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Posted: 02 Mar 2015
We had a really busy Chinese New Year, but also had lots of satisfied customers. Most memorable customer is a little girl who had a such enjoyable time on our flight and couldn't stop expressing how happy she was :)
About Hamilton Island
Hamilton Island is situated in the heart of the Whitsunday Islands, at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. The island covers 650 hectares - 5kms from north to south and 3.5kms from east to west, and whilst being the largest resort island in the Whitsundays, only 30% of it is developed with 70% remaining as National Park. Much of the island remains preserved as natural bushland and is home to an array of beautiful flora and fauna including gumtrees, paperbarks, palms, pines and ancient cycads.
The mainland, Shute Harbour is 16 nautical miles from Hamilton Island which equates to a 30 minute direct transfer by ferry. Being the largest inhabited island of the Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island features the only airport in the Whitsunday Islands that is large enough to cater for commercial aircraft with up to six commercial flights arriving each day from Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
The island is a buzzing little community in its own right, much like a small town, featuring everything from a medical centre, hair and beauty salon, post office, bank, chemist, general store, bakery, fish and chip shop, fine dining restaurants, fashion boutiques and even a public school. And whilst there are many activities taking place on a daily basis, the combined resort life and island beauty will keep you both relaxed and entertained at the same time. Whether you’re looking for action, relaxation, romance or a fun family getaway, Hamilton Island has it all.
The Ngaro People were a seafaring Australian Aborigine group of people that inhabited the Whitsunday Islands and coastal regions of Queensland from at least 7000 BC until 1870. They traveled among the Whitsunday Islands in sewn paperbark canoes that sometimes utilized outriggers. They fished for sea turtles and shellfish and even large sea mammals such as small whales from these canoes. Nara Inlet on Hook Island is the site of the oldest evidence of Ngaro settlement.
The first European to explore the area was Captain James Cook who navigated his way through some 150 tropical islands as he journeyed up the eastern coast of Australia in 1770. On Sunday 4 June which happened to be Whit Sunday (the seventh Sunday after easter), Lieutenant James Cook sailed through the passage between Cape Conway and the islands which he named the Whitsunday Passage. Cook named the surrounding islands 'Cumberland Isles' - which as time passed those islands adjacent to the Whitsunday Passage have become more commonly known as ‘The Whitsundays’.
Tourism arrived in the 1920s, but it was not until the 1970s that the identity of the Whitsundays moved strongly towards tourism. That was when the first significant yacht charter companies began to operate out of nearby Shute Harbour. The real boom arrived in the early 1980s with the development of a commercial airport, harbour and resort on Hamilton Island, which now presents a world-class destination of leisure, lifestyle, adventure and escape all encompassed in incredible natural beauty.
There are four resorts on the island ranging from 3 star to 5 star plus:-
Reef View Hotel
Enjoy spectacular Whitsunday views from the Reef View Hotel. Located directly opposite Catseye Beach, this island centrepiece is 19 storeys high and features extremely spacious, well-appointed rooms all with private balconies overlooking either landscaped gardens or the breathtaking vista of the Coral Sea and nearby Whitsunday Island. The upper-most floors boast a range of luxuriously appointed suites that face the sea complete with outdoor furniture to experience the spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
The Reef View Hotel has many amenities, including a 35-metre swimming pool, the Reef Lounge bar, and in-house Pool Terrace Restaurant serving buffet breakfast, light lunches and à la carte dinner menu. Children staying at the Reef View Hotel can eat for free when dining with their parents as part of the Kids Stay and Eat Free program.
qualia is situated on the secluded northern-most tip of Hamilton Island, offering a unique expression of world-class luxury and distinctive style. Everything has been meticulously considered in this truly special place to relax the mind and completely spoil the senses. The resort comprises of 59 one-bedroom Windward or Leeward Pavilions that blend harmoniously with the natural beauty of the island and provide an indulgent space to unwind. The 60th Pavilion is the ultimate luxury and privacy of the 2-bedroom qualia Beach House, with its own guest quarters, lap pool and breathtaking views.
