Travel

The Ultimate Hamilton Island Travel Guide

It’s a picture perfect destination. A quintessential Australian getaway where relaxation, luxury and old fashioned lay by the pool, bask in the sun, holiday je ne sais quoi, meet.

The home of one of Queensland’s most loved natural gems, the it place for a wedding or two (or two hundred) and footing as one of the top island destinations in the world. Welcome to Hamilton Island – your perfect holiday escape guide.

Owned by Australian wine-maker Bob Oatley, Hamilton is one of seventy four islands in the Whitsundays region and is about one thousand one hundred kilometres from Brisbane. Accessible by ferry from Airlie Beach, by plane from Hamilton Island Airport as well as via private boat or yacht passage. Inhabited for as long as eight thousand years, the island once owned by the indigenous Ngaro Aboriginal tribe has rich flora and fauna history, accessible on one of the many hiking trails on the island. Today, this is now complemented by the rich architecture of world-renowned hotels and establishments all leading to the main event – the Great Barrier reef.

Accomodation

With the kind of aesthetics one would expect from a Mills & Boon novel cover, you really can’t go wrong with beautiful places to stay and the sea views to match on this island. Hamilton has everything from adult-only, family friendly and private living options.

Qualia

Decadent and illusive, this top of the line boutique resort oozes everything the name stands for; ‘a collection of deeper sensory experiences’. You may know this luxury spot as the only hotel to house the Australian Ballet, hosting a show every year amongst the idyllic backdrops of the hotel and island itself. This no kids allowed spot designed by Australian architect Chris Beckingham, is an oasis of open floor plans, locally imported timber, infinity pools, consumed by the sea and infused by its eucalyptus tree surroundings. With only sixty pavilion spaces and houses to choose from, absolute serenity and exclusivity are guaranteed. Not to mention access to Spa Qualia and a selection of bespoke dining areas that keep you both relaxed and refuelled.


20 Whitsunday Blvd, Whitsundays QLD 4803 – Website


Reef View Hotel

Coral Sea Twin Room at Reef View Hotel, Hamilton Island; Image via Hamilton Island

Everything you would expect from an island holiday hotel. Private beach, multiple dining spaces, enough pools to poke a stick at, a cockatoo welcome from the comfort of your own balcony overlooking either the Coral Sea or Hamilton’s tropical forest, and spacious rooms perfect for sharing. More family friendly than some of its other Hamilton counterparts, children under twelve enjoy free dinner and parents can look out for Golf packages and Spa treatments.


12 Resort Dr, Hamilton Island QLD 4803 – Website


Hibiscus 107

The ideal place for big family get togethers and friend fuelled getaways, Airbnb options allow for privacy and fun for larger groups. Standout ‘Hibiscus 107 ’ boasts a deluxe two-bedroom apartment for up to five guests with buggy service included, a private spa, pool and a mere fifty meter walk straight to the beach.


North Hamilton Island, Hamilton Island – Website


Eat

Much like the reef itself, it’s likely you’ll take a few snaps of your food, well-known in Hamilton for its swanky presentation and even swankier taste.

Manta Ray for Lunch

Pizza at Manta Ray; Image Via Hamilton Island

Your run of the mill casual dining spot, low key and perfect for families looking for a bit of shade or a parent after a sneaky afternoon drink at the bar. Think flamed salmon fillet with pearled barley, baby octopus salad, spiced braised lamb shoulder and a comprehensive list of deluxe pizza options. Kids eat free too with selected hotel packages.


Front St, Whitsundays QLD 4803 – Website


TAKO for dinner

TAKO Mexican; Image via Hamilton Island

A newer kid on Hamilton’s Front Street block, TAKO is a Japanese and Korean inspired approach to Mexican cuisine. Notoriously known for their signature Octopus TAKO taco, this one of a kind restaurant is ideal for cocktail enthusiasts, groups, and those with an appetite for modern fusion food.


