Hamilton Island is one of Australia’s most family-friendly holiday destinations located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. It’s one of 74 islands that make up the spectacular Whitsunday Islands and with over 65 activities available on and around the island, there’s something to appeal to all ages and interests. Travel expert Craig Makepeace gives us the lowdown.
Participate in the water sports
You’re on an island so getting out on the water is what Hamilton Island is all about. Hire a sea kayak or stand-up paddleboard and explore the pristine waters at a slow pace, grab some snorkeling equipment and explore the underwater scenery fringing the island, jump on a windsurfer for some adventure off Catseye Beach, or zoom across the water on a jet ski.
Have a round of golf, or mini-golf
Hamilton Island boasts an 18-hole championship golf course, a challenging course for both professionals and resort golfers, designed by five-time British Open winner, Peter Thomson. It’s on the adjacent Dent Island and with its elevated perspective offers spectacular views out over the Whitsundays. Just want to improve your swing? Hit up the aquatic Golf Driving Range where the challenge is to hit the balls into the drop targets on the lake for the chance to win a range of daily prizes. And for a family activity there’s a fun mini-golf course that’s suitable for all ages.
Relax at Catseye Beach
Beautiful Catseye Beach is one of the main beaches on the island and the perfect spot for relaxing, soaking up some sun, enjoying a good book, or swimming in the turquoise water. At low tide you can take a leisurely stroll out on the sand flats and see the island from a different perspective. And Hamilton Island Beach Sports offers guided snorkelling tours where you can explore the local fringing reef.
Learn to sail
Hamilton Island is one of the best places to learn how to sail. Sunset sailing school offers a range of courses designed for every level of ability and experience as you learn from the experts. Once your sailing lessons are complete, why not add a few extra days to your trip and explore everything that this beautiful region has to offer!
On foot can be another great way to explore Hamilton Island’s natural beauty at a slow pace. Take a bush walk and discover secluded sandy coves, pack a picnic and stop in at one of the island’s many picnic spots, or climb to the top of the island for stunning views. There’s a range of trails available for all fitness levels and tables scattered along the walking trails for rest breaks.
Get your Adventure on
Looking for adventure? They’ve got you covered. Hamilton Island’s Jet Ski Tours offer an unforgettable adventure as you ride on your own jet ski accompanied by a friendly instructor who guides you through the waterways and hidden coves with the opportunity to see turtles and whales. Jump on an ATV for your off-road biking tour with a guide who’ill lead you through scenic fire trails and to the Resort Lookout for incredible 360-degree views. And Hamilton Island’s Quads for Kids will take them on a short, child-friendly quad circuit that will get their adrenaline flowing!
WILD LIFE Hamilton Island
Meet, feed and touch some iconic Australian wildlife at the WILD LIFE Hamilton Island such as marsupials, snakes, lizards, koalas, kangaroos and the park’s very own crocodile! You can even have breakfast with the koalas at the koala cafe, get a souvenir photograph cuddling a koala, or join the Twilight Tour and BBQ. Guided tours are run daily at 10am and 4pm.
One Tree Hill
One of the best things to do on Hamilton Island is enjoy a sunset drink at One Tree Hill with breathtaking views. A popular spot every evening, get there early to grab yourself a table overlooking the Whitsundays on both sides. Or grab a cocktail/wine, a cheese platter, soft drinks for the kids and settle on the grass to watch the beautiful sunset.
Experience the Great Barrier Reef
You’re in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef so why not take advantage and explore one of Australia’s natural wonders with a range of well-organised tours, activities and excursions on offer. Take a spectacular helicopter flight over the reef to see the turquoise waters from above, including the iconic Heart Reef. Select from a range of day-trips and tours where you can dive or snorkel, or sail, cruise or take a glass bottom boat tour.
Don’t miss digging your toes into the pure white silica sand on world famous Whitehaven Beach and viewing the swirling patterns of white and blue from Hill inlet. Whitehaven is just a thirty-minute trip away on a high-speed catamaran from Hamilton Island, or you can explore the beach via a helicopter or seaplane from the island, and even sail to Whitehaven Beach on one of the island’s yachts.
Enjoy the Resort Centre
Located in a central position on the island, the Resort Centre is where you’ll find a whole range of popular island activities and facilities. Enjoy a morning coffee or an afternoon drink at the happening Veranda Bar, swim in the family-friendly Main Pool with its popular swim-up pool bar, attend diving classes, indulge in some retail therapy at the many boutique stores, keep the whole family entertained with Twlight Fun Zones, and get all the information you need and make bookings for island activities at the Tour Desk.