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Whether you are on a family vacation or a romantic holiday away, Hamilton Island is an incredibly cool experience that puts you within striking distance of the Great Barrier Reef, and has hotels suited for every style and budget.
Located amidst the Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island is privately owned ( The Oatley family acquired it in 2003) and is almost entirely dedicated to tourism – there are some residences, but otherwise – it’s all holiday resorts.
We spent 3 nights on Hamilton Island in April of 2018 and it was one of the most memorable aspects of our entire trip to Australia, and I would HIGHLY recommend it.
Here’s a unique aspect of the island – Aside from authorized hotel vehicles, nothing is motorized, and instead, you either hike, bike, or whiz around on golf carts.
The Sunsets are insane – bike, hop on a tram, or drive your golf cart to One Tree Hill:
Get there when the view looks like this, snag a table, sip on a drink and watch the sun come down as people from all over the island flock to hilltop. Absolutely incredible.
The Harbour is bouncing mid-day, and then it completely dies off as visitors clammer to the opposite of the island or One Tree Hill for sunset. Then the race is on to get back to wine and dine. And the Dining is unlike anyplace I’ve ever been. You don’t need a credit card because the entire island is inter-linked. You just bill it to your room.
Restaurants are mixed between and above cute boutiques where you can find memorabilia, clothing, etc.
Speaking of hotels – there are 4 main ones to choose from.
A solid 3.5 to 4 star hotel that is suited for families looking for a holiday away. It’s a large tower. We stayed a the smaller bungalows located on property that have access to all the facilities, but are more conducive to couples or families looking to have more privacy.
These small bungalows are a bit more expensive than the entry level rooms at the Reef, but provide a far more private and separate experience. We spent one night here and were very happy to be away from all the hullabaloo of the Reef.
Beach Club is a private, adults only, no kids 4.5 star hotel on the same complex as Reef View and Palm Bungalows. It features a private beach, restaurant, pool, and is geared for those looking to spend a bit more out of pocket for privacy, but not as much as Qualia.
Qualia is the best resort in Australia and after staying there I can see why. I’m in the midst of writing a comprehensive review, but it’s truly a world class, jaw-droppingly beautiful, put it on your bucket list experience. The views are insane, the food is wonderful; however I did have a couple of service interruptions that I’ve yet to experience at hotels whose clientele is seeks, like the Peninsula Group.
The biggest draw for foreigners checking OZ off their bucket list…The Great Barrier Reef.
Hamilton Island is less than a 2 hour flight from coast and has tons of flights in and out of it. Even better, you have multiple ways to get out to the Great Barrier Reef to snorkel: Boat, SeaPlane, and Helicopter.
We decided to go all out and Heli there and back with snacks, private snorkel, and champagne toast. Yes…we had the entire Reef to ourselves for a complete hour. The cost – roughly $500 a piece. Honestly…I thought it was a helluva a deal to experience a wonder of the world from the sky where you truly see all its wonderment.
Have you visited before? Where did you stay? What’d you think?
Australia 2018 – Qantas First, Cathay Biz/First, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, and Hong Kong
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- How I landed Qantas + Cathay Biz/First to/from Australia – $40k in value
- How I used Alaska Miles to bake in a stopover in a Hong Kong
- Review: Qantas First Class Lounge LAX
- Review: Qantas First Class LAX-MEL
- Review: Qantas Business Class Lounge Melbourne
- Review: Qantas Business Class A330 Melbourne to Sydney
- Intercontinental Sydney
- How to spend 2 awesome nights in Melbourne
- Review: Qualia – Hamilton Island
- Review: Palm Bungalows – Hamilton Island
- Why you should add Hamilton Island to your Australia adventure
- What it’s like taking a helicopter to the Great Barrier Reef
- Review: Sofitel Gold Coast
- Review: Qantas Business Class Lounge Brisbane
- Review: Cathay Pacific Business Class A350 Brisbane to Hong Kong
- Review: Cathay Pacific Arrivals Lounge Hong Kong
- Review: Grand Hyatt Hong Kong 1 bedroom Suite
- What it’s like being a Hyatt VIP with Prive
- Review: Cathay Pacific The Pier
- Review: Cathay Pacific The Wing
- Review: Cathay Pacific The Bridge
- Review: Cathay Pacific First Class Hong Kong to Los Angeles