What a week! I’m not really sure where to start. Hamilton Island trampled my expectations. I think that I went into this trip with not low expectations but rather not as many as I usually would have for an island getaway. I have travelled to my fair share of beach and coastal locations around the world (i.e. Maldives and Hawaii) and I often hear that traveling around Australia is too expensive and lacks the cultural impact other overseas locations offer. But in short Hamilton Island left me speechless and ready to see more.
All I can say is how proud I am to be Australian and to live in a country that exceeds so many visitors expectations of what natural beauty is. I mean sure Australia may not have the necessary historical impact and landmarks that countries in Europe have but Australia has a beauty of its own. This beauty comes in the form of nature whether it be spectacular reefs, coastal hikes, underwater life or endless hues of blue.
I thought I’d start with a summary of our week on Hamilton Island and then highlight one of my favourite experiences: a private helicopter tour around Hamilton Island and the Whitsundays on Thursday. So damn good.
Monday: Arden and I arrived on the island at 1:30pm (flew in with Jetstar). First day spent checking out our hotel, the nearby restaurants and pools and booking activities for the week. We walked down to the marina and enjoyed the sunset with a cocktail in hand at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club. Must do! (We stayed at this hotel)
Tuesday: Sunrise walk up to One Tree Hill. Decided to explore and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef while we were full of energy. Did a cruise and reef day with the Explore Group on their magnificent full day tour. One big day but it was amazing. Whole post on this to come soon.
Wednesday: Rest day. Hired a golf buggy and enjoyed exploring the island. Snorkelled on the house reef at Hamilton, relaxed and watched the sunset at One Tree Hill with about 200 other people. Drank cocktails and ate sushi.
Thursday: Early morning hike at 6:30am up to Passage Peak. This was a tough one! Enjoyed spectacular 360 degree views over the island. In the afternoon did a helicopter flight over the Whitsundays and went ga-ga over the Hill Inlet and Whitehaven beach views (more below). Enjoyed a picnic on Whitehaven. Enjoyed dessert at Coca Chu.
Friday: Rest day. Snorkelled on the house reef, lounged around the pools, ate delicious seafood and watched the sunset again at One Tree Hill with amazing cocktails.
Saturday: Early morning hike but this time up to Resort Lookout. Did a few shoots on the island, roamed around in our golf buggy, tanned under the palm trees, had one of the best dinners at Bommie Restaurant at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club (fine dining) and watched fireworks from our balcony.
Sunday: Final ride on the golf buggy to watch all the butterflies up at One Tree Hill, coffee at the Hamilton Island Marina and then slowly made our way back home.
Hamilton by Air
Well worth every penny we spent. If there is anything you do on Hamilton Island make sure it is this. I knew before we had arrived on Hamilton Island that we had to do a scenic tour of the Whitsundays. And better yet by helicopter. The advantage is you get a lot and I mean A LOT closer to everything. It’s also private and you will have the best experience as you float in a glass bubble with your eyes peeled on the spectacle of blue beneath you.
Arden and I booked our tour on Monday for Thursday at 2:50pm. It isn’t guarantee to be just you two but as the helicopter can only take three passengers it is highly likely. I mean who wants to be a third-wheel?! There were only a few spots left so I would say if you are going for a short period of time or in the busy summer season book early.
We booked the Heart Reef & Whitehaven Stopover as it sounded like a dream. And it was. We were picked up from our hotel 30 minutes before our flight and taken to the Hamilton Island heli-pads. We felt like James Bond. We met our lovely pilot who was from Germany. She was so genuine and talented at what she did and I couldn’t believe she got to do this everyday at least three times. Living the dream!
The whole tour lasted two hours. The first hour was spent flying out to the Great Barrier Reef, observing and enjoying amazing sights over Hamilton Island, Dent Island, Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet, different parts of the reef and my favourite -Heart Reef! It is literally a love heart coral reef in the middle of Hardy Reef. It was breathtaking. Discovered by accident by a seaplane pilot.
We landed on Whitehaven beach with a spot for just the two of us. Our pilot set up a gorgeous picnic with fresh fruit, cheese and crackers, muffins and champagne. As we only had fifty minutes on the whitest and lightest sand in the world, we drank and ate quick. It was hilarious. We also managed to fit in a swim in the warm and clear water of Whitehaven beach and a lot of photo taking.
Such a secluded and protected part of Australia. I wish we could have stayed forever. It’s a memory that I will never forget. Arden and I were laughing because even in the most secluded and romantic beach in the Whitsundays we were still visited by a few pesky seagulls keen for a feed. We quickly shoo-ed them off to the couple 100 metres to the left of us enjoying their picnic (haha oops!).
Hamilton by Air was probably my favourite activity / trip I have done all year. Here is my collection of photos to show you why.
Highlight moment: Flying over Hill Inlet, about to land on Whitehaven beach and watching turtles float on the surface of the turquoise water glistening in the sun. So incredible.
Honestly you won’t regret it. Book here.
So what do you think? Are you convinced about visiting Hamilton Island?
Love A x