This private and exclusive haven has every facility you could wish for including two infinity-edge swimming pools, a library, two restaurants, a private gym and quintessential Australian treatments at Spa qualia. The Long Pavilion is qualia’s stunning centrepiece with postcard views of the encircling islands and Coral Sea.
Romantic and affordable, Hamilton Island Palm Bungalows are designed for couples and families holidaying on a budget. These simple yet charming freestanding bungalows are surrounded by tropical landscaped gardens and lush foliage that offer a ‘back to nature’ experience. These newly-refurbished bungalows are bright, airy and beautifully appointed with a king-sized bed plus a single divan. Each bungalow features air conditioning and a ceiling fan; a spacious, crisp white bathroom with new fittings, basin and walk-in shower; and a smart kitchenette complete with microwave, bar fridge, as well as tea and coffee-making facilities.
Centrally located between Catseye Beach and the Marina Village, these free-standing bungalows offer peace and seclusion in a convenient location, with the island’s main swimming pool and shops and restaurants of Marina Village just minutes away.
The Beach Club
Perfect for honeymooners and couples, the Beach Club is an exclusive boutique retreat situated in an absolute beachfront location, overlooking Catseye Beach. Surrounded by landscaped gardens, this romantic and intimate retreat features stylish, well appointed rooms and relaxed beach house vibe. With its absolute beachfront location and exclusive guest-only pool, lounge and restaurant, the adults only Beach Club offers an ultimate luxury romantic holiday experience.
Hamilton Island Holiday Homes are ideal for families and independent holidaymakers wanting a real home away home. With over 100 properties to choose from, you can choose from a variety of styles including studio, split-level, two-storey apartments, units and luxury Holiday Homes that can sleep one to twelve people in one to five bedroom configurations.
All Hamilton Island houses and apartments are fully self-contained providing that added convenience to your holiday, including linen and bedding, a fully equipped kitchen, laundry with washing machine and dryer, TV and DVD player, as well as sharing landscaped gardens and swimming pool facilities. The Holiday Homes are scattered right across Hamilton Island, from the marina to the beach and the island’s northern tip. Getting around to the island’s pools, restaurants, shops and General Store is fun and easy, with complimentary use of a four-seater buggy included during your stay.
Spoilt for choice, Hamilton Island has more than a dozen restaurants, bars and cafes to choose from, including a selection of modern australian, italian and asian cuisine, to seafood and steak, or simple snacks such as a healthy sandwich or wrap from the Marina Deli, fish and chips from Popeye's or a freshly baked pie from Bob's Bakery. Families can enjoy the kids stay and eat for free package at selected accommodation and restaurants on the island. At participating accommodation there’s no charge for children aged up to 12 years when sharing a room with their parents and using existing bedding. Plus, kids aged up to 12 eat for free when dining with their parents at participating restaurants before 7.30pm and choosing from the kids menu.
The stylishly relaxed Hamilton Island Golf Club's restaurant and bar is perfect for a laid back long lunch with the best views in the Whitsundays. Lunch special includes return Island Links transfers from Hamilton Island to Dent Island, a two course a la carte lunch at the Clubhouse and a Complimentary tour of the Hamilton Island Golf Club. The menu draws on the beauty of seasonal produce and a relaxed approach to cuisine.
Meanwhile the iconic Hamilton Island Yacht Club is nestled right on the water overlooking Dent Passage, and is home to the superb Bommie restaurant. Bommie is the signature restaurant at the sparkling Hamilton Island Yacht Club, catering to guests 12 years and over. Bommie restaurant takes inspiration from the natural beauty of the marine environment featuring modern Australian cuisine that is carefully prepared using fresh local produce. Superb service and individual attention heightens your experience, and complements the surrounding beauty of the Whitsundays.
