Tropical island accommodation, sunset sailing and gourmet dining.
For some, it is an annual pilgrimage. Flying from undoubtedly cooler climes to the palm-tree clad splash in the ocean that is Hamilton Island to take part in the Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim. I have come with a group of 10 friends, nine of whom don coloured caps, budgie smugglers and goggles, and tackle the 2 km swim off Whitehaven Beach. I volunteer to be the bag lady, preferring to relax under the trees while they pretend to be Shane Gould or Ian Thorpe.
The rest of the extended weekend, we dine, stroll, have sunset drinks at One Tree Hill, snorkel off Catseye Beach and generally have a blast. Hamilton Island, one of 74 in the Whitsundays, is perfect for group trips like this. It is small enough to be easy to get around but big enough to give a range of activities and dining options so you’re not bumping into the same people all the time.
Accommodation is also varied, with houses, apartments, bungalows, villas and hotel rooms able to cater to everyone from solo travellers to multi-generational family trips to loved-up couples. Those who are travelling solo will make new friends from all over the world in no time, whether on the beach, at the bar, or on one of the many boats heading out to the reef.
On our trip we meet up a group of six ladies from Melbourne who wanted some time out with their friends leaving their husbands at home for some sun, some pampering at the Spa wumurdaylin), some shopping and some cocktails at the Bommie Deck at the spectacular Hamilton Island Yacht Club. The Deck is the place to be to take in the sunset, and when the last streaks of orange and pink sink below the horizon, head inside to the elegant Bommie Restaurant, a definite on the itinerary for romantic couples seeking something extra special.
With tropical island accommodation, sunset sailing options and gourmet dining, Hamilton Island is an idyllic getaway for some romance. The Beach Club Hamilton, exclusively for guests aged 18 and over only, offers magnificent sea views, access to a private infinity-edge pool and a secluded location so you can enjoy total peace and tranquility.
For more casual affairs, Manta Ray, Coca Cho and Tako are excellent, and for families, these three are part of a kids eat free deal. And if you don’t want to eat out every night or the kids are just plum tuckered from their aquatic exploits, the supermarket is pretty well stocked – or send Dad to get takeaway.
Kids won’t be the only ones worn out from the day’s activities, as Hamilton has such a broad range of things to do. Have breakfast with the koalas at Wild Life Hamilton Island, tackle the challenging walk up to Passage Peak for jaw-dropping views over the Whitsundays, or better still, get out on the water and go exploring.
Take your pick of myriad boat tours from half to full day experiences, with Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet a must – choose a tour that drops you off at Hill Inlet so you can walk up to the lookout to be mesmerised by the view up the striking white curve of Whitehaven. To really see the Whitsundays book a scenic flight in either a light aircraft or a helicopter. You can even fly out to Reefworld – a pontoon permanently moored in an aqua marine wonderland that is home to a world of colourful fish and coral. Definitely worth getting in your swimmers for.
Now is the time for an idyllic Hamilton Island escape. Plan the perfect holiday for yourself, your family or your friends with a Travel Associates adviser.