A Quick Guide to Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island, located in the Whitsundays off the coast of Queensland in Australia. This island is at the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and the gateway to all the Whitsunday Islands, where days can be spent adventuring through the uninhabited islands above ground, getting up close to the exquisite coral reefs underwater or simply taking in the sunshine while sipping cocktails by the pool. If you plan on visiting the Great Barrier Reef or the Whitsunday Islands, here is a quick guide to Hamilton Island featuring the best attractions, what to eat, where to stay and what to do.

 

When To Go

The climate on Hamilton Island is a great all year round, with a tropical climate reaching a high temperature average of 30C in Summer and average low of 18C in winter. While the weather stays warm year long, the best time to visit would be from May til November where the temperature is more moderate while you should try to avoid both the wet season from December until February and school holidays.

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What To Eat & Drink

Drink: Wild Oats or Rosemount wine, Hamilton Island is currently owned by the Oatley family who are most famous for making their fortunes from their famous wineries, you will be able to find these wines at most restaurants on the Island. Alternatively, cocktails are a must on any visit to the island, starting with $10 All Day Cocktails at One Tree Hill followed by the Margarita of the day at Tako or taking in the uninterrupted views from the Bommie Deck.

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Eat: For such a small island there is a huge range of choice for incredible cuisine on the island, but the newest restaurant to open is one close to my heart, Tako. A Mexican-style eatery with a fusion of Japanese and Korean cuisines, this place has not only the flavourings that you expect from great Mexican, but a fresh twist. With guacamole and salsa paired with the cocktail of the day, any night will be off to a great start.

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Where To Stay

There are two main options on Hamilton Island, staying as a guest of the hotel resort or in privately owned apartments and holidays. If you are looking for the all inclusive holiday then the resort hotels will offer great deals inclusive of some activities on the island with a great location, adjacent to the main beach. But if you are looking for something a bit more freedom, then a holiday home is probably more your style, plus they are likely to come with free use of a Golf Buggy during your stay. While in Hamilton, I chose to stay at Shorelines 15, which offered great views over Henning and Whitsunday Island’s.

Beaches and Pools

The best places on Hamilton Island to take a dip or enjoy the sunset are not just the beaches, but also the resort pools. Here are the top places to take a dip and unwind.

Main Pool & Island Bar: is the island’s swim up bar, located next to Catseye Beach. A prefect place to catch some rays and grab some cocktails without even leaving the pool.

Catseye Beach: is the main beach of Hamilton Island and it’s where all the water activities take place, from stand-up paddle boarding to windsurfing, snorkelling and even a turtle discovery tour. Great for a day of activity with friends or family and relaxing on the beach.

Hideaway Bay: is a secluded bay located just a light 15 minute bush walk from the main road. Hideaway Bay will give you piece and quiet away from the crowds while being able to take in the views you might catch from Catseye Beach. Hideaway Bay is perfect for a little picnic or meditation spot.

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Getting around: Buggy’s

Hiring a Golf Buggy for your trip to Hamilton Island will not only save you time heading to different poolside or beach activities but they are so fun to drive! From the moment you arrive on the island, the speed of the Golf Buggy’s will automatically put you into holiday mode. Top tip: driving the buggy’s at night time around the island will help you spot some local wildlife including possums and wallabies!

 

Must Visit: One Tree Hill

If there is one place that you must visit on the island, then it’s One Tree Hill! With clear views all day and throughout sunset of the Whitsunday islands it’s a prefect vantage point to relax and unwind with cocktails. I could definitely not get sick of the views. Consider starting the day with coffee on the picnic tables, followed by cocktails at sunset!

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Must Do: Sunset Cruise on the Denison Star

Sunset and resort holidays go hand in hand, so this is not the only sunset activity I will recommend while staying on Hamilton. Boarding the Denison Star is a first class experience in both service and degustation dining, I recommend the Seafood Platter! As you set out, you will be treated to cocktails with incredible views of the sunset as you travel amongst the Whitsunday Islands. Later on, when it’s darker you will get a clear view of the constellations in the sky and may even spot some local sea life off the back of the boat.

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Day trip: Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach is often listed as one of the most beautiful beaches in not only Australia but the world. Located on Whitsunday Island, a national park, it takes a leisurely couple of hours to get to the beach where there is plenty to do on the pure white silica shores, from bushwalks throughout the uninhabited island’s to snorkelling amongst wildlife.