For those who want to unwind with a cocktail then swim up and place your drinks order from the swim-up bar, or jounrney up to One Tree Hill for a special sunset. Enjoy live music from one of the many stylish bars, or dance your way into the early morning hours at Bohemes night club.
Hamilton Island’s shopping is mainly focused at the Marina Village where you can pick up local art, fashion, jewellery and souvenirs in boutiques and specialty stores, stock up on holiday essentials and have access to all the modern services and conveniences of an island community including newsagent, chemist, florist, post office and general store. Guests staying at qualia have exclusive access to the qualia boutique, which stocks a wide range of premium labels including Ermeneglido Zegna, Lisa Brown and Camilla – the boutique is so exclusive that Collette Dinnigan produced a bikini especially for it.
Top 7 Things to Do on Hamilton Island:
The Hamilton Island Golf Club is located on neighbouring Dent Island and is the only championship golf course in Australia to be situated on its own island, featuring some of the most spectacular views and settings of any golf course in the world. Designed by champion golfer, Peter Thomson of Thomson Perrett, the par 71, 18 hole course has been designed to challenge all levels of golf enthusiasts, from resort guests to professional golfers with two distinctly different nine hole circuits returning to a central clubhouse. The island's natural and rugged beauty, together with its mountainous terrain affords stunning 360 degree views across secluded coves and beaches to adjacent passages and islands, and the mainland beyond. Guests staying at any of Hamilton Island's hotels or apartments are transported to the Dent Island golf course via a regular ferry service.
Sailing is the best way to explore the Whitsunday’s 74 tranquil islands, where you can experience the intimate beauty of the surrounding reefs and bays as you sail around the remote shores of Hamilton Island. Charter a luxury yacht, go on a sailing cruise, join a regatta, hire a catamaran, learn to sail, embark on a day of adventure or simply enjoy the peace and tranquility of a sunset cruise. Daily departures, contact Hamilton Island tour desk for bookings.
3. Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP), the largest marine protected area in the world and a world heritage area. Below the high tide mark Hamilton Island itself is surrounded by fringing coral reef and mangrove communities, home to a diverse population of marine animals. Catseye Bay has a fringing coral reef and at low tide is a great spot to see array of colourful fish. To experience the ultimate underwater wonderland of magnificent corals, colourful fish and marine life take a trip to the outer Great Barrier Reef with Cruise Whitsundays. Cruise out to Reefworld for a day of snorkel and dive adventures. Enjoy a front-seat view of the marine life and corals in an underwater viewing chamber, take a guided snorkel safari with up-close encounters of the reef and its inhabitants. Introductory and certified diving allows you to plunge into the deep from Reefworld’s permanently moored platform.
4. Whitehaven Beach
Regularly voted one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Whitehaven Beach is a picture postcard pristine beach that stretches for seven empty kilometres with sand so pure and white (it’s 98% pure silica) and rippling waves in shades of turquoise and aquamarine; Whitehaven is heaven on earth. Located on the east coast of uninhabited Whitsunday Island, Whitehaven is an easy day trip from Hamilton Island; you can visit this spectacular beach on a cruise, sail your own boat, or fly there by seaplane or helicopter.
5. Island Hop
Explore the Whitsundays at your leisure. If you would like to do your own thing then arm yourself with a pass, timetable and map then set out exploring the Whitsunday islands on your very own itinerary. The islands available on this pass are Daydream Island, Hamilton Island and Long Island. Daydream Island Resort and Spa is one of the premier resorts in the Whitsunday Islands. Daydream Village at the southern end of the island has been especially developed with day visitors in mind. It has all the facilities of an island resort and then some! Long Island Resort is what you dream of when you think of an island holiday. Hammocks swinging under palm trees, a golden beach, gentle waves lapping at the shore and 2,500 acres of tropical rainforest to explore.
