On the water sailing, snorkeling, fishing and kayaking
The Whitsundays are a sailor’s playground, with expert yachtsman mixing with holiday novices on the water. One of the major ports of call on itineraries is Hamilton Island, with its top-notch marina and prestigious sailing club. Visit Hamilton while chartering a sailing boat or catamaran from Airlie Beach or enjoy a responsibility-free day cruise from the island itself.
If you like to mingle with the ‘it’ crowd, time your visit with Hamilton Island Race Week, a celebrity-infused seven days of on- and off-shore events every August. Island guests can also hire mini catamarans or join a group or private lesson from Catseye Beach.
If you’re into fishing, there are a handful of ways to scratch your angling itch. You can go it alone by hiring a dinghy from Hamilton Island Tour Desk, and you can grab bait and tackle from the marina. Alternatively, you can join a half- or full-day tour with a company such as Renegade Fishing Charters. The professional guides will take you to the Whitsundays’ best reefs and waterways, and give you plenty of tips to improve your fishing game.
One of Australia’s most scenic golf courses is a short hop across the water on Dent Island. Whether you’re an experienced golfer or simply enjoy a swing on holiday, you’re bound to be impressed by this par 71, 18-hole championship course. If you’re not, well the views will win you over anyway.
After a game, drop into Hamilton Island Golf Club for a long lunch. Hamilton Island also caters for golfers with a family friendly driving range where you’re encourage to hit balls into a lake, and there’s a pitch and putt course too. To get the kids interested in the sport, head along to the mini golf course, which glows in the dark every night.
Spa and Relax
One of Hamilton’s biggest drawcards is its idyllic lifestyle, yet this Whitsundays gem promises a relaxing holiday that goes beyond beach cabanas and poolside cocktails. The island’s day spas have serious credentials and you’ll want to book at least one treatment during your stay.
Spa qualia is a tropical sanctuary you’ll find hard to leave, especially after indulging in one of the signature experiences (think mud wraps and mineral facials) or wellbeing therapies.
For non-qualia guests, there is Spa wumurdaylin, where you can enjoy body scrubs, massages and the like.
If you’re visiting for a wedding or want to get dolled up for a romantic night out, there is also Island Hair and Beauty for all your pampering needs.
No trip to Hamilton Island is complete without dipping your head below the water’s surface to discover myriad reef fish and coral. You don’t need to pack your own snorkel, mask or flippers, either. Join a snorkelling tour to Hamilton’s neighbouring islands and beaches, including famous Whitehaven Beach, a seven kilometre stretch of white silica on Whitsunday Island. This slice of paradise is the quintessential Aussie destination that wows everyone who visits, and you can get there aboard half- or full-day charters, or via yacht or seaplane. Hamilton Island is also the perfect launching point for scuba diving tours, sunset cruises, fishing charters, and scenic flights over the reef.
Basically, your biggest problem will be trying to squeeze everything in.