Travellers who want to do more than just remain glued to the deck chair will find a range of tours available that will create indelible holiday memories.
From an adrenalin-charged jet ski tour to snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, a sunset sail or round of golf on Dent Island, here are the best Hamilton Island tours to book when planning your island escape.
Zip across the water on a jet ski tour
Hit the throttle and discover the hidden sides of Hamilton Island on a jet ski tour around the Whitsunday’s waterways, which are located on the northeast coast of Queensland. An experienced and friendly instructor guides the Jet Ski Tours around the calm waters of the Coral Sea where you may spot seasonal marine life such as whales and turtles.
For those looking for an exhilarating experience out on the water, the jet ski tours will deliver. Cut the engine when you pull up around the hidden beaches around the back of the island, and sit in silence admiring the bushland which blankets 70 per cent of the island.
Snorkel or dive the Great Barrier Reef with Explore
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the world and to truly experience it you must go below the surface in the aquamarine waters off Hamilton Island. A trip to Reefworld, a permanently moored pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef, takes around two hours from Hamilton Island onboard Explore.
The purpose-built 24-metre catamaran, which has lounge-style seating, and a partially shaded deck, guides small groups to the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef to drift with the current over pristine pockets of the marine park and renowned dive sites such as Stepping Stones and Paradise Lagoon. To plan your snorkel or dive, head here.
See Hamilton Island’s highlights from a helicopter
There’s no better way to get a handle on Hamilton Island’s rich topography and the turquoise waters and fringing reefs that surround it than by taking to the skies on a Hamilton Island Helicopter Tour. The Coral Sea looks even lovelier when viewed from above, as the blue sky is mirrored on the water, where sailing boats look like toy boats tick-tacking to and fro.
The Hamilton Highlight by Helicopter tour has room for just two passengers, so you can propel yourself out of your comfort zone with someone special and maybe even pop the question. The 10-minute tour passes over Coral Cove, Passage Peak and Catseye Beach. Hamilton Island Air can also hover over the iconic Heart Reef on a Journey to the Heart tour.
Find turtles a short paddle away from shore
There will be no jostling for a ringside seat on a Turtle Discovery Tour as there is plenty of space to snorkel just a short paddle away from Catseye Beach. Suit up and follow your guide out toward the fringing reefs around Hamilton Island where you will see turtles sculling above the pristine seabed. The guided tour, which includes snorkelling equipment and a life jacket, can be booked through Hamilton Island Beach Sports, located on Catseye Beach. The tour is all about going with the flow while looking for marine life in the aquarium-like waters. It’s a cinematic experience.
Enjoy a Sunset Sail around Hamilton Island
After days spent watching the superyachts pull in to moor at the Hamilton Island Marina, you will be across the dress code. So do don your best deck shoes — for extra traction when you’re trying to take selfies — white linen pants and a big straw hat when you book your own Sunset Sail around the island by catamaran.
Laze on the sun deck, complimentary drink in hand, as the sky is painted shades of pink and peach and the sun slips over the horizon. Explore’s Sunset Sail Whitsunday Islands Tour navigates around the calm waters surrounding the island until the stars start to stud the sky. Enjoy a drink and some nibbles while your skipper regales you about the history and heritage of Hamilton Island and why it attracts boaties from all around the world.
Enjoy an eco-certified kayak tour around Hamilton Island
Set off on a Sea Kayak Sunset Tour from the Hamilton Island Marina to see this destination at its best. The silky waters are home to dolphins and turtles and you’ll find all manner of bird species while paddling around the marine reserve. As the dusk sky fades, your expert guide will also lead you to the best vantage point on the island to admire the sunset, glass of bubbles in hand.
While the sunset kayak tour is one of the most romantic experiences on offer on Hamilton Island, it’s not just for couples: in fact, it’s suitable for all ages above 12 if accompanied by an adult. Learn all about the waterways you’re exploring on the eco-certified tour, which operates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year.
Explore the wonders of Whitehaven Beach
Cruising around the Whitsundays on a high-speed catamaran is a sensational (and efficient) way to spend the day. One of the most popular tours is to the wonderfully unspoilt Whitehaven Beach, located on the largest island in the Whitsundays.
The Whitehaven Beach & Hill Inlet Chill & Grill tour will see you play Castaway for up to six hours on the beach renowned around the world for its powder-soft white silica sands. Highlights include a hike to the lookout at Hill Inlet and the Chill & Grill component, comprising time spent swimming and sunbathing (the chill factor) and enjoying a gourmet burger (the grill factor) on the beach. Let the scenery do the talking as you relax on the cruise back to Hamilton Island.
Visit hamiltonisland.com.au to pre-book tours on Hamilton Island.