6. Spa treatment
Spa wumurdaylin welcomes you to a divine relaxation haven, themed to the stunning natural surrounds of pure oceanic bliss. Carefully selected spa products from Waterlily and LI’TYA have been chosen to provide a unique indigenous experience while capturing the beauty of the Whitsunday Islands, with treatments including body cocoon wraps, exfoliations, facials, massage and body treatments. Hamilton Island's Spa qualia is exclusively for qualia guests or by invitation only. Featuring six deluxe treatment rooms, Spa qualia is an all-encompassing, sensory experience with additional guest facilities including a relaxation area with steam room and outdoor tropical vichy shower, along with open air yoga and meditation pavilion.
7. Wildlife Park
The Hamilton Island Wildlife Park provides the perfect place to get up close and personal with some unique Australian wildlife.Take a guided tour of this unique Australian sanctuary and say hello to Freddie the talking and performing Sulphur-crested Cockatoo; Hippo the baby wombat; Elvis the resident koala, gorgeous brother and sister dingoes; and the many other incredible Aussie animals including the cassowary, bettongs, pademelons, Eclectus Parrots (also known to have a good chat), kangaroos, crocodiles and numerous other reptiles. Your guide will educate you on these furry friends whilst also being there to help you feed, talk and touch these true Aussie characters.
Three times a day the Koala Gallery runs animal photo sessions where you can have your picture taken with a koala or snake. Or why not start your day with Breakfast with the Koalas enjoying an Aussie style buffet breakfast of juices, fresh fruits, cereals, pastries, toast, tea or coffee, pancakes, bacon, sausages and eggs cooked how you like them on the BBQ; all served in an open natural surrounding.
6 Free Activities
1. Snorkelling equipment
Snorkelling Hamilton Island is easy, with the encircling coral reef just a short paddle from Catseye Beach.
2. Catamaran Hire
An activity that everyone to enjoy, catamaran hire gives you the freedom to set your own course and set sail. The team at Beach Sports are there to help you, regardless of your experience level.
3. Kayak and Paddle Ski Hire
One of Hamilton Island’s most popular activities, hire a kayak or paddle ski and take to the pristine waters. This is a fun activity for all guests regardless of experience level.
4. Windsurfer Hire
A quick lesson from the helpful team at Beach Sports and a little puff of wind and before you know it you will be windsurfing across Catseye Bay.
5. Bush walk
Discovering the island by foot is a great way to experience the hidden coves, vistas and picnic spots throughout the vast bushland. The Resort Lookout walk offers an excellent introduction to the island, through typical Whitsunday bushland starting at the Scenic Trail entrance. This lookout is the second highest point on the island and drops off to sheer cliff faces, revealing an excellent
panoramic view of the main resort area, marina village and surrounding islands.
6. Relax & Swim
Hamilton Island offers a choice of pools in which to cool down and where you can really relax and unwind. The Dolphin Pool curls its way around Sails restaurant and enjoys a spectacular outlook over the beach and beyond. The island’s Main Pool on Catseye Beach is shaded by tropical gardens and drinks are served from its swim-up bar. The Bougainvillea Pool and its tropical landscaping resemble a tropical lagoon hidden behind Catseye Beach. The Reef View Hotel’s palm-lined pool is adjacent to the Pool Terrace Restaurant so you don’t need to go far for a lunchtime snack.
5 Best Places for Sunset:
1. One Tree Hill
Even better, take a cocktail up there and just sit and enjoy the view
2. Bommie Deck
Another spot to sit with a cocktail and watch the sun go down
3. Hesperus Lawn
Beside Manta Ray café, sit on the grass and watch the sun set behind the masts of the marina. Best on Sunday Evenings when the Marina Daze live music can get your toes tapping
4. Airport Road
On the road to the airport there is a lay-by near the road that leads to the marina boat yard. There is plenty of space there for a stunning view over the marina and the Yacht Club.
5. On the water
Onboard 'On The Edge' – or on the balcony of your Hamilton Island Holiday Home. Just magical.
