The Great Barrier Reef Festival’s Rotary Street Parade is heading in a new direction this year. Rather than starting on the Esplanade it will take off from Broadwater Avenue instead. Street Parade co-ordinator and Rotarian, Merewyn Wright, said organisers felt this new arrangement was more complementary to the reconfigured Airlie Beach foreshore.
“The Broadwater Avenue carpark is an easier place for everyone to assemble,” she explained. “We’ll be starting from there, heading down the main street to the Esplanade, turning around at the roundabout by the Airlie Beach Hotel and retracing our steps. “We’re covering the same distance as before – just in reverse.”
The Broadwater Avenue carpark will be closed to traffic from midnight on Friday until 6pm Saturday. The central Airlie Beach lagoon carpark closes from midnight on Wednesday, July 31, reopening on Sunday, August 4, at 6pm. The Airlie Beach main street closes on Saturday from 6am-7pm.
Everyone is encouraged to leave their cars behind and take advantage of the festival’s park and ride scheme, courtesy of Whitsunday Transit, with fares of only $2 for adults and $1 for kids.
Whitsunday Transit Operations Manager, Chris Harvey, said with services running on a continuous loop just 10 minutes apart between Whitsunday Plaza, Whitsunday Shopping Centre, the Coral Sea Marina, Airlie Beach, Jubilee Tavern and Discovery Park, as well as a return service from Proserpine, this was “hassle-free motoring” at its best.
“Park and ride services are fantastic during big events because it saves you the stress of having to drive around town at 10 kilometres an hour looking for a carpark; instead you can drive to your local shopping centre or the Coral Sea Marina and then be dropped right in the middle of town,” he said.
Download the full bus timetable and information on street closures: