Perfectly positioned in the heart of the Whitsundays, Hamilton Island is one of Australia’s top holiday destinations.
As the Whitsundays' go-to island, Hamo – as the locals call it – is the perfect base to explore the Great Barrier Reef and world-famous Whitehaven Beach.
The island’s village also provides a wide wide selection of bars and restaurants, year-round cultural exhibitions and performances, and an abundance of water sports and activities.
There's also an excellent choice of accommodation options from plush, couples’ suites to family-friendly apartments.
The wide range of water-based activities include sightseeing trips, dive cruises, stand-up paddle-boarding, sea kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, water skiing, twilight sailing and game fishing, among others.
For sailing enthusiasts, there’s the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, and for keen golfers, the Hamilton Island Golf Club is the only Australian 18-hole championship course on its own island.
It's also easy to explore the island by renting a quad bike or go-kart, and scenic flights offer a bird's eye view of the Whitsundays.
With more than 20km (12mi) of bush-walking trails, the island is perfect to explore on foot at your own pace. Seventy per cent of Hamilton Island consists of pristine natural bushland, and can be accessed along several interlinking walking trails.
Climb to the top of the island for stunning views, discover secluded, sandy coves and with tables scattered along the walking trails, there are plenty of places to stop and enjoy a picnic.
Flat Top Hill Lookout – This 2.4km (1.5mi) return walk starts from the Resort Trail entrance and continues to the Resort Lookout Junction before continuing along the Saddle Junction trail for 100m where a left turn takes you onto the Flat Top Hill trail.
From there, it's a short walk to the lookout, with views to the north and south. Allow one hour to complete the return walk.
Hideaway Bay – This short 2km (1.2mi) return trail leads to the tranquil waters of this secluded bay, surrounded by forest and with scenic views towards Whitsunday Island.
You can access Hideaway Bay via Catseye Beach on low tide or via the Scenic Trail entrance at the east end of Catseye Beach. Allow one hour for the return walk.
Resort Lookout – From the Resort Lookout Trail entrance, hike through typical Whitsunday bushland and up a steep hill to the Resort Lookout – the second highest point on Hamilton Island.
The lookout provides a panoramic views of the resort, marina village, airport and surrounding islands.
From the top, you’re treated to a 360 degree view east across to Passage Peak and Pentecost Island, north to Fitzalan, Whitsunday Island and the blue Coral Sea stretching west beyond Dent Island towards the mainland and south toward the Lindeman Island group.
Resort Lookout is the perfect place to treat yourself to a sunset over the western islands of the Whitsundays.
The Resort Trail entrance is at the eastern end of the Conference Centre. The trail is 3.4km (2.1mi) return; allow around one hour 30 minutes to complete the walk and more to enjoy the views.
Saddle Junction – Starting from the Scenic Trail entrance, follow the 1.8km (1.1mi) long Scenic Trail to Saddle Junction, which is also the main junction for the Passage Peak, South East Head, Escape Beach, Middle Head and Coral Cove trails. Allow 45 minutes, one way.
Passage Peak – This challenging 3.8km (2.3mi) return walk takes you to the highest vantage point on Hamilton Island, with exceptional views overlooking the Whitsundays.
Starting at the Scenic Trail entrance at the east end of Catseye Beach, the Passage Peak trail climbs fairly steeply but is well-marked. The trail passes through Saddle Junction, from here it’s a 900m climb to the top.
The last 150m – aided by steps – is the steepest. Allow two hours 30 minutes to complete the entire walk.
Coral Cove – This secluded beach can be accessed from either side of the island. It's a 30 minute walk from East Side entrance or an hours walk from Scenic Trail entrance.
From the Scenic Trail entrance, follow the trail up to Saddle Junction, where the well-signposted trail descends through native trees and shrubs to Coral Cove, with scenic views along the route.
Alternatively, you can access from the east side of the island by following a semi-steep dirt trail over the top of the ridge.
Coral Cove is a secluded, peaceful and relaxing beach where you can enjoy views south to Lindeman Island. The beach features a giant swing with palm trees facing the crystal-clear waters of Driftwood Bay.
Ideally, bring a picnic and plan to visit at mid-to-high tide. From the Scenic Trail entrance, the trail is 4.6km (2.8mi) return, taking around two hours.
Middle Head Trail – Starting from Turkey Nest Junction, this 6.2km (3.8mi) return trail leads you through a landscape rich in Australian native flora. Middle Head trail ends at the top of a hill with glimpses of the Whitsunday islands and waters to the south.
Allow two hours 30 minutes to complete the return walk.
Escape Beach Trail – This 5km return walk takes you from the Scenic Trail Entrance, through Saddle Junction to Escape Beach. Here you'll find clear waters lapping a charming white-sand beach framed by huge rocky outcrops creating a secluded retreat.
Along the way look out for wallabies and other wildlife. This walk can also include South East Head and Passage Peak before returning back to Saddle Junction.
Relax on the white sand and treat yourself to a well-earned swim. It's better to arrive on high or mid-tide unless you don’t mind a bit of an extra walk out to go for a swim.