Marina Village, Front Street, Hamilton Island QLD 4803 – Website


Bommie Restaurant for dinner

Bommie Restaurant Indoor and Outdoor (wedding) settings; Images via Hamilton Island

Quite honestly the most beautiful locale on the island, this end of the boardwalk restaurant located inside the Hamilton Island Yacht club is a show-stopper. Whilst you’re sipping Champagne and a enjoying a range of fresh, local oysters; or tasting a selection of the menu’s best flavours in crowd favourite ‘Tasting Menu’ (curated by chef Chef Trent Dawson and co.), your eyes will be in a fight! Obsessing over whether to gaze upon on the spectacular water views or the floor-to-ceiling sculptures of artist Glenn Murray inside the restaurant itself. If you’re after an even more unforgettable experience and can wrangle a group of your friends or family to join, try the private dining options available for up to sixteen guests.


Front St, Hamilton Island QLD 4803 – Website


Drink

Synonymous with sunset sessions, Hamilton knows how to drink.

Bommie Deck for sunset drinks

Bommie Deck; Image via Pintrest: Hamilton Island Weddings

A laid-back version of Bommie Restaurant, bragging the same fantastic views as its dining sibling. The ideal place for your much loved Instagram post or next postcard picture for Facebook, it’s also a great place to spot some of the Whitsunday’s most beloved Sea Turtles.


Front St, Hamilton Island QLD 4803 – Website


The Tanqueray Garden Bar for one of a kind cocktails

Tanqueray Garden Bar; Image via Hamilton Island

Front street favourite, The Garden Bar’s ‘Create Your Own’ menu allows you pick your own spirit, mixer and garnish. Just off the marina, it’s a great place to head either pre or post a delicious dinner nearby.


Hamilton Island, Front St, Whitsundays QLD 4803 – Website


Island Bar for by the pool, in the pool, drinks

Island Bar, Reef View Hotel Hamilton Island; image via Hamilton Island

An island classic. Located in Main Pool at the Reef View, the Island Bar is a swimmer’s fantasy. Accessed best by water and accompanied by the acoustic stylings of live musicians (probably donning a fedora), it’s the kind of tiki-esque, easygoing spot Hamilton is known for.


12 Resort Dr, Hamilton Island QLD 4803 – Website


Things to do

Aside for the generic island go-tos like spa treatments, hiking, beach days and pensioner water aerobics, there’s the option of seeing Hamilton by sea, sky or street.

Snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef

image via The Conversation

ReefSleep Experience; image via Reef Dive Cruise Travel

Top of the list. Hands down best thing to do in the Whitsundays. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the whole world and by default, the best place to see stunning coral formations, exotic fish, manta rays, dolphins and whales.

Often seen as overwhelming, due to the fact that so many companies offer an abundance of options to visit the site, we’d suggest a ‘ReefSleep’ experience. On this tour you get the best of both worlds: the reef by day in all its busy colour as well as the reef by night in its still serenity. The stay involves sleeping on a pontoon above Hardy Reef, and is limited to thirty people at a time. The package includes all equipment, full breakfast, buffet lunches, daily morning and afternoon tea as well as wine, beer and unlimited access to diving, snorkelling, semi-submersive coral watching and fifty-seat viewing chambers


More info


Flight over the Whitsundays

Whether its seaplane or helicopter, scenic flight is the best way to see as many islands as possible whilst in Hamilton. Fan favourite on the flight path is the extensively googled, picture perfect, Instagram posted (with accompanying love letter in the caption), Air Heart Reef *cue visual aid…

Helicopter at Heart Reef; image via Hamilton Island


More info


Driving on the island

ATV Adventure on Hamilton Island; Image via Hamilton Island

On an island where cars don’t exist and buggies roam free, Go Karting, Off-road ATV and quad bikes are an ideal option for all ages and families. ‘Quads for Kids’ is a safe approach for the youths while ‘Off Road Adventure’ is an all-terrain experience in the heart of bush-land with the option of reaching the peaks of Hamilton and the secluded waters of Coral Cove.


More info 


 

For more information on anything and everything on this glorious island, click here

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