Check out more of what to expect on a day trip to Whitehaven Beach here.

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Top 10 Things to do on Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island is one of my favourite holiday destinations in Australia. Not only is it located right at the heart of the Whitsundays, home to some of the world’s most incredible wildlife and natural beauties but it’s also the perfect place to truly relax and get that holiday resort vibe close to home!

With the natural beauty of Whitsunday Island’s Whitehaven Beach, the Great Barrier Reef and Heart Reef right on it’s doorstep this is the perfect destination to both both get a little adventure and relax from the grind of full time work!

Lucky for me, Hamilton Island is only a two-hour flight from my home, in Sydney, making it a great short break. The Island has a resort atmosphere that relaxes you as soon as you step of the plane and onto the tarmac and spot your first golf buggy, the preferred transport on the island.

But now you have your buggy, what is there to do during your stay? With so many options, here is my top list of things to do on Hamilton Island.

 

Exploring Whitehaven Beach

Consistently voted one of the most beautiful beaches, not only in Australia but around the world, Whitehaven beach is a must visit! With so many options to get out to Whitehaven Beach or Hill Inlet (which overlooks Whitehaven Beach) I chose a half day Sail & Swim Tour with On The Edge. With pure white sands and turquoise water, your beach experience at Whitehaven will most likely ruin you for other beaches.

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Unwind at Spa Wumurdaylin

What is a relaxing holiday without taking some time to yourself? With massages, facials and alternative therapies, the team at Spa Wumurdaylin will help you to relax into your holiday from when you book, through your treatment and afterwards. I enjoyed my first massage so much, that I couldn’t resist going back for another.

 

Sunset Cruise on the Denison Star

Sunset and resort holidays go hand in hand, so this is not the only sunset activity I will recommend while staying on Hamilton. Boarding the Denison Star is a first class experience in both service and degustation dining. As you set out, you will be treated to cocktails with incredible views of the sunset as you travel amongst the Whitsunday Islands. Later on, when it’s darker you will get a clear view of the constellations in the sky and may even spot some local sea life off the back of the boat.

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Bushwalk to Resort Lookout

Hamilton Island is quite densely populated, leaving half the island as bushland, making for some incredible bushwalks. If you are looking for a little adventure and exploration, then get your active wear and runners out as the Resort Lookout will get your blood pumping for some incredible views over the Marina.

 

All Day Cocktails at One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill is the spot to go for cocktails at sunset with incredible views looking across the Whitsunday Islands. But, if you can’t wait til sunset, then One Tree Hill offers $10 cocktails all day long to relax and unwind throughout the afternoon.

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Yoga at Sunrise

As you can probably tell, I like to get a little active on holidays, especially if I am indulging in a lot of cocktails or delicious food! Yoga at sunrise with views across Catseye beach is the perfect way to connect with myself at the start of the day and relax before all the action packed days of sightseeing and adventure. Also, did I mention the views?!

 

Compete in the Buggy Rally

The Buggy Rally was probably created mostly for kids, but I’m a big kid, so of course I had to take part for the chance to win a free pizza! The Buggy Rally is a scavenger hunt that will take you around the island, to places that you probably don’t even know exist to figure out all the answers, a great way to get to know the island.

 

Get secluded at Hideaway Bay

Looking for a little piece and quiet from the resort crowd, then Hideaway Bay is a short walk walk away. In a 15 minute walk, you will be at your own secluded beach, perfect for a picnic and sunbathing lunch with those closest to you!

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Get active at Catseye Beach

Catseye Beach is the main beach of Hamilton Island and it’s where all the water activities take place, from stand-up paddle boarding to windsurfing, snorkelling and even a turtle discovery tour. Great for a day of activity with friends or family and relaxing on the beach.

 

Cocktails at the Island Bar

The Island Bar, is a swim up bar located in the Dolphin Pool. While relaxing all day poolside, or switching between Catseye Beach (only meters away) and the Dolphin Pool, the Island Bar is the perfect place to grab a relaxing daytime beverage, including my favourite a cocktail in a coconut!

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A Day at Whitehaven Beach

A couple of weeks ago, while I was taking a break in Hamilton Island, I took a day trip out the the majestical Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island.

