1. TRAVEL SPOTLIGHT
Hamilton Island in Queensland.
2. HOW TO GET THERE
Being an Island the only way to get to Hamilton Island is either by plane or boat. The Island has its own commercial airport, and there are direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns with Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Qantas.
Flight distance between Brisbane & Hamilton Island is approx. 550 km, and will take you about 1 hour and 30 minutes flight time. The Island has its own Marina & welcomes commercial and private yachts (Marina berthing bookings are essential.) There is also a passenger ferry service that operates from the Marina and you’re looking at a 1-hour trip from Airlie Beach to the Island.
Once you’re on the Island golf buggies are the most popular mode of transport. There is a shuttle bus that runs regularly and we found this handy at times too, as the buggy only fits 4 people at any one time.
3. WHAT WE LOVED
The hiking! There is over 20Km of scenic walks and private beaches to explore, so grab yourself a walking trail map at the info center, as there are several walking tracks. Being the Great Barrier Reef, the snorkeling is divine. There are various snorkeling adventures you can choose from, including full day or half day – again have a chat at the info center when you arrive.
Swimming in the bay is beautiful, and we had some beach activities included in our accommodation package. It was great to get out on the beach and hire paddle boards, kayaks & sail boats and enjoy the crystal blue water.
Make sure you check out the Daily “what’s on guide” as there is plenty of things to do from beach sports, park runs, mini golf, go kart racing, table tennis & even kids art classes are on offer. The Island has its own Wildlife center which gives the whole family a chance to get up close to our Australian wildlife, including Koalas. There is a little café attached to the center, with reasonable priced drinks (including nice coffee) and snack foods like fresh sandwiches, cakes and biscuits. Both the center and café were family friendly and offered a relaxed atmosphere.
After a big day of adventure, we loved lazing around the resort pools and using the various facilities available. Make sure you get on up to one tree hill for a sunset – breathtaking and unforgettable.
4. WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE
We were told the best time to visit the Island is during August – November as these are the warmer months for QLD, however as our travel plans turned out we went in April and we had good weather. With an annual average daily temp being 27C, it really is a holiday destination all year round.
5. HOW MANY PEOPLE LIVE THERE
Hamilton Island has a permanent population of around 1350 people. This includes staff, business owners, contractors and numerous private residents who own holiday homes or have retired on the island. The Island even has its own Primary School to cater for the population.
6. WHERE TO STAY
Hamilton Island has a variety of accommodation options from luxury hotels & bungalows to self-contained holiday homes. We stayed at the Reef View Hotel and absolutely loved it. What we liked about staying at the Reef was it allowed us to use other resort facilities and pools and also included hire of beach and water sport equipment. There are plenty of package deals available and we were pleased we had breakfast included. Depending on your budget and family needs here is the link below to help you make the best decision: https://www.hamiltonisland.com.au/hotels-and-accommodation
7. WHAT’S THE FOOD LIKE
We were on the Island over Easter & it was a busy time of year. We learnt after our first night to book ahead to secure a spot for dinner. There are many options to choose from, when it comes to dining and I have attached the link below to give you an idea of what is on offer:
All the meals we had, either at a restaurant or even room service were fresh and good portion sizes. We also noticed that most of the restaurants offered free meals for kids. The kids’ meals were decent portion sizes too!
If you are staying in self-contained accommodation and want to make your own meals, there is a supermarket on the Island. It is a little on the expensive side, however very convenient.
8. WHAT ABOUT THE FINANCES
Flights with Virgin were approx. $300 return (from Brisbane) per person. Our accommodation with the Reef View Hotel was approx. $450 per room, per night this was for a twin/family share room & it included breakfast.
There is plenty of accommodation options on the Island, so do your research to find the right accommodation package for you.
Admission into the Wildlife Centre was $20 per adult and $14 per child, and this gives you unlimited access for the length of your stay, which we thought was pretty good. The center is open daily from 8.30am – 5pm.
9. WHAT’S THE KID FRIENDLY RATING We’re giving this trip a 5 out of 5!
|| Make sure your balcony doors and windows are shut and locked. The wildlife are friendly, and the cockatoos love to swing by and say hello. If no-one is home, they will happily enter your room and have a look around for any food that may be lying around.
|| Kids club on the Island is called the Clownfish club. Bookings are essential and spots filled up very quickly, so get in early with your bookings.
|| Check your accommodation packages to see if it includes golf buggy hire, as daily hire fees for buggies can be hefty.
That’s it for the travel spotlight! Enjoy your travels & have a safe & happy day out with the little people in your lives.
Take Care, Megan