Alternatively, if you are already at South East Head you can continue to follow the trail around the southern part of the island to Escape Beach. This section of the trail is a longer walk but offers amazing views of the surrounding islands and azure waters of the Whitsundays.
Allow two hours for the 5km (3mi) return walk from the Scenic Trail, or three hours via the 6.6km (4.1mi) on the South East Head trail.
South East Head Trail – This 7.2km (4.5mi) return walk, which takes around three hours to complete, leads you through dense bush past exposed, rocky features and cliff tops.
Starting from the Scenic Trail entrance at the east end of Catseye Beach, the trail leads to Saddle Junction and toward Passage Peak with signage pointing to South East Head.
The first section of trail takes you to a pretty lookout which views overlooking Catseye Beach then continues to Cabbage Tree Junction before descending to South East Head, with sea views along the route.
A gigantic chair sits at the end of the walk – perfect for a selfie. If you're feeling adventurous, walk the trail via Passage Peak or Escape Beach before returning to Saddle Junction.
Note: A reasonable to high level of fitness is required for all trails due to the hilly terrain and warm climate. Taking water along is essential, allow one to two litres per person, per hour.
There are no toilets on the walking trails. If walking alone, let someone know before you start out, and never swim alone at secluded beaches. There is no mobile coverage in some areas of the tracks.
As the largest inhabited island in the Whitsundays, Hamilton Island offers a wide range of honeymoon accommodation options, from 3- and 5-star hotels to apartments and villas.
At the 5-star level, choose from the sophisticated, beachfront-located Beach Club or the exclusive and uncompromising luxury of qualia resort, which is nestled on the secluded northern tip of the island.
For those looking for an entirely self-contained accommodation option, The Edge is a collection of holiday apartments on the island’s western tip, situated just a short walk from cafés and restaurants on Front Street.
Location: Hamilton Island
Prices: from AUD950 per person
Description: qualia offers guests a distinctively understated style and luxury, with a choice of elegant private pavilions that promise privacy and luxury on Hamilton Island’s secluded northern tip. Each of qualia’s 60 light-filled pavilions faces the water, surrounded by tropical bushland with uninterrupted views over the sea. Natural tones of timber, stone and glass reflect the serenity of qualia’s Whitsundays locale, subtly framing the seafront setting and providing sweeping views from every room. Facilities incl.: 2 restaurants, 2 bars, 2 pools, exclusive use of a two-seater golf buggy, 24/7 chauffeur service, spa, 24-hr. room service, laundry service, dry cleaning and watersports.
Location: Hamilton Island
Prices: from AUD513 per person
Description: Surrounded by landscaped gardens on Catseye Beach, the Beach Club Hamilton Island is a boutique retreat exclusively for adults. Romantic, intimate and perfect for couples, the well appointed boutique rooms have a stylish and relaxed beach house vibe, tailor-made for relaxing. All rooms at the Beach Club Hotel have a private courtyard or balcony looking onto palm-fringed Catseye Beach and the Coral Sea. Facilities incl.: restaurant, 2 bars, outdoor pool, spa, fitness facility, nightclub, room service, laundry service and watersports.
Reef View Hotel
Location: Hamilton Island
Prices: from AUD275 per person
Description: Located directly opposite Catseye Beach on Hamilton Island, this luxury resort offers modern and spacious rooms, all with private balconies. All rooms are well appointed, with internet access and bathroom with separate bath and shower. Garden View rooms have leafy views and ocean glimpses, while each Coral Sea View room has spectacular views over Catseye Bay and nearby Whitsunday Island. Facilities incl.: restaurant, 2 bars, outdoor pool, 24-hour reception and concierge, nearby spa, fitness facility, nearby tennis and squash courts and water-sports equipment.
Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about hotels on Hamilton Island at TripAdvisor.
Anytime. Hamilton Island enjoys a tropical climate with hot summers, warm winters and a pleasant spring and autumn.
Summer, from December to February, sees an average high of 30°C (86°F) and an average low of 24°C (75°F), while winter, from June through August, averages a high of 23°C (73°F) and a low of 18°C (64°F).
More about Hamilton Island weather…
Island Shuttle service – a complimentary bus service operates every day, usually from 7.30am until 10.45pm between the Resort Centre and Marina Village.
On foot – One of the best ways to explore Hamilton Island is by walking. It’s also easy to wander from your accommodation to some of the island’s key highlights. Several restaurants and bars are conveniently located on the resort side of the island.
Hire buggy – If you’re staying at accommodation further away from the main resort area, you may want to hire a buggy: both 2- and 4-seater buggies are available for hire.
Hamilton Island sits in the Whitsunday Islands just off the central coast of Queensland, around 900km (559mi) north of Brisbane and 600km (372mi) south of Cairns.
The most convenient route to Hamilton Island is by air to Hamilton Island Airport (HTI), also known as Great Barrier Reef Airport.
There are no direct international flights to Hamilton Island Airport.
From international destinations this requires first flying into Brisbane Airport (BNE) – or Cairns, Melbourne or Sydney – followed by a connecting flight to Hamilton Island Airport.
More about getting to Hamilton Island …
Latest update: about Hamilton Island: 18 December, 2020
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