Hamilton Island is one of the Whitsunday Islands of Queensland, Australia. It is part of the Great Barrier Reef. The island has been developed as a popular holiday resort, and made waves in 2008 when it advertised the caretaker's position as the Best Job in the World — $150,000 for six months of living on the island and blogging about it once a week.
Hamilton Island is a resort island, part of the Whitsunday Islands. Hamilton Island has the most places to stay, restaurants and shops of all the Whitsunday Islands. Whereas many of the Whitsunday Islands only feature a single resort, Hamilton Island features many resorts and hotels. Infrastructure is on the north side of the island. To the south, the island is untouched natural vegetation.
Hamilton Island has an airport with a single runway. It is capable of supporting jet aircraft, but there is no aerobridge, passengers embark and disembark via unsheltered stairs. The two level terminal building services three departure gates and features a club lounge and a small cafe. Hamilton Island airport is served by Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Qantas. There are direct flights from many Australia cities, including Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne.
Fares to Hamilton can be very competitive: from many centres it can be cheaper to fly to Hamilton Island and transfer to the mainland rather than the other way around.
- Fantasea. Fantasea operates ferries between Shute Harbour on mainland Australia. $55 adult one-way.
A free shuttle bus meets all arriving aircraft to transfer guests to the Reef View Hotel, Whitsunday Holiday Apartments or Palm Bungalows. Beach Club guests, Reef View Hotel Suite, qualia and Deluxe Holiday Home Villa guests will receive VIP transfers in a chauffeured golf buggy. Hamilton Island Holiday Home guests check in at reception counter at the airport entrance - and pick up their personal 4 seater golf buggy on arrival.
You can get around in Hamilton island by golf buggies. Cars are prohibited. Apartment hire usually includes exclusive use of a buggy. Golf buggies can be hired, for a daily fee. Hiring a buggy requires a credit card imprint which will be returned if the buggy is returned with no damage. Insurance is also available for an extra fee. A full drivers licence is required to drive a buggy. Beach Club guests receive 24 hour complementary buggy chauffeur service to any destination of their choice.
- Resort Buggy Hire, Resort Drive, Hamilton Island, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. daily 7:30AM – 5:30PM. Take a self-drive tour of the island or hire a golf buggy to cruise from your accommodation to the marina and other points of interest in true island style. Driver's licence and credit card required $87 per day.
Free shuttle bus services operate on the island. One service operates continuously between the resort precinct and the marina, completing the loop every 15 minutes. Two other services run clockwise and counter-clockwise on a circuit that covers a greater part of the island.
You can walk around the island. You have to climb up and over the hill to get between the airport section, marina section and resort section, taking around 20 minutes or so for the journey by foot. Hence the popularity of the golf buggies.
- Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. There is no reef off the Hamilton Island beaches, so good snorkelling requires a boat trip.
- Take a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef
- Visit Whitehaven Beach
- Sail the Whitsunday islands
- Kayaking around the island
- Trek up to Passage Peak
- Catch your own fish for dinner
- Go Scuba diving.
- Witness a spectacular sunset
- Play a round of golf. Hamilton Island Golf Course is on the neighbouring Dent Island, a 5 minute ferry trip away.
There are ATMs on the island to restock cash, and a Westpac Bank.
There is a supermarket on the island to pick up essentials, and it also sells alcohol. You can pre-order supplies to be ready when you arrive on the island. In addition, Coles Online also delivers to the island. If you are staying in a hotel, there may be limits on food and alcohol deliveries to the hotels. Check with your accommodation.
There are restaurants, cafes and pool bars attached to most of the hotels and resorts. There are also independent food places in the Marina area. You can get reasonably priced food at the take-away places, and even an occasional snack from the pool bars. Expect to be paying a premium to eat here though. There are no real bargains to be had.
- Bommie - Modern Australian in the new Hamilton Island Yacht Club - signature restaurant on Hamilton island.
- Romanos Italian Restaurant - Italian and Seafood restaurant on the Marina.
- Steakhouse - Relaxed family-style restaurant and bar specialising in steak dishes.
- Mariners - Fresh Seafood and contemporary dining in the Marina Village.
- The Pool Terrace Restaurant - Buffet breakfasts and lunchtime snack menu and a la carte dinner menus - located poolside at the Reef View Hotel.
- Sails - Casual breakfast, lunch and dinner dining for families - located in the resort centre.
- Manta Ray Cafe - Gourmet woodfired Pizzas & cocktails overlooking the Marina. Dine in or takeaway.
- Koala Gallery - Outdoor breakfast BBQ in a Koala enclosure.
- Popeyes - Fish & chips, and chicken takeaway.
- Hamilton Island Bakery - Takeaway sandwiches and pastries.
- Marina Deli - Delicatessen specialising in paninis, foccacias and wraps.
- Dennison Star Dinner Cruise - 4-course dinner cruising the Witsundays on a 107ft timber boat.
- Qualia - exclusive to guests of qualia (and included in room tariff) is a fine dining restaurant housed in the luxurious Long Pavilion
- Beach Club - Exclusive to Beach Club guests - fine dining on Catseye Beach
- Marina Tavern - Large pub with wooden decks overlooking the Hamilton Island Marina
- Bottle shop - Retail shop selling a range of wine, beer and spirits
- Cocktails - Sunset cockatils on One-Tree Hill most days (weather permitting)
- Bars - There are many bars and lounges spread throughout the resort complexes specialising in beer, wine, spirits and cocktails
There are several forms of accommodation to choose from on Hamilton, from bungalows to high-rise hotels, apartments and 5-star resorts.
- Compass Point 11 (Compass Point 11 - Hamilton Island Accommodation), toll-free: 1800 135 539. 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom. Look over the Dent passage from the upper level. A few minutes drive in your complementary golf buggy to the marina and beach from here. Air conditioning, barbecue, dishwasher, TV, DVD player, fully equipped kitchen, shared swimming pool, washing machine from $350/night.
- Reef View Hotel, ☏ . Large, comfortable, modern rooms, with sea views. From $370/night.
- Whitsunday Holiday Apartments, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, 14 Resort Dr, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Whitsunday Apartments are adjacent to Catseye Beach on the resort side of Hamilton Island and are the ideal destination for those who prefer the independence of apartment style living. Offering a full size kitchen, two-way bathroom, large open plan living area and a spacious north-facing balcony. The apartments sleep up to 5 people and combine self-catering facilities with apartment style living. A variety of water sports and day tours are located close to the resort along as are restaurants. From $330.
- Palm Bungalows, ☏ . Each bungalow has every convenience you need to enjoy island life your own way, including a kitchenette, bar fridge, microwave and tea and coffee making facilities. From $390.
- Hamilton Island Holiday Homes. Self-catering convenience. All holiday homes are self-contained, air-conditioned, and most come with a private golf buggy.
- Qualia, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Qualia is a Hamilton Island resort, offering private pavilions to all guests, some pavilions including infinity pools. Limited to guests over 16 years of age. Low season from $950 per pavilion per night, high season from $1200 per pavilion per night.
- Beach Club, ☏ . An adults-only boutique resort sits on Catseye Beach, overlooking the Coral Sea. Private restaurant and lounge, child-free ambience and personalised service. From $700/night.