The endless science lectures in college drove me to a much needed and one of the most fulfilling trips of my life. A trip to Australia. A close friend of mine stayed in Queensland and so we decided to explore some of the major tourist cities in the country. We visited Melbourne, Sydney, Queensland but the place that took my absolute breath away will have to be the Hamilton island. From the very moment our flight floated on the blue waters of the Whitsunday islands, I knew this will be a place to remember. The crisp, cool air along with the sunny weather made the perfect outdoorsy weather in the month of July.
While there’s a limited number of accommodation options in Hamilton Island, given that it’s a small island, all hotels seem very professional and willing to serve you with the most comfortable stay. We decided to stay at the Reef View Hotel. This hotel has several types of rooms but majorly two facings; garden view and sea facing. The sea facing rooms are a bit costlier, around $100 more than the garden view but they are definitely worth it. For there is nothing more peaceful to be waking up to the beautiful sea with other islands on distance in sight and sleeping to the sound of thrashing waves. The rooms are well equipped with furniture and are very spacious. And you get a visit from Cockatoos and parrots every morning! The hotel is family and couple friendly, however, peak months may set you back from getting the best room, so book and confirm your room well in advance. For families traveling with kids Reef view hotel, Palm Bungalows and holiday homes are all great options as they provide complimentary food and stay for the kids along with access to childcare. For couples, Qualia and Beach Club are good options to consider.
With a number of restaurants to pick from, let me help you choose.
For a fine dining experience do not forget to visit the Bommie restaurant. Beautiful interiors and a view of the Whitsunday islands, this place will leave you spellbound. Also, all of their food produce comes locally.
Beach club restaurant
Set up on the beachfront, grab your lunch here and enjoy the sunny beach views. The place is serene and child-free. Perfect for a brunch date with bae!
Asian food? Yes, please! Get your fix of South-East Asian flavors here.
Out on a walk feeling the breeze? Feel like having a pizza, maybe? Hop in. Sit on their dock by the sea and enjoy and hearty, pocket-friendly meal.
Not your typical restaurant but worth a mention. This is a takeaway parlor. You can collect your food and sit right outside this shop as there are seatings available. They serve amazing, fresh seafood. Do not forget to try their calamari rings with a wedge of lime!
Things to do
If you’re an adventure sports person then Hamilton island is your place to be, especially for water sports. Hamilton Island offers a wide range of water sports. We went for a jet skiing session on the Catseye beach which was so very thrilling as the tides were a bit rough that day. You could see the other islands from the water and fight through the waves on your jet ski. We booked the ski session on the island itself and were given a coach who guided us on our half an hour adventure. For a more relaxing and bonding experience, one may try Kayaking over the beach and if you’re traveling with a group of friends or family a much-recommended option is to hire a dinghy and take complete control of your ocean experience. It can fit around 6 people and you can hire it for a half/full day starting at $180. Having a dinghy gives you the liberty of sightseeing at your own pace. Snorkeling, diving, fishing along the way. You can book one at the Hamilton Island Marina Village.
You cannot go to Hamilton Island and not see the world’s award-winning, stunning beach, the Whitehaven beach. This 7km long beach stretch is located on the Whitsunday island and has beautiful, soft, white sand (That’s why the name, I guess). The blue of the water will bring you back your lost peace. The beach is very well maintained and do remember to not bring back anything from this beach, not even a shell as it’s considered an offense of law! Take a walk alongside the beach in the shades provided by the tall, lush green trees or just lay in the sand and get a natural tan!
We got to the Whitehaven beach through a motorboat as we booked a half day package from our hotel. This consisted of snorkeling on the great barrier reef and then the visit to Whitehaven Beach.
It was a high tide day and so we were only dropped in shallow water to snorkel. If you’re lucky enough to snorkel on a low tide day, you’ll be put into deeper water and will have an amazing time exploring the world’s biggest coral reef! And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a pro at swimming to see the colorful coral life, just ask the help of your instructor to guide you through. Catch views of colorful schools of fish and corals of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Most hotels provide free snorkeling on the Catseye beach where guests snorkel independently. Fun fact- Corals are invertebrate animals
The BUGGY life
If you’re not that big on water or have had enough of the sea, I recommend you hire a buggy for a day and go tripping over the entire island. Where else will riding a buggy for an entire day be even a valid, feasible option? This is one island where you’ll see buggies as the regular means of transport! And oh how cute they are. Just remember to book your buggy well in advance because chances are that you might not be able to avail on the spot. A day or two in advance shall work. While there are chapels, zoos, and plenty other scenic views to be enjoyed on a buggy ride, there’s also a buggy rally where the team to score the maximum correct answers about the island wins a prize! Woohoo! I’m packing my summer dresses already, and you?