In my books, between sleek boots, cosy jumpers and the absence of sweat on my upper lip, winter has some solid positives. But if the constant drizzle and dreary weather leave you with the winter blues, a balmy holiday to Hamilton Island – where you’re surrounded by secluded stretches of sand and mesmerising blue water – could be the ideal trip for you.
So, if you’ve only ever considered exploring the Wonders of The Whitsundays in summer, don’t box yourself in. It’s worth a trip year-round. Depending on your circumstances, and how you like to holiday, there’s a perfect season for you.
Located in the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island is one of the 74 islands in The Whitsundays. Just a stone’s throw from pristine Whitehaven Beach, and surrounded by dreamy turquoise water, you’ll want to make the most of it while you’re there. Here’s seven things to know about Hamilton Island so you can plan to maximise your trip at whatever time of year suits you best.
1. Getting there
To visit, you can fly directly to Hamilton Island Airport from Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. You can also fly to Whitsunday Coast Airport on the mainland before hopping on a Cruise Whitsundays ferry at Airlie Beach to take the scenic route.
2. Getting around
Hamilton island is car-free, so it’s good to be aware of your options before you get off the plane. You can take it easy and potter around by foot or catch the complimentary shuttle bus service. Although, for a bit of extra fun, you can also hire a golf buggy and follow your nose for a self-guided joyride around the island. Finally, those of us who have never graced a golf course can take a buggy for a spin!
The shuttle usually runs from 7.30am until 11pm. And it’s worth reserving a buggy in advance to make sure you can nab one!
3. Pack activewear
While Hamilton Island boasts beautiful beaches, there are also a lot of great bushwalks to add to your itinerary. So, pack that workout gear and get into nature. If you’re travelling in January, February or March, be mindful to check the forecast beforehand so you don’t get caught in any tropical showers while on the trail.
4. Wildlife to look out for
If you’re keen to see some animals, get up close and personal with them at Hamilton Island Wildlife any time of year. But if you want to spy some animals in the wild, head to The Whitsundays in winter for whale watching. You can catch turtles all year, but if you want a glimpse of their little hatchlings, you may spot them on the beach from January onwards.
5. Book your restaurants in advance
If your heart is set on a certain fancy meal, the last thing you want is to miss out. Avoid that disaster by locking your lunch and dinner reservations in early. Not sure where to pre-book? The Coca Chu pop-up at Sails has a fresh menu inspired by South Asian street food and a killer view of Catseye Beach. Or, you can sit back and relax on the deck at Romano’s for some contemporary Italian dishes while looking over the Hamilton Island Marina. And if you’re after a low-key, family friendly option, give Manta Ray a go for some modern Australian cuisine.
6. Plan your photoshoots
Is it even a holiday if you don’t take some cheeky golden hour shots? Whether it’s to remember the picturesque sights or bolster your Instagram profile, we’ve scoped out some of the best spots to take a snap on Hamilton Island any time of year.
One standout is Passage Peak – the highest point on Hamilton Island. It’s a 5.4km round-trip but the breathtaking views are worth the hike. One Tree Hill is also a hot spot. Have a cocktail at the hilltop lookout and snap some pics during sunset.
Let’s face it, the whole island is Instagrammable. But if you had to have a shortlist, add Bommie Deck, Catseye Beach and Coral Cove onto your list of primo photo-ops.
7. There’s an app
There’s an app for everything and this one is a lifesaver. Download the Hamilton Island app to have on hand as an up-to-date ‘what’s on’ guide while you wander around the island. With live weather updates, self-guided audio tours and maps, you’ll have everything you need to get the most out of your trip at your fingertips.
Whether you want to escape the colder months, sneak in a relaxing getaway this spring, or give Christmas a solid upgrade, consider jumping on a quick plane ride to Hamilton Island. You can schedule in your fix of salt, heat and sunshine any time of year without having to leave the country.