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Hamilton Island From Dawn Till Dusk | Don't Ever Look Back

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Hamilton Island From Dawn Till Dusk

Hamilton Island From Dawn Till Dusk

If you’re traveling on a budget, an extended stay on Hamilton Island might be a little too painful for your wallet to handle. But we’re not saying stay away completely – splurge a little and treat yourselves to this piece of delightful luxury!

It’s entirely possible to do a day trip to Hamilton Island from the mainland and ferries depart from Shute Harbour on a regular basis. But if you can, spend at least one night on “Hammo” so you can really experience the best that this beautiful destination has to offer.

For those short on time, here’s a suggested itinerary for a jam-packed day on Hamilton Island.

6am: Watch the sun rise at Catseye Beach

The view over Catseye Beach as the sun comes up is sensational. You’ve only got limited time on Hamilton Island so why not start your day nice and early with this?!

Sunrise at Catseye Beach

7:30am: Eat breakfast with the koalas

Not far from Catseye Beach on the resort side of the island is Wild Life Hamilton Island. Come here for an Aussie-style buffet breakfast with pancakes, bacon, sausages and eggs cooked how you like them fresh on the BBQ.

Within the dining area are koala exhibits where you can watch koalas lazing in the trees as you eat. It’s one of the few places in the world you can cuddle a koala and get your photo taken with them so make sure to take advantage of this opportunity.

Koala at Wild Life Hamilton Island

9:00am: Hire a golf buggy and take a self-drive tour of Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island is a car-free zone and golf buggies have become one of the island’s icons. You simply can’t visit Hamilton Island without driving a golf buggy!

A map isn’t required – just drive around and look at some of the beautiful real estate and awe-inspiring views. The view from One Tree Hill is probably one of the best in Australia with breathtaking 360 degree views overlooking the Whitsundays.

Golf Buggy

12:00pm: Lunch

After all that driving around you might be craving some food! Pop down to Popeye’s Takeaway for some tasty fish & chips or head to Bob’s Bakery for some pies, sausage rolls and pastries. There’s also the Marina Deli which serves gourmet sandwiches, foccacias and wraps so you’ve got plenty of choice depending on what you feel like.

Bobs Bakery

1:30pm: Enjoy an activity of your choosing

There’s so much to do on Hamilton Island that we’re not going to recommend a single way to spend your afternoon. There are quad-bike tours and go-karts for those looking for adventure, plenty of beach and watersports to keep you occupied for hours and a bowling alley, mini-golf course, target shooting and more.

Take your pick of any of those or grab a book and just relax at Catseye Beach or the hotel pool for the rest of the afternoon.

Relax at Catseye Beach

5:00pm: Watch the sun set on a sea kayak

So you’ve seen the sun rise earlier in the day, why not watch the sun set in style? The Sea Kayak Sunset Paddle allows you to enjoy a glass (or two) of yummy sparkling wine from a beautiful vantage point in the Whitsundays – definitely one of the most romantic and beautiful things to experience on Hamilton Island.

Hamilton Island Sunset Kayak

7:00pm: Dinner at the Manta Ray Café

After arriving back on solid ground, you’ll no doubt have built up an appetite. The Manta Ray Café is a laid-back location overlooking the marina and there’s no doubt that they serve the best gourmet pizzas on Hamilton Island. There’s also some pretty good pasta and seafood for those who overlook the delicious pizzas.

Half-Half Gourmet Pizza

If you’ve still got energy after dinner, head to the Reef Lounge at the Reef View Hotel for a nightcap after dinner. There’s usually some live entertainment on there as well.

Would you want to spend a day on Hamilton Island like the one we’ve suggested?


  1. Posted May 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Awesome itinerary! We can’t wait to try out the golf carts and maybe even the sea kayaks 🙂
    Claire recently posted..First Stop in New Zealand: Franz Josef

    • Posted May 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      So excited that you’re visiting the Whitsundays, though it would’ve been cool if we were still there too! Have fun – you’ll love the golf carts and the sunset kayak!

  2. Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    For that sunrise, yes please! Wish we had more time when we were in Oz in Feb. Oh well, we’ll just have to come back. 🙂

    • Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      You really should’ve stayed in Oz for as long as you possibly could have! There’s plenty more we could’ve shown you when you were here… ahh well, we’ll make up for lost time in Vegas!

  3. Posted May 22, 2012 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    Man this looks like an awesome day! Not sure I would make it up for the sun rise but the food, the island, the beach – everything looks awesome. I love the colors of the sunrise and breakfast with koalas would be a lot of fun!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Horsetail Falls – a lesson in photography

    • Posted May 22, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      It’s the second sunrise we’ve seen this year (the other one was over the Sydney Harbour Bridge) and they’re totally worth getting up early for… occasionally, anyway. The breakfast with the koalas was pretty cool indeed.

  4. Posted May 22, 2012 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Looks like you saw some amazing things!!
    Brock – Backpack Wit recently posted..Exploring Franconia Notch State Park – New Hampshire, USA

  5. Posted May 22, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Yes! I would absolutely spend a day like this there! It sounds/looks amazing! That sunrise!! WOW!
    Amanda recently posted..Photo Essay: Yosemite National Park

    • Posted May 22, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Hamilton Island is a beautiful place, we would love to go back there and have another day like this one.

  6. Posted May 24, 2012 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    I had Hamilton Island on the end of my itinerary when I was in Australia, which unfortunately was when I ran out of money so I didn’t go. That sunset, golf cart and kayak is making me awfully jealous and regretful right now! Keep it up guys.
    AdventureRob recently posted..The Pacific Wind at Your Back: Suggestions for Oahu Bikers

    • Posted May 24, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Oh that’s a shame – it probably wouldn’t be the best place to go if you’re running short of money. Hopefully you can make it back there one day!

  7. Posted May 24, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    This itinerary sounds fantastic! I could use some of the sparkling wine right about now 🙂 Hamilton Islands seems like it’s a beautiful place. Looks like you two really enjoyed yourselves.
    Captain and Clark recently posted..Our favorite parts of Ashland, Oregon

    • Posted May 24, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      We miss spending our days like this and the beautiful weather! A sparkling wine in the nice warm sea was fantastic and we truly did have the best time – one of our favorite vacations ever.

  8. Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    Wow, Hamilton Island looks really cool. And the sunset is amazing!
    Globetrottergirls recently posted..A taste of Cambodia… our first impressions

    • Posted May 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Hamilton Island is an amazing place that not many visitors to Australia consider due to its cost – but it’s completely possible to do it in a day trip for those on a budget!

  9. Posted May 3, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful thanks for taking us along!
    Beautiful photos
    Sam D – Travellingki recently posted..Best of Bangkok (PHOTO BLOG)

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