If you are on a visit to Whitsunday island on the Queensland coast, Australia, then you must take time to do some of the most fun things to do in Hamilton Island. Not only it is a popular tourist destination, but it is also one of the largest inhabited islands of the Whitsunday Islands.
Some of the other interesting facts about the island are that it is the only island on the Great barrier reef to have a commercial airport. It has direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Cairns.
As a popular tourist destination, Hamilton island has won many laurels including the Australian Traveller’s Award called the ” Most Desirable Island Escape”
Overview of Hamilton Island
Hamilton Island was the property of Keith Williams, a self-made billionaire and Australian Developer. After purchasing the property in 1975, he joined hands with Bryan Bryt in 1978.
Williams started the construction of Hamilton Island Harbour and resort centre shortly after the purchase was completed. The Whitsunday Holiday Apartments and Reef View hotel were built in 1986 and 1990 respectively.
From the periods between 1986 through 2003, it was owned by Holiday Inn. The luxurious 5-star Beach Club opened in 1999.
Fun Stuff to Know About Hamilton Island
- George Harrison, lead guitarist of the Beatles along with his wife built a South Pacific-themed compound called ‘Letsbeavenue’ on Hamilton Island.
- An Australian winemaker purchased Hamilton island in 2003 and currently offers holiday destinations on the Island.
- Tourism Queensland promoted the Great barrier reef as one of the most sought-after tourism destinations and advertised for the post of ‘Caretaker of the Islands” as the “Best Job in the World”
- As a part of Ultimate Australian Adventure, Oprah Winfrey decided to make Hamilton island, the first stop. Oprah arranged an all-expenses-paid trip for all 93 fans from Hamilton Island to the Great barrier reef. The Barbeque Reception on Whitehaven beach was hosted by Curtis Stone.
Hamilton Island Attractions
There are many things to do in Hamilton Island. Cruise Whitsundays and Explore hamilton island offers days trips to the Great barrier reef, and Marine Park, from the Island. You can watch migrating whales swimming through the waters of the Whitsunday Islands from July through September every year.
One of the most famous Hamilton island activities is playing host to wedding ceremonies. There are nearly 500 wedding ceremonies conducted each year. Hamilton Island has over 10 ceremony locations and 15 reception venues. The All Saints Chapel overlooking the beautiful Catseye Beach is one of many ceremony venues on Hamilton island.
An interesting fact about Hamilton island is that it played host to the second most civil ceremonies in Australia for the year 2014
Hamilton Island is a popular film location as well. ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ and ‘Fool’s Gold’ are the two major movies filmed on this island. ‘Windows 10’ lock screen features the aerial view of Hamilton Island.
Ways to get to Hamilton Island
You can get to Hamilton Island via plane or a ferry from the mainland. There are terminals available both in Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. You can also use charter flights from Mackay, Proserpine, and Airlie beach.
10 Fun Things to do in Hamilton Island
Since the Island is closely focused on tourism, it has some of the best custom-made things to do in Hamilton Island for couples, families, and adventurers of all kinds. There are guided tours, bush walks, and boat tours that will be enjoyed by one and all.
The Island resembles a huge resort center that has become a favourite holiday destination for families. In the heart of the Great barrier reef is the Hamilton Island Marina. You can choose a vessel to go on a cruise as soon as you land here from any of the direct flights.
Hamilton Island Marina is a perfect location to dock your vessel and discover many things to do in Hamilton Island. With your vessel safely located at the Marina, you can venture out to a host of island activities such as watersports, spa treatments or playing golf on the hamilton island golf course, and much much more.
Due to its attractions, dining, and accommodation facilities, some of the best things to do in Hamilton Island are perfect for families. The locals call Hamilton island affectionately ‘Hamo’. With 74 scenic islands, Hamilton Island is a car-free destination covered in bushland. It has an abundance of marine life, island activities, its commercial airport, and a supermarket.
If you are wondering whether you can cover every one of the things to do in Hamilton Island, you do not have to worry as you can spend anywhere between 2 days and a week. You can explore Hamilton Island at your own pace.
This article will help you to know about the 10 wonderful things to do in Hamilton Island. As the island is car-free, you can get around hamilton island in electric golf buggies.
