We recently returned from a trip to Hamilton Island in Queensland, Australia, and what a magnificent holiday it was. I am dumbfounded to think that we had never been to Hamilton Island before! It is the perfect destination for, well everyone really; families, singles, young couples, retired couples, ‘babymooners’ and honeymooners, can all enjoy this slice of paradise.
Our direct flight from Brisbane to Hamilton Island was a breeze and took roughly an hour and a half. Travelling there as a family of five, (two adults and children ages 10 months, four years and five years old,) was really easy. I noticed a huge difference in how much easier it was to travel with Ari and Chloe since the last time we were on a plane. We packed a backpack of travel safe activities for them and baby Rosie slept through most of the flight.
We had four nights to enjoy on Hamilton Island, and with so much to do we decided to research and schedule an itinerary for the trip. Ideally I would recommend five to seven nights for a first visit to this paradise.
Our family was travelling as part of a larger group, made up of friends, totaling a huge 37 people (children included.) When looking for accommodation we needed something with enough bedrooms, space for the children to play and that was safe. We were introduced to The Yacht Club Villas which were perfect for our large group. Each villa has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a main living space, outdoor entertaining, a BBQ and access to a private pool. The complex is also gated making it really safe for little ones. They come with use of golf buggies for getting around the island, as there are no cars (other then a few to service the island and a shuttle bus.) Our accommodation was fantastic and I could’t fault it. There was a wonderful gift hamper on arrival, our villa was beautifully decorated and clean, and the complex was within short walking distance to local shops and restaurants (some with a kids stay and eat free arrangement.) By booking our accommodation early enough, we were able to secure multiple villas to fit our group. I would recommend one of the villas in the front row closest to the pool where you have a grass patch for children to play on (ours was villa 4.)
Our accommodation was so well equip that we ate most of our meals in, but here are some restaurants that we did dine at and my thoughts:
Sails – This was my favourite, food was delicious and atmosphere relaxed. The resutrant is à la carte, with modern Australian dishes for all tastes. It was perfect for little children with spectacular views overlooking one of Hamilton Island’s main beaches, Catseye Beach, and the Sails Pool. The restaurant staff were all very helpful and it was extremely child friendly. Kids eat free here when you are staying at Reef View Hotel, Palm Bungalows, or any holiday home booked through Hamilton Island Holiday Homes (like Yacht Club Villas.)
Ramano’s Italian Resturant – Absolutely delicious Italian food, we all loved our meals and my pasta dish was large enough for lunch the next day too. In my experience I didn’t think it was very child friendly, so perhaps save it for a date night.
Bob’s Bakery – Their wraps and sandwiches are extremely tasty and perfect for lunch on the go. The gourmet pies and sausage rolls made daily in house.
Marina Tavern – I only had drinks here, but the food looked fantastic, and it seemed to be family friendly. The tavern sits on the main street with a view of the marina.
Pizzeria and Gelato Bar – You can dine in or takeaway, we chose the latter option twice, and the pizza was perfect. You can pick up or get your order delivered for only $5.
Popeyes Fish and Chips – I didn’t end up making it there but friends said it is great, and perfectly paired with sunset at One Tree Hill.
Hamilton Island Pools
These were our favourites:
Bougainvillea Pool – A smaller pool conveniently located just behind Catseye Beach. With lush, tropical lagoon landscaping, a larger pool and a child friendly pool. It is open all day from sunrise to sunset, and has a kiosk for food and drinks.
Main Pool – This was my favourite pool probably because of the swim up pool bar! Main Pool is large and suitable for the whole family. It sits on the beach and is close to Sails Restaurant. There is also a play park off to one side. You could spend all day here and the children would be very happy, and the adults too!
Things To Do
Sunset at One Tree Hill – You can head to One Tree Hill and enjoy the lookout anytime of the day, but at sunset it is extra spectacular. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and a bottle of wine.
Hike to Passage Peak – There are a number of bush walks to enjoy on Hamilton Island but the hike to Passage Peak is particularly special. It is recommended to start the walk from the Scenic Trail Entrance. The walk is beautiful and only a little challenging. It is rated as a category three and states the walk will take an hour each way, however I walked it with Rosie in a baby carrier and found it took me 22 minutes each way. Of course if I was walking with young children it would have taken me much longer. Pack a picnic and enjoy the breathtaking view when you get to the top, there is even a picnic table and chairs.
Charter a boat – It would be a crime to come to Hamilton Island and not see the Whitsunday Islands from the water. There are a number of options for boat hire and tours to suit all groups and budgets. As we had such a big group we were all able to contribute to the hire of a luxury yacht. After a lot of research we chose a luxury private yacht charter on a boat called Alani. We enjoyed five hours cruising around with a stop of a refreshing swim. Food on the boat was catered and we were able to choose drinks from for bar, which we paid for on consumption. We added a huge slide to our booking which came off the side of the boat. I think the adults enjoyed it as much as the children. The whole day was really enjoyable for everyone and we all had a lot of fun.
Golf on Dent Island – We sent the boys off to enjoy a day of golf on Dent Island and from what I hear they loved it! A ferry picked them up from a port on Hamilton Island and took them over to Dent. There is an 18 hole golf course with views of the surrounding Whitsunday Islands and Coral Sea. Ryan told me that they were very well cared for and playing golf was certainly a luxurious experience. There is also a restaurant for lunch afterwards.
My ten top tips for a great family holiday on Hamilton Island
– Make your restaurant bookings in advance before you leave for your holiday.
– Look into child care options before your trip eg Clown Fish Kids Club and island baby sitters.
– Download the Hamilton Island app.
– If your accommodation does not include a buggy look into the islands free shuttle bus.
– Book tours in advance.
– Check tide times for Catseye Beach, as it is extra beautiful on high tide.
– Some restaurants and facilities don’t except cash.
– Look for kids stay and eat free accommodation options.
– Take advantage of the Hamilton Island ‘baby’s first holiday package,’ which includes things like a cot, pram, highchair and more.
– Sign up up to the Hamilton Island newsletter for special holiday deals.
For more adventures with my little loves head to Instagram.