Hamilton Island is situated right at the edge of the one of the world’s seven natural wonders- the Great Barrief Reef and is one of the largest of the 74 Whitsunday Islands. If you’re going to Hamilton Island, exploring one of the natural world’s most spectacular wonders will be the highlight of your holiday here, but there’s so much more that you can do when you stay at the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.
How would we describe Hamilton Islands where we stayed for a few days- its like a small village to the visitors, with numerous resort options, a port-side shopping street, restaurants and little sweet shops. If you’re looking for nothing to do, just take a leisurely ride on the golf buggy (the main mode of transportation here) and if there’s lots you want to do, here are our top ten picks to help you make the most of your stay there.
A byword for Hamilton Island luxury, Qualia, an adults-only resort is hugely popular among honeymooners from India. Pritish Shah of A Travel Duet whose many clients have stayed there, tells us its a special place because the sun-drenched location has been meticulously crafted to relax the mind and completely spoil the senses.
2. Helicopter flight from Hamilton Island to Whitehaven Beach
Voted as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Whitehaven Beach is on the east coast of uninhabited Whitsunday Island, and an easy day trip from Hamilton Island. Fly by helicopter, and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding Whitsunday islands and fringing reefs. You can soak up in the sun, swim, go for a hike or just relax with chilled sparkling wine and a picnic on the pure, white-sand beach.
3. Sea plane ride over the Heart Reef
Experience a spectacular 60-minute scenic flight by seaplane around the Whitsundays. Take to the skies over the Great Barrier Reef and the amazing Heart Reef before experiencing a seaplane water landing on Whitehaven Beach, where you can enjoy the sand and sun.
4. Relax, revive and rejuvenate at Spa Qualia or day Spa Wumurdaylin
For a truly sensory experience, Hamilton Island’s Spa Qualia is a must visit destination. But since only open to those who are staying at Qualia resort, you can visit the newly opened day Spa Wumurdaylin, a divine relaxation haven, set amongst the beautiful Whitsundays.
5. Cruise the Great Barrier Reef, Snorkel and Dive with Cruise Whitsundays.
Enjoy an experience of a lifetime as you tour the Reefworld, and appreciate the Great Barrier Reef with a range of activities both in and out of the water. Explore the easy to follow snorkelling trails, or take a guided snorkelling tour with an experienced reef guide. For those who don’t want to get wet, tour the reef aboard a semi-submersible or be intrigued by the marine life in the underwater observatory.
6. Fine Dine South Asian flavors at Coca Chu, Experience a Touch of Italy at Romano’s, or Enjoy Fresh Seafood at Mariner’s.
Coca Chu is Hamilton Island’s new modern South East Asian restaurant, perfectly perched above the shores of Catseye Beach with stunning views of the Whitsunday Islands. Executive Chef Adam Woodfield brings adventurous, fun and seductive fare to the Whitsundays, based upon the hawker food stalls of South East Asia, mixing bold flavours with elegant casual style.
Romano’s offers modern Australian food prepared with an Italian influence. With tables on both levels overlooking the marina, it is the perfect venue for an atmospheric romantic dinner or a family celebration.
Mariner’s is located in the heart of Hamilton Island’s Marina Village, overlooking the marina on the deck, and offers the famous seafood of the Whitsunday’s. With the menu including fresh fish fillets, local prawns, oysters, generous platters and other bounties from the sea, this place is a seafood lovers dream.
7. Sparkling coastline and Bushwalking trails
Strap on your walking shoes, and get back to nature on Hamilton Island with a leisurely bushwalk to one of their many secluded beaches and hidden coves. You can take a gentle strolls through their easy trails, or trek to the top of the passage peak, which provides some of the best views in the Whitsundays.
8. Get up close with native Australian wildlife
Take a guided tour of the unique Australian sanctuary and be introduced to the local koalas, kangaroos, birds and even the resident crocodile. Your guide will educate you on wildlife, and also help you get up close and personal with some these famous and unique animals by feeding, talking and touching them. The Wild Life Hamilton Island is one the few places in the world where you can experience the thrill and excitement of cuddling a koala.
9. Quad Bike Adventure Tour
For those with a taste for adventure, you can drive through Hamilton Island’s bush land trails and explore the hidden Hamilton Island in your very own modern fully automatic Kawasaki quad bike, or partner up in a sporty two seat Polaris all terrain vehicle (ATV). Enjoy breathtaking views from the spectacular lookouts along the way.
10. Sail on- cruise secret islands, beaches and bays on your own bare-boat charter.
Sailing is one of the best ways to explore the Whitsunday’s 74 tranquil islands. Take a sunny day trip on the reef, charter a luxury yacht to go Whitsundays sailing, join a sailing regatta, or experience the excitement of Hamilton Island’s annual Race Week.
Getting to Hamilton Island
Singapore Airlines and SilkAir together, currently operate 98 weekly flights to Singapore from 11 Indian cities (Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Visakhapatnam, Kochi and Coimbatore) and over 120 weekly onward connections to six cities in Australia (Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney) including three daily flights to Brisbane. The Virgin Australia partnership with Singapore Airlines offers 34 weekly flights to Cairns and a daily flight to Hamilton Island, Queensland.
Photos Courtesy- Tourism Queensland and Dev Purbiya