Apart from buggies, there are complimentary shuttle buses that pick up and drop tourists around hamilton island. So, visit hamilton island whenever you feel bored doing mundane daily activities and transform yourself by watching the Australian animals, and landscaped gardens and having a sunset cocktail on the world-famous Whitehaven beach.
1. Enjoy Yourself at the Catseye Beach
As a hub of water sports, the Catseye beach is fun for everyone in the family. Instead of relaxing in a swimming pool, you can kick back and have the time of your life here. The calm and serene Catseye beach is brimming with activities and has become one of the must things to do in hamilton island activity for every tourist.
Get the Sunshine you long for on The Catseye Beach
Catseye Beach is a terrific place to settle into the holiday spirit and relax under the Sun. As a part of a getaway destination, it is a wonderful opportunity to unwind and recharge yourself on Catseye Beach.
So, get yourself an umbrella, and a book and settle yourself on the warm sand. Kids can entertain themselves by building lovely sandcastles and adults can play a game of frisbee on the beach.
Hire a Catamaran
If you are one of those who enjoy a ride on the Catamaran, then Catseye Beach is the place for you. Due to the inherent calm nature of the beach, it is a perfect place to cruise at all times of the day and late evening.
Hire a Catamaran for a private joy ride, have a riding lesson from an expert, or sign up for a sailor match race.
Paddle a Kayak for the Perfect Workout in the Water
The breathtaking waters of Catseye Beach and the serenity of the ocean are something every visitor to Hamilton Island can never miss.
What better way to experience its beauty than to enjoy Paddling a Kayak on Catseye Beach. Apart from an incredible workout, and balancing skills you can also get yourself an awesome tan in the process.
Share a Picnic on the Beach with your Loved Ones
This tropical paradise has some world-class restaurants and cafes. You can pick up your favourite dish as a takeaway and have a lovely picnic on Catseye Beach with your loved ones. The incredible view of the vast beach will mesmerize you and keep you longing for more.
Take Guided Snorkelling Tours
It is a perfect destination to dive into the stunning waters that surround the island. You can hire snorkelling equipment and take guided snorkelling tours on the island.
It is an ideal location for all ages and expert swimmers as well. With an abundance of marine life on Catseye Beach, you can have a wonderful time swimming with the sea turtles and other creatures in the sea.
2. Take a Sunset Cruise on Hamilton Island
One of the most popular and spectacular things to do in hamilton island would be to take a sunset cruise on Hamilton Island. Beholding the sunset while on the water is simply breathtaking.
Do not miss the awesome view of Hamilton Island and the surrounding islands when you are sipping a glass of champagne as the catamaran sets sail on the beautiful waters surrounding the island.
Some of the best Sunset Cruises on Hamilton Island are:
(a) Providence V Sunset Sail
As a most popular option, the Providence V Sunset Sail is a two-hour sail that begins at 5 pm daily. Providence is designed as a replica of the American Blackfish. It is one of the first boats to compete in America’s Cup. Providence can be seen in the movie “Survive the Savage Seas”
(b) Tallship Twilight Sunset Sail
Tallship Twilight Sunset Sail is a 39-passenger Catamaran that also sets sail every day at 5 pm. A 90-ft traditional tall ship that lets you enjoy a taste of history as you step onto the boat. All aboard can listen to some interesting interpretations of Australia’s first nation culture by the crew and can relax and enjoy seafood nibbles, beer, wine, and cider.
(c) Salty Sunset Private Charter
If you are looking for an intimate sail on Hamilton island, then Salty Sunset Private Charter will be the best option. It is designed to occupy one whole family or group of friends. Enjoy the cruise on the front row seat and watch the lovely sunset sipping delicious wine.
(d) PowerPlay Sunset Cruise
It is a large catamaran that can occupy 20 people. This intimate cruise is a two-hour sail that offers complimentary cocktails, and a trained crew that gives you the best service. Sail on the PowerPlay Sunset Cruise to enjoy a quiet evening of enchanting memories and watch the day move into the darkness of night.
