Want the ultimate island experience? Well, look no further. The Whitsundays are actually 74 islands, not far off the coast of QLD around Arlie Beach, but Hamilton Island is the largest island and the easiest to reach. Prepare to drool often and in shocking quantities when you see this place, it feels like a dream. Actually, one of the most-loved islands is called Daydream Island, and it’s v fitting.
Of course, I have great plans to visit heaps of these islands after mum and I spent a week lounging about on Hamilton Island and took a day trip out to the unbelievable Whitehaven beach. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Consider also that it’s in a great spot to access the Great Barrier Reef, so it’s somewhere everyone should include on their Australia trip.
Getting to Hamilton Island
The best way to get to the island is to fly from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, or Cairns into the Hamilton Island airport. Qantas, Virgin, and Jetstar fly there, so the cheapest bet is usually Jetstar. The airport is super tiny and very cute, but you’ll notice as soon as you arrive that it’s a fairly resort-y area, so it’s best to arrange a shuttle to your hotel before you land. Ours had one included for free, so that was handy.
Where to stay
Since it’s such an upscale island, there really aren’t any cheap options here. The best way to save a bit of coin is to stay in an apartment rather than just a hotel, so you can do some cooking for yourself. A fabulous tip if you’re not renting a car (there’s really no need) is to order your groceries online and have them delivered to you. When we visited, Coles was running a special for free delivery for first-time orders, hopefully this is a permanent offer! We stayed in the Whitsunday Apartments Hamilton Island, which was around $300/night (AGH), but this was our breakfast view from the balcony:
We had such a good time laying on the beach in front of our apartment, admiring the view from the balcony, and having (very) expensive cocktails at one of the nearby bars. But our favourite activity was the boat trip out to Whitehaven Beach, which is this unreal white silicone beach that stretches on for kms and kms. The boat trip to get there was every bit as gorgeous as the beach itself, where we picnicked for hours, sun baked on the sand, and snorkelled in the crystal clear water.
Another must-do is to visit the Great Barrier Reef, which is easily accessible from the island! Not only is the Reef one of the most amazing places in the entire world, no trip to Australia is complete without it. I actually wrote a whole blog post dedicated to the ins and outs of visiting the Reef: what activities you can do there, how long of a trip to take, what companies to go with, etc. Read that post here!
Bon Voyage, Hamilton Island! Until next time.