Kids stay and eat for free at selected accommodation and restaurants on Hamilton Island. At participating accommodation there’s no charge for children sharing a room with their parents, using existing bedding. Plus, kids aged up to 12 eat for free when dining with their parents at participating restaurants before 7.30pm and choosing from the kids menu.
Top Family Accommodation:
- Reef Family Room
- Palm Bungalows
- Holiday Homes
Family Friendly Restaurants:
- Manta Ray Cafe
- Coco Chu
- Pool Terrace Restaurant
- Sails Steak and Seafood Grill
- Wildlife Hamilton Island Cafe
Top Activities for Families:
- Great Barrier Reef Cruise
- Kegal Bowling
- Mini Golf
- Catamaran Hire
- Go-Kart Racing
- Dinghy Hire
- Mini Golf
- Quad Bikes
- Wakeboarding and Tube Riding
The Clownfish Club is Hamilton Island’s childcare centre catering for children aged 6 weeks to 14 years of age. The purpose built centre allows kids to play inside with the games, do arts and crafts, watch some TV, play outside or participate in supervised excursions around the island from their base near the main pool. Open from 8.30am until 5:00pm. Full day and half day sessions available. As well as looking after kids during the day, the Clownfish Club also organise babysitters for guests (and residents). All sitters have Blue Cards with the associate police checks and are a combination of Hamilton Island staff and residents. On top of their usual day care and babysitting jobs, the Clownfish Club also runs an equipment hire service with strollers, Port-a-cots, highchairs and a selection of toy bags to hire for your convenience.
Hamilton Island has more than 10 ceremony locations and 15 unique reception venues to suit every taste, style and budget, whether it be an intimate setting for two or up to 200 family and friends. Guests can choose from a range of accommodation, fine restaurants, and over 60 different activities. Hamilton Island Weddings, is located on the island and has experience in organising and supplying services to hundreds of weddings every year. From the photography and video, flowers and cake, luxury Jaguar Limousines or hair and makeup, there is no detail the team of wedding planners can’t look after.
Hilly Half Marathon - Sunday 1 May 2016
The challenging Stamford Financial Hilly Half Marathon follows road, fire trails and walking tracks through Hamilton Island’s undulating interior. Following a rugged 21-kilometre route uphill and down dale, the marathon puts individual and team relay competitors (3x7km) to the test.
Mother's Day Classic - Sunday 6 May 2016
An easy to moderate walk or run around the resort marina and back along the beach to the finish, you can select from a 4.2km walk or 6.7km run.Alternatively you can come along and support all walkers and runners and join in the entertainment and activity taking place around the course. Remember to fill in a tribute card to wear on the day in memory of a loved one or with words of encouragement to someone currently undergoing treatment.
Gatorade Clash of the Paddles - 11 June to 14 June 2016
One of the world’s toughest outrigger canoe racing events, the Gatorade Clash of the Paddles is run over four exciting days, where competitive outriggers are joined by athletes from four other popular paddle disciplines; Surf Ski, Dragon Boating, Stand-Up Paddling and Board Paddling. Capped off with an exciting off-water entertainment program, the Gatorade Clash of the Paddles is an oarsome event for every type of paddler.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - 20 to 27 August 2016
In late August the island plays host to its annual Hamilton Island Race Week yachting festival, in which more than 150 yachts from across Australia and New Zealand gather for a week of races around the islands. This is one of Australia’s favourite yachting events and a firm fixture on the international sailing calendar. Competitors, family and friends come together to enjoy the convivial atmosphere and unique camaraderie of the event’s on-water and off-water carnival.
Great Barrier Feast - tba
Hamilton Island’s highly successful Great Barrier Feast includes a series of separate haute cuisine weekends, offering guests the exclusive opportunity to immerse themselves in a ‘behind the scenes’ experience and learn directly from world-class chefs in a world-class setting.
