Hamilton Island & the Whitsunday Islands
Hamilton Island really is a little slice of paradise. Steep, rocky hills are criss-crossed with walking trails, powder white beaches meet crystal blue seas, and golf buggies whizz residents and visitors around the paved roads. It’s the most developed of the Whitsunday Islands with the infrastructure focused on the North side of the island. It has it’s own airport with flights arriving daily from Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns and Melbourne, it’s an ideal base for visiting the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef, plus it has a lot of attractions of it’s own.
Perhaps my favourite thing about Hamilton Island is that you can have your very own golf buggy. It’s the main form of transport on the island and while it isn’t huge, it’s big enough that having a golf buggy makes it much more comfortable to get around in the heat. Plus, you have your own golf buggy and that’s just super cool.
Where to Stay
I was so surprised how many private villas to rent there are which give you some of the best water views on the island and your own terrace, these look fantastic and should definitely be considered. Alternatively, the Beach Club Hotel is a luxury adults only resort on Catseye Beach with an infinity pool looking out to the Coral Sea.
You can’t come to Hamilton Island and not explore the Great Barrier Reef. Take a trip to Reefworld where you will snorkel with hundreds of tropical fish and see coral formations that don’t exist anywhere else on the planet. After a two-hour catamaran trip through the stunning Whitsunday Islands, you’ll have four hours at Hardy Reef to explore what the reef has to offer. A glass-bottomed semi-submersible does 20 minute trips so you can really see a lot while you’re here.
While the Great Barrier Reef is magnificent up close, it’s also incredible from above and one of the best ways to appreciate the sheer beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands is from the air.
You’ll fly through the Whitsunday Islands to the Reef where you fly directly over Heart Reef, one of the most iconic sights of the Great Barrier Reef.
After taking a tour around the reef, your pilot will then fly you to Whitehaven beach where the helicopter will land on the sand for you to be left alone with a bottle of bubbles on the powder white sands.
The main beach on the island is the perfect spot for relaxing and enjoying a range of watersports. The wind was perfect for us to get out on the water in a hobby cat, which was included in our hotel. The bright shining sun and the powder white sand, this is the perfect tropical beach.
More than 70% of Hamilton Island is natural bushland with 20km of scenic walking trails. There are various trails ranging in effort and taking you up to beautiful picturesque panoramic points with stunning views of the island and it’s surroundings.
One Tree Hill
At the northern end of Hamilton Island is One Tree Hill where people gather for sundowners to watch the spectacular sunsets as the sun disappears behind the islands beyond. Bring a bottle and enjoy these special views from the islands highest paved point.
Where to Eat
Within the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, Bommie Restaurant was my favourite place to eat on the Island. Start with a sunset cocktail at Bommie Deck, watching the sun set over the Whitsunday Islands. The seven-course tasting menu that followed was creatively put together showcasing the best local ingredients with each course being original and uniquely created.
Dine with one of the best views on the island in the lounge-style setting of Beach Club Restaurant. Views stretch out to the Coral Sea with a perfect Whitsunday feel and their vegan menu serves up deliciously creative options.
At the northern end of Catseye Beach, Coca Chu serves hawker-style South East Asia inspired food in a relaxed setting, nestled amongst the tropical trees overlooking the beach. The menu has loads of vegan options that are great for sharing so you can taste as many as possible.
Manta Ray is a great choice for lunch overlooking the Marina watching the boats bobbing in the water. Gourmet pizza’s are on the menu here which can easily be adapted to be vegan.
Tako has got a prime spot overlooking the Marina to watch the sun go down with a chilled Margarita in hand. A Mexican restaurant with Japanese & Korean influences, the exciting menu has some great vegan options.