(e) Lady Enid Sunset Sail
Lady Enid Sunset Sail offers luxurious yachts and a terrific itinerary crafted exclusively for you. The yacht is a kids’ free sail and offers the maximum time to witness the magnificent sunset from the Airlie beach.
3. Have an Adventure Trail on Hamilton Island
One of the most wonderful things to do in hamilton island would be to explore Hamilton island on foot. It is a wonderful way to take in the natural beauty of the island at your leisure.
You will come across secluded, sandy coves that can be quite enchanting. Enjoy a climb to the top of the island for incredible views or you can have a quiet picnic at any of the designated picnic spots on the island.
Things to remember while Bushwalking on Hamilton island
- Going for trails depends on the individual’s fitness level.
- It is important to note the weather conditions before going for a hike.
- There are no restrooms on the trails.
- No fires are permitted on the island.
- Do not go alone, if you do, please keep your loved ones informed.
- Do not litter.
Hamilton Island Bushwalks and Trails
- Hideaway Bay- A Moderate Trail that is a hidden beach is just a stroll away from the Scenic trail entrance.
- Saddle Junction-A moderate walk that is 1.8km.
- Flat Top Hill Lookout – A moderate walk that takes you to the Flat Top Hill inlet lookout to enjoy the views to the north and the south.
- Passage Peak – The Passage Peak Walk is a challenging walk that is nearly 2.7 km. This one-hour walk is worth the effort as you will reach the highest point on Hamilton island. Some of the best views can be witnessed from this point.
- Resort Lookout- It takes you through Whitsunday bushland that begins at the Resort trail entrance
The other Hamilton island bushwalks are Middle Head Trail, Coral cove, Escape Beach Trail, and the South East Head Trail. All the trails are moderate that cover an hour or hour and a half.
Please ensure you are quite fit to go on any of the trails. Due to its hilly terrain and warm climate, do not forget to carry sufficient water, insect repellent, and snacks before you begin your walk.
4. Reserve a Full Day Tour to Visit Whitehaven Beach
Whitehaven Beach is Australia’s most iconic beach and visiting this beach is one of the 15 super things to do in Mackay in Vaycay. It is famous for its fine white silica sand, and turquoise blue water. Apart from taking some of the most picturesque photos here, you can do many other activities on the Whitehaven beach.
Reserving a full day to visit Whitehaven beach is one of the must things to do in hamilton island. You can spend the day enjoying the following island activities:
- Paddleboard on the Whitehaven beach.
- Take an awesome photo after a short 1 km walk from Tongue Bay. You will reach the Hill inlet lookout which will give the best views of the Whitehaven beach.
- Soak in the beauty of the sea creatures that you can view when you visit a shallow lagoon. You will be lucky if you spot baby stingrays lemon sharks and many other fish species that appear on the shore.
- Visit Betty’s Beach at the northern end of Whitehaven beach.
- Enjoy Beach Sports such as a game of footy or beach cricket at the southern end of the Whitehaven beach.
- Have a romantic picnic on Whitehaven Beach.
- Surprise yourself by spotting a local on the Whitehaven beach such as a sea turtle, a pod of dolphins, monitor lizards, or sea eagles that soar across the sky.
- Enjoy a night on the Whitehaven beach if you like waking up outdoors.
- Hop on a Helicopter to see the aerial view of the Whitehaven beach.
- Participate in the Great Whitehaven Beach Run and challenge your fitness journey.
5. Have a Relaxing Spa Session on Hamilton Island
While cocktails and quiet beach days are some ways to relax on Hamilton Island, you can also indulge yourself in a relaxing spa session. Book yourself a spa treatment at Spa Qualia which gives you the best luxurious treatments at their facility.
A full body massage, mud wraps, and marine mineral facials are some of the range of spa treatments offered here. If you are looking for some holistic therapy sessions, then you can opt for reflexology or the Indian head massage.
6. Let go of your Worries by going for a Dip at the Swimming Pool
A large part of your time spent at Hamilton island would be mostly by the poolside. Many believe this is one of the main things to do in Hamilton Island. Therefore, it is ideal to know the places to swim on Hamilton island.
Hamilton Island Yacht Club is a lovely accommodation that offers one of the best pools on the Island. However, if you are one of those looking for a prime spot to watch the sunset, then head over to the neighbouring Dent Island and the Beach Club.
