Hamilton Island, a beach location with a side of luxury
Recently I was lucky enough to travel to Hamilton Island, Australia near the Great Barrier Reef. I was able to explore the island by foot and golf buggy for 11 days, and also take a couple trips with Explore out on the water.
Hotel - I was able to stay with a relative on the island so I didn't experience the hotel side of the island as much however there at 2 must stay hotels on the island. The first is the more private Qualia. With you're own private villa and pool, this resort really is luxury, but of course luxury can come at quite a cost! The second is Beach Club, a kids free zone right on Catseye Beach with a view out into the Whitsundays.
Food - The food on the island surpassed my expectations while visiting. Sometimes when your stuck on an island, food options can be quite limited. However, there are a wide range of restaurants on Hamilton Island. My favourites are Tako - a Mexican style restaurant with Japanese influence, I loved how we could order a range of plates to share. Coca Chu - a similar style to Tako with sharing plates however is South East Asian style. You must try the son-in-law eggs and the Beef Cheek, to die for! Last but not least, I loved the pizza at Manta Ray, right down on the water front.
Activities - For a small island there is actually quite a lot to do. Of course I spent a lot of quality time by the pool with a good magazine. They have a public pool area on the beach, which was great for me as I didn't have a hotel pool to relax by. Throughout my stay on Hamilton Island I also go to go out with Explore to the Great Barrier Reef, fly around the island with Hamilton Air and try some of the small activities provided by the island.
Explore - I was lucky enough to snorkel at Bait Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef, 2 hours from Hamilton Island by boat. We were able to get so close to the sea life and corals, it was an amazing experience. The next day I went out on the Twilight Cruise, cruising around the whitsunday's watching the sun set. It was so picture perfect. Lastly, The dinner cruise on the Denison Star. I was blown away with the quality of food we were served with. A mix of meats and seafoods were served in tasting platters and the main, with a desert to follow. This three course meal was better than some restaurants on the main land. We even got to sea whales breaching - bonus!
Hamilton Air - After leaving bookings to the last minute (whoops!) we were able to squeeze onto a tour of Hamilton Island and the surrounding Whitsunday Islands by air! Definitely the best part of my trip, as I had never been up in a helicopter before! We were able to see all the parts of the island we hadn't been too, as well as the surrounding reef from above. Next time I'm over I'd love to fly over the Great Barrier Reef. A must while your there, worth every minute!
Extras - The Wildlife Park, having breakfast with the koala's and having the opportunity to cuddle and have a photo with one too! The park showcases a small part of the Australian wildlife!
Bowling - surprisingly it was fun. Although a little expensive, if the weather isn't great it's a fun activity inside.
The whole island has been set up really well, there's so much to see and do in such a small slice of paradise in the Whitsundays. If you ever have the chance to get over there snap at the chance!