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?!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?