also several hidden beaches on the outskirts of the park, just waiting for you to discover them. Usually free of crowds, the soft sands are perfect for lazing and relaxing, with idyllic waters for surfing or snorkelling. And if the benefits of living synonymously in the beauty of the Conway National Park are still alluding you, the lookouts that provide jaw-droppingly stunning views of the Great Barrier Reef are sure to change your mind. With multiple different lookouts with views to the eastern end of Coral Beach and a cluster of tropical islands (such as Hamilton, Dent, Long and Henning), Conway National Park is the wonder that keeps on giving. You can even drive to Shute Harbour, through the rainforest-covered mountains of the park, for the views from the top of Coral Point – a venture that is particularly worth taking during whale migration season.
Whether you want to explore the trails of the Conway National Park, discover its secret beaches and waterfalls, or have your breath taken away by the panoramic views at the lookout points, the allure of this national park is undeniable. With unending views enveloping you at every turn, the intertwining environments of Airlie Summit and Conway National Park are the perfect place to settle in and simply enjoy nature again.