So you have taken my advice and decided to vacation on Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef, but first a little more information would be of great help. First is getting there, NFT Monkey with flights from all the major airports in Australia, it is easy to get to Hamilton Island, which has the only airport of the Whitsunday Islands. For those who prefer, not to fly, they can take the Ferry from Shute Harbour, it only takes 30 minutes. Once on the island, getting around is easy as there is a free shuttle service, or hire a golf buggy.
On the island there is a variety of accommodations to suit everyone’s pocket book, even a range of self- catering properties. Guests can choose from a range of rooms and suites at the 4-star Reef View Hotel, among its amenities is a 35-metre swimming pool, restaurant and Lounge bar. Then there is the Beach Club, a beachfront resort exclusively for adults, where all rooms have a private courtyard or balcony looking onto palm-fringed Catseye Beach and the Coral Sea. Guests staying at either of these properties receive complimentary use of the island’s gym, spa, sauna, tennis and squash courts, catamarans and other non-motorized equipment.
Palm Bungalows are designed for couples and families, with a limited budget, surrounded by lush tropical gardens they are near the island’s main swimming pool and the shops and restaurants in the Marina Village. Guests staying here have access to the “kids eat and stay free program”. There are also holiday homes, for rent, scattered across the island, all with access to swimming pools and a complimentary 4-seater golf buggy.
For those seeking a more luxurious holiday there is “Qualia”, on the island’s secluded northern tip, offering 59 one bedroom windward and leeward secluded pavilions with private sundecks and infinity-edge plunge pools over looking the Coral Sea. The 60th Pavilion is a 2-bedroom Beach House, with it’s own guest quarters, private swimming pool, and a 10-person dining room. Guests staying at “Qualia” have exclusive use of Pebble Beach, complimentary kayaks, 2 Catamarans, charteracatamaraninthebvi 24-hour chauffeur service and daily ala-carte breakfast
The gorgeous weather, azure waters, white sandy beaches and the Great Barrier Reef opens up incredible opportunities for a world of activities, both on the ocean and on land. Snorkle and dive the translucent waters of the Coral Sea with clear visibility and dramatic coral canyons, just a short paddle from Catseye Beach. Enjoy fishing trips in the abundant waters of the Great Barrier Reef; go jetboating, sail on a high-speed catamaran or get a thrill jet skiing or wakeboarding, behind a high powdered speed boat.
On land there is even more to do, go Off-road on a quad bike or go-kart, discover the island’s pristine bushland with a walk on one of its many trails, all the time seeing the flora and fauna and wildlife native to this part of the world – white breasted sea eagles, wallabies, Peregrine Falcons, crested cockatoos and peacocks to mention just a few.
One of these many trails goes by Mangrove Flat, a perfect example of a healthy mangrove ecosystem, where a wide variety of birds and other marine life can be seen. The trails also allows for beautiful views and the opportunity to climb to the highest point, at Passage Peak, for spectacular views of the Whitsundays. The Trails are open from 6:30am to 5:30pm and no one should venture forth without a Trail Map, comfortable shoes and insect repellant.
For the less adventurous and those who prefer to meet the wildlife, but not in the wilds, there is the Animal Wildlife Park which houses, not only the creepy crawlies but the local koalas, kangaroos, bostonhaikusociety birds and even a crocodile. The Park is open 7:30am to 5:30pm and has the unique distinction of being one of the few places you can “cuddle a Koala”