Hamilton Island is one of the Whitsunday Islands of Queensland, Australia. This beautiful paradise has mild temperatures year round but May to October are the most popular months for tourists. January sees the highest temperatures when the mercury hovers around 30 degrees Celsius during the day time. July is the coolest month when the highs are around 22 degrees. January to April can have quite a lot of rain.
The only commercial airport serving the Whitsunday Islands is on Hamilton Island. There are regular flights to Brisbane, Sydney, Cairns and Melbourne, and some private planes and helicopters fly to the island as well (at a cost of course!).
Hamilton Island is a car-free zone so getting around is done on foot, by complimentary shuttle bus (the buses run 7am to 11pm) or by golf buggy. The island is relatively small, so it’s not difficult to walk from place to place – although hiring a golf buggy is probably much more fun!
2 hours – $57
3 hours – $62
24 hours – $87
8.30am to 4.30pm – $72
Overnight 4.30pm to 8.30am – $57
1. Take a helicopter over The Great Barrier Reef…. The Reef is the top attraction in these parts, and what better way to see this natural site than directly overhead? There are trips where you swoop over the reefs, then spend time snorkelling in the water before enjoying a tasty lunch. A trip like this costs roughly $440 per adult.2. Hire a kayak or standup paddle board…. Take the whole family out on the waters surrounding Hamilton Island and discover marine life together. $24 per hour with all equipment provided.
3. Lay back on a catamaran trip to Whitehaven Beach… Spend an hour on the Coral Sea surrounding the Whitsunday Islands before landing on the pristine beaches for a spot of swimming. Expect to pay $129 per adult.
4. Cuddle a koala and watch a wallaby…. At Wild Life you will have the opportunity do get up close to some of Australia’s marsupials as well as some reptiles and birds. Entry is $20 for adults and $14.
5. Bushwalking afternoon…. There are some scenic trails to be explored on Hamilton Island with picnic tables scattered along the way. Depending on your fitness level, there are a easier trails and more strenuous ones all of which take in the local flora and fauna.
6. Tee off in style…. The golf course here has its very own island with spectacular scenery to enjoy between swings. The course has 18 holes and is rated par 71.
7. For all the family there’s nothing like a round of mini golf…. This particular course is near the Reef View Hotel and opens daily from 9am to 5.30pm. It costs $15 per adults and $7.50 per child.8. For a fun drive around Hamilton Island, hop on an off-roader…. These 4 X 4 vehicles take you over hills, down dirt tracks and across scrubland. Self-drivers need to show their licence and the tour costs $149 per vehicle.9. For high-speed fun on the sea try tubing, wake boarding or waterskiing…. The prices range from $30 per person to $140 depending on what you want to take part in.10. Go karting at Palm Valley Activities…. Hop behind the wheel in a single-person kart, or a double, and whiz around the track at up to 40km per hour. $49 per kart for 10 minutes.
1. Bommie restaurant sits at the number one spot on TripAdvisor with reviewers raving about the innovative food, the amazing marina location and the spectacular building. The menu features seasonal dishes and an extensive wine list. Open for dinner.
2. Romano’s serves Italian food with the seafood pasta a particular favourite amongst diners. Steaks cooked to perfection and a choice of desserts are also on offer.
3. Beach Club restaurant has views over Catseye Beach. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner they serve high tea as well. Dishes like pan-seared duck and slow-cooked lamb are on the dinner menu.
4. For informal dining and keenly priced food, try the Marina Tavern. There is a laid-back vibe here which is perfect for families and friends.5. Coca Chu serves Asian cuisine with an Australian twist. Open 7 days a week for dinner.
6. The gourmet pizzas are the top pick at Manta Ray restaurant. There is also a selection of seafood and meat dishes on the menu.
7. Sails Steak and Seafood Grill has prime beef and fresh fish on its menu, alongside a list of tasty dishes like home-made sushi and pork meatballs.8. For fresh oysters, local prawns and a choice of fish, Mariners is the place to head. This restaurant looks over the harbour and is open 5 nights a week.
9. Wild Life Cafe can be found in the wildlife park and it is open for breakfast and lunch. At the weekend they offer a BBQ dinner Australian style.
10. To dine by the water at the Reef View Hotel, pull up a chair at the Pool Terrace restaurant. There are snacks, light bites, breakfast and dinner served here.
1. The Qualia Resort was voted the best resort in the world in 2012 so accommodation doesn’t get much better than this. Infinity pools, private pavilion rooms, secluded balconies, a quality spa and impeccable service are all to be expected here as well as views over the Coral Sea.
2. Reef View Hotel has large, spacious hotel bedrooms, a wide pool and a great location. Just opposite Catseye Beach it’s a short walk to entertainment and restaurants.3. If you’re looking for a break from the kids, The Beach Club resort is an adults only place offering peace and quiet for over 18s only. The luxury facilities include an infinity edge pool, a spa and free access to paddle boards, kayaks, windsurfers and a gym.4. Palm Bungalows have a kitchenette, private balcony and plenty of space. They are set in tropical gardens and it’s only a short walk to the beach and the resort pools.5. Just footsteps from the yacht club and right on the water’s edge, the Yacht Club Villas are luxurious holiday homes with high-end fixtures. Stay in one of these villas and you will have access to an exclusive pool and use of a golf buggy for the duration of your stay.
There is a range of holiday homes where you can stay for a little less, although Hamilton Island accommodation is never going to be cheap. Because of the beauty of the island, and the remote, idyllic surroundings, you do pay premium to stop here. The homes range from small apartments to large 5-bedroom houses and are reasonably priced when shared between friends or families.