I found this link as being a good source of information though the website is not so well laid out its ok.

An excerpt about Airlie Beach follows

"The small town of Airlie Beach lies a few kilometres from the Main Highway East of Proserpine. When driving into Airlie on The Shute Harbour Road you will encounter magnificent views of the Abel Point Marina and out to Pioneer Bay on your left.

The town itself has not changed asthetically in the last dozen or so years. But changes are on the way.The Lagoon is a fairly recent addition that is certainly a great plus for The Family Visitor ,and the new Marina Complex is well underway.
Any accommodation that you choose in Airlie is basically five mins. walk to the shops and eateries, and of coarse for the young, the town has plenty of Night Clubs. All the businesses are situated on Shute Harbour Road or The New Esplanade. Backpackers can hire scooters from either of 2 local companies, and there is a Car Hire Company in Town.

Airlie Beach---Sailing Mecca----Backpackers Paradise.

This small town is a haven for Backpackers and visitors wanting a Barrier Reef Experience.There are numerous sailing vessels that leave The Abel Point Marina on trips for various destinations throughout the Whitsunday Islands and The Barrier Reef. These are a favourite choice for the Backpackers who wish to stay out for several days diving and snorkelling. Other Visitors can take day trips to the Islands close by. The Main Passenger Ferry service to the Islands from Airlie is Cruise Whitsundays.This company provides a regular shuttle service to Daydream , Long and Hamilton Islands as well as daytrips to The Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island aboard the 85ft. catamaran Camira. There is a Cruise Whitsundays Booking Office in Airlie Beach and also the main office at Abel Point Marina where all day trippers check in for their boarding passes.