Nestled in the azure waters which surround the Whitsundays is one of Australia’s true holiday gems, Hamilton Island. Spending time on the island really does mean leaving all your worries behind you, as the relaxed pace, thanks in the main to no private cars being allowed on the island, helps you to unwind and soak up the tropical vibe. Owned by the Oatley family, Hamilton Island is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and one of the world’s most amazing beaches, Whitehaven.
This fully integrated island means there’s no need to take your wallet with you when you head out, just show your room key, however, you may just want to keep an eye on your itemised bill each day! Whether it’s lazing the day away on Catseye Beach, snorkelling around the Great Barrier Reef, or taking on one of Australia’s most challenging golf courses, you’ll be hard pushed to find a more enjoyable holiday.
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There are many options of where to eat on Hamilton Island and you certainly won’t go hungry. But a quick ferry trip to Dent Island, home to one of Australia’s most challenging golf courses, offers the chance to enjoy lunch at the Clubhouse. Take advantage of the lunch special, which for $65 gives you return ferry transfers, a two course a la carte lunch and a tour of the Clubhouse. The views from the Clubhouse at the top of the island are breathtaking and endless, so try and secure yourself a seat outdoors.
Hamilton Island is home to one of the most luxurious resorts I have ever seen, note seen, not stayed at! Considered a six-star resort, qualia was voted Best Resort in the World, 2012 in Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. The 60, one-bedroom pavilions which nestle behind the locked gates are the ultimate in decadence, starting from $975 per night! Definitely one for a special treat. If your budget isn’t that expansive, take advantage of the frequently offered ‘stay five pay four nights’ accommodation packages at other hotels on the island to keep your costs down.
Hamilton Island is the quintessential island getaway and you don’t have to leave Australia. You’ll fall in love with the island’s laid back lifestyle and the free shuttle buses which operate around the island make getting around incredibly easy. But whatever you do, don’t forget to head to One Tree Hill for Sunset Cocktails – the stunning view is free, but you’ll have to pay for your own drinks.