Whitsunday Island is a national park and home to Whitehaven Beach which is often featured at the the top of lists for best beaches in Australia but also the world. This pure white pristine beach is made of a 98% silica sand which is perfect to visit at any time of year!

Here is  a little taste of what you can expect on a day trip to Whitehaven Beach.

Say hello in the comments and if you’ve been to the Whitsundays, let me know your favourite part!

 

 

Sydney Day Trip: The Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains is a popular day trip or weekend getaway destination for both visitors in Sydney and Sydneysiders.  This UNESCO world heritage site is located just 50 kms or about 1 and a half hours from Sydney’s CBD with incredible hiking tracks, waterfalls, swimming holes and spectacular views over gullies, valleys and the entire Sydney basin, swoon!

And lucky for you it’s where I grew up!

So in a two for one bargain, today you will find out the best parts of the Blue Mountains to check out on a day trip, by car or by public transport!

 

Katoomba Village

Katoomba is your portal to the major Blue Mountains sights and attractions. From Katoomba Village you will be able to access Echo Point, The Three Sisters and The Giant Staircase Walk and all the Scenic World attractions.

But before you go there, make sure you take some time to look around the town centre or pick up anything you may need if you are going on a hike. If you are looking for a bite to eat then there are plenty of cafes and lunch stops and if you are looking for something a little special after lunch, then checking out the Paragon Café for the Art Deco architecture and chocolate counter is for you.

Now onto the touristy part….

Echo Point, The Three Sisters & The Giant Staircase – Katoomba

Echo Point is where you will find the Three Sisters and the start of the Giant Staircase. As Echo Point is where most of the day trip buses stop, it’s probably the most crowded area, so if you make the 30 min round trip walk out to the Three Sisters, then you will get some great views with less crowds, plus be up close with these natural beauties.

Once you make it out to the Three Sisters, you can then choose to continue down to the Giant Staircase, a 1,000 step staircase, which seems intense but if the weather is good then the walk isn’t too bad on the way down, just be careful in wet weather! There is a walking track that continues all the way until Scenic World, and you will want to allow for 2 hours from Echo Point to complete the walk.

Scenic World – Katoomba

Scenic World is your opportunity to see the Blue Mountains and a national park like you ordinarily wouldn’t experience. There is a Skyway cable car that will connect you from Echo Point to Scenic World, the Cableway cable car that transports you from the floor of the forest to the top and my favourite the Scenic Railway, which is the steepest railway in the world! Make sure if you take the Scenic Railway you choose the ‘Cliffhanger’ incline for an edge of your seat experience up the mountainside!

 

Hydro Madjestic – Medlow Bath

If you are looking for a place for lunch with incredible views, then look no further than the Hydro Madjestic in Medlow Bath. The Hydro Madjestic has a long history in the Blue Mountains which can be seen in the architecture taking on both Art Deco and Edwardian features, it is worth visit to experience the splendor of your surrounds, the madjestic views over Megalong Valley and the amazing High Tea!

Leura Village

Leura Village is a great day trip on it’s own, with small clothing boutiques, plenty of unique home style shops and little restaurants and eateries to fill a day in the mountains. Leura is great to visit in both summer and winter, my preference is a visit in winter when you can sit in a café near the open fire and grab a nice warm soup while gazing out the windows.  Just make sure you bring your coat and scarf!

 

Jellybean Pool – Glenbrook

Jellybean Pool is my favourite place to visit on a trip to the Blue Mountains and is a well known local hot spot. During warm weather, weekends and school holidays all the locals make there way to this incredible swimming area. No matter the weather, the water is cool and the environment relaxing and the time really gets away from you, so make sure you have food, water and sunscreen!

From the Glenbrook National Park entrance and car park it’s just a 15 -20 min walk to Jellybean Pool, all downhill, which means uphill on the way back. So go at your own pace on the way back up!

Note: if you are going by train, you will need to walk from Glenbrook Station. 

 

Transport

From Sydney’s CBD, you can either hop on a train from Central Station to the Blue Mountains or make your way out west in your car in the direction of the M4/Great Western Highway.

All locations mentioned are accessible by car and by train, but if you are taking public transport, you may need to look at getting a bus or a longer walk to your final destination.

 

Have you been to Sydney’s Blue Mountains? Let me know what activities you enjoyed in the comments.