The Infinity pool overlooking Catseye Beach is a wonderful location that is open to everyone on the Island.
The Main Pool is a star attraction on Hamilton island. The pool has an exclusive space for kids to waddle and splash. The cosy, chilled-out nooks and shady areas are surrounded by palm trees and tropical gardens.
The Swim-up bar is another charming place in the Main pool. You can also enjoy live music sessions as well.
7. Prepare Yourself to be Awestruck while Jet-Skiing on Hamilton Island
Your very own jet ski tour is one of the best ways to experience Hamilton Island and is considered one of the most fun things in Hamilton Island. It is thrilling, riveting, and fascinating to ride your jet ski. With an accompanied instructor, you can adventure out on the island to look out for hidden coves. You can also get a chance to spot marine creatures such as turtles and whales.
You can choose from any of their multiple tours available. All tours last an hour and for more information about them, check out the Hamilton Island tour desk.
8. Hop onto a Buggy to have a Unique Experience of Hamilton Island
The iconic electric golf buggies are a fun way to get around Hamilton Island. It is true you can experience Hamilton island on foot but a Buggy ride around the island is a classical way that many choose to encounter the things to do in hamilton island.
You do not need any training or a license to ride a buggy but a driving license is required to book your reservation. Simply book your buggy on reaching the island or you can do so by reserving one before you arrive at Hamilton Island. The rental price to hire a buggy is reasonable.
Advantages of Renting a Buggy on Hamilton Island
- A quicker way to move around and experience Island activities.
- Seats up to 4 people.
- No need to wait for a bus on the island if you have your transportation.
9. Visit the Wildlife Sanctuary to Explore Hamilton Island Wildlife
Hamilton Island Resort features the Hamilton Island Wildlife. A typical outing for the whole family to meet some iconic Australian animals is one of the fun things to do in Hamilton Island. Have a great time from watching to feeding the koalas, and hop with the kangaroos or be mesmerized at the sight of the slithering snakes.
With a wide variety of wildlife such as lizards, crocodiles, dingoes, and Freddie, the talking cockatoo, you are bound the experience Hamilton Island as never before.
An interesting activity for kids to indulge in would be taking the Turtle Discovery Snorkelling tour around the heart reef around Hamilton island. Kids would love to see the turtles sculling above the seabed. Although the Turtle Discovery tour is open to kids above 12 years old, there are private tours arranged for families with younger kids as well.
With picturesque scenery and loads of underwater treasures, Hamilton island plays host to plenty of wildlife. So next time you are on a visit to hamilton island, be sure to look out for wallabies, goannas, sea eagles, kites, ospreys, and kookaburras.
10. Experience Sunset from One Tree Hill
One Tree Hill Sunset Bar is considered the best place to view the sunset on Hamilton island. It is one of the must things to do in hamilton island and tourists rarely leave without spending a day sipping a cocktail and enjoying the lovely sunset on One tree hill.
One Tree Hill offers a good choice of great cocktails and nibbles and is open from lunchtime. You can take a walk, arrive on a buggy or ride a bus to reach One tree hill. Once you are here, pick up a cocktail, stroll down the hill and choose the best spot under the cool palm trees to enjoy the view of the sunset.
Hamilton Island Accommodation
It is important to know the right places to stay and do as many things to do in Hamilton Island as you want because there are plenty of options available. Hamilton Island Resorts and hotels are some of the best that you can find here. All hamilton island hotels offer services such as tennis courts, sports clubs, and golf.
The Following are some of the Best Accommodations on Hamilton Island
- Beach Club – Luxury Hotel.
- Palm Bungalows – Mid Range Hotel.
- Reef view hotel – Budget Hotel.
There are plenty of reasons to visit Hamilton Island. The brilliance and magnificence of the Whitehaven beach and Great barrier reef are alluring and you will enjoy every minute spent here.
As you head to the Catseye Beach to try paddleboarding or sailing, you find that Hamilton Island is paradise on Earth. So the next time you want to visit Whitsunday islands, be sure that you do the above-mentioned things to do in hamilton island.