Is Hamilton Island on top of your travel list for 2013? If not, here are 12 reasons why it should be:
JANUARY - Visitors to Hamilton Island have over 60 activities to choose from including go-karting, bushwalking, scuba diving, parasailing, squash, tennis, fishing, sailing, kayaking, target sports and windsurfing, perfect for anyone wanting to learn a new skill for 2013. Snap up the Hamilton Island 3 in 1 Activity Superpass for a great taster of what’s on offer – choose between the Adventure Superpass including a jet ski tour, quad bike adventure and exhilarating heli rush tour or the Family Superpass which includes unlimited entry to Wildlife Hamilton Island, a round of mini golf and half day dinghy hire.
FEBRUARY - Whether you plan to pop the question or tie the knot, there is no more romantic month than February on Hamilton Island. From a seaplane ‘Love Flight’ over magnificent Heart Reef to an underwater ceremony or a pontoon wedding, Hamilton Island has it covered. Hamilton Island Weddings also have the only commercial permit in Australia to conduct ceremonies on Whitehaven Beach, in the middle of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
MARCH - Treat yourself to some pampering for body and soul this month at Hamilton Island’s elegantspas. Whether you want to unwind at Spa wumurdaylin, the Island’s first full service day spa, or indulge in total pampering at the luxury Spa qualia, you’ll enjoy treatments inspired by an authentic Australian Spa journey utilising unique indigenous techniques that capture the beauty of the Whitsunday islands.
APRIL - April is the perfect month to check in to the Reefworld pontoon in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef for a Reefsleep experience. Following a night on Hamilton Island, cruise out to the Reefworld pontoon at Hardy Reef with Cruise Whitsundays and enjoy a range of activities, including semi-submersible tours, snorkelling and the underwater viewing chamber. By night, Reefworld transforms itself into a private floating hotel, so you can sleep under the stars in a truly unique Great Barrier Reef experience, and enjoy the tranquillity of this natural wonder as you become a part of the nocturnal activities of the many tropical reef fish and sensational coral formations.
MAY - Get set for the Hilly Half Marathon challenge, which takes place on Sunday 5 May. A rugged 21-kilometre route uphill and down dale, the Stamford Financial Hilly Half Marathon follows road, fire trails and walking tracks through Hamilton Island’s undulating interior.
JUNE - Formerly the annual Hamilton Cup, one of the world’s toughest outrigger canoe racing events, the Gatorade Clash of the Paddles, takes place this month from 20 – 24 June. The event is run over four action-packed days, where competitive outriggers are joined by athletes from four other popular paddle disciplines; Surf Ski, Stand-Up Paddling, Board Paddling and, for the first time, Dragon Boating. Capped off with an exciting off-water entertainment program, the Gatorade Clash of the Paddles is an oar-some event for every type of paddler.
JULY - Hamilton Island’s multi award-winning luxury resort qualia plays hosts to the country’s top chefs at the ‘Best of Australia at qualia’ Great Barrier Feast culinary weekend from 12 – 14 July. Featuring Quay’s Peter Gilmore, The Royal Mail’s Dan Hunter and qualia’s own Alastair Waddell, guests will truly experience the best of Australian haute cuisine at the resort named Best in the World in the 2012 US Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.
July is also an ideal time for family travel during school holidays and to escape the winter blues. A busy but fun month, the Island boasts mild to warm weather with clear blue skies and average temps of 23C. Excursions to the Great Barrier Reef, snorkelling safaris and a trip to see the Island’s koalas, kangaroos and wombats at ‘Wild Life Hamilton Island’ make holidays for children both educational and fun. Accommodation and meals in selected restaurants are free for children up to the age of 12, whilst the Clownfish Club offers activities for children up to 14 years.
AUGUST - This is the month that Hamilton Island hosts Australia’s largest and most prestigious off-shore yachting regatta, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. Taking place 16 – 24 August, this year the event celebrates its incredible 30th anniversary. From serious offshore racing and fabulous super-yachts to onshore glitz, glamour and gourmet fare, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week offers guests the opportunity to experience the best Australia has to offer.
SEPTEMBER - is whale watching season when visitors can see baby humpbacks that have been born in the warm waters of the Whitsundays, travelling past the coast in pod sizes of between eight and ten whales. Whales, which can vary in length from five to 18 metres, can also be seen in their migrating season (June to September) from Hamilton Island itself.
OCTOBER - Since Captain Cook charted Australia’s coastline in the 1700’s, the Whitsunday islands have been recognised as one of the best sailing playgrounds in the world. Sunsail’s Sailing Academy on Hamilton Island offers a wide range of accredited marine qualifications for yachts, catamarans and motorboats, with tuition for beginners and experienced sailors alike. After offshore action, wind down at the iconic Hamilton Island Yacht Club for a sunset cocktail on the Bommie Deck, or an award-winning meal in the Bommie Restaurant.
NOVEMBER - The Australian Ballet returns for the sixth consecutive year to give an intimate outdoor performance at qualia resort. Pas de Deux in Paradise will be staged on 23 November, and guests will be treated to exclusive performances of world-famous Pas de Deux’s by the prestigious dance company’s principal dancers.
November is also home to the Fujifilm Triathlon (16 November) and Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim and Junior Triathlon (17 November), which take in some of the Whitsunday’s most iconic locations for a sporting epic.
DECEMBER - Time for a round of golf on Australia’s only 18-hole championship golf course situated on its own island. The 6,120 metre, par 71, course located on neighbouring Dent Island is just quick helicopter flight or five minute boat ride from Hamilton Island. Created by five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson, the course is gaining a reputation as one of the world’s top courses, not least because of the stunning Whitsunday views from each hole.
The crowning glory of the course is the Chris Beckingham-designed clubhouse, ideally perched to take in the fantastic views of the surrounding Coral Sea. The clubhouse offers an idyllic spot for non-golfing partners to relax over a laid-back lunch or for golfers to take stock of the day’s game over a cold beer.