Hamilton Island has a year-round tropical climate with an average temperature of 27.4 degrees centigrade. Its maximum summer temperatures (December, January and February) are around 30 degrees celsius, with maximum winter temperatures (June, July and August) around 23 degrees. Hamilton's tropical climate means the days are warm and the atmosphere is very relaxed. A light jacket or sweater may be required for evenings during the cooler months. Beachwear and casual attire is suitable during the day.
Best Time to Visit:
January to March is the best time to visit for families. With school holidays in January, there are lots of fun on-island activities created especially for families and kids. February to March is a good time to visit and enjoy some post-Christmas peace and quiet. It’s very tropical this time of year in Queensland and not uncommon to have some rain showers during the day, but most days turn out to be sunny and hot.
April to June is a stunning time of year, the weather ranges from mild to warm with less daily rain showers and lots of days with crisp, clear blue skies. School Holidays and Easter the island sets up to provide for some great family fun. May and June is a particularly nice time for couples, honeymooners, special occasion groups, conferences and weddings as the day-to-day weather temperatures are less variable.
July to September provides some mild to warm breezy weather with clear blue skies, a great time for sailing which is why the famous Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is held at this time. July is a busy month for school holiday fun, and with warm comfortable temperatues and balmy nights in September this is ideal for special occasion groups, conferences and weddings.
October to December is the most popular time of year to visit for both couples and families, as it’s the fun end of the year approaching holidays and Christmas. The weather is that typical hot, sunny Queensland weather. It’s definitely another great time to make the most of getting out and about to see what the region has to offer. December is a fun month with a good mix of island celebrations planned for both couples and families over the Christmas and New Year period.
Hamilton Island is the only Whitsundays Island with its own commercial airport. Direct flights arrive daily from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns, with Jetstar, Virgin Blue and Qantas. Also known as the Great Barrier Reef Airport, Hamilton Island Airport is the front door to your Hamilton Island holiday located just five minutes from all the resorts. Private flights and charters also fly into Hamilton Island Airport, along with locally operated helicopters, light planes and seaplanes.
Cruise Whitsundays operates 'Resort Connections' to Hamilton Island from two convenient locations at either Abel Point Marina in or Shute Harbour (just south of Airlie Beach). More than a dozen services throughout the day for the short 30 minute ferry trip from Airlie Beach. A meet and greet service is available from Proserpine Airport with a dedicated coach to Abel Point Marina and Shute Harbour for the connecting vessel transfer. If you’re sailing to Hamilton Island in your own yacht, the Hamilton Island Marina has convenient berths located beside the Hamilton Island Yacht Club. The Marina has a full range of marine facilities and services.Bookings for berthing are required prior to arrival and can be arranged by contacting Hamilton Island Marina.
Coach companies that service the Whitsundays are Greyhound Australia, Premier and Oz Experience, with over 10 services daily into Airlie Beach from all major centres along the east coast of Australia. A taxis or Whitsunday Transit buses can transfer you to your ferry departure point.
Queensland Rail services include the Spirit of Queensland connecting Brisbane to Cairns twice a week. The Sunlander operates three times a week from Brisbane and Cairns to Proserpine, with coach connections to Shute Harbour and the Hamilton Island ferry.
The Bruce Highway is Queensland's main route . The 1100km drive north from Brisbane to Shute Harbour takes around 12 hours non-stop, and it is about 7 hours drive from Cairns to Airlie Beach. Follow the Bruce Highway to Proserpine, then take the exit to Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour on the coast. You’ll find secure parking near the ferry jetty at Shute Harbour.
Hamilton Island Distances:
16km Southeast of Shute Harbour (30 minutes by boat)
890km North of Brisbane (1 hour and 20 minutes by jet)
1528km North of Sydney (2 hours and 10 minutes by jet)
1965km North of Melbourne (3 hours by jet)
Getting Around Hamilton Island:
Golf buggies are a signature feature of Hamilton Island and the main form of transportation. Also operating is a free shuttle bus service that connects holiday resort with major points of interest on the island, however buggies are how most guests get around. Buggies are available to hire and are also often included as part of accommodation packages.