Imagine turquoise water so clear you can see straight to the bottom, coral in neon green and bright purple, and sunsets that pierce the sky with pink rays of light…well that pretty much sums up Hamilton Island. The main reason we booked a trip to Hamilton was to visit the Great Barrier Reef, but it turns out the island was pretty incredible itself. Here’s my guide to planning the perfect trip to Hamilton Island:
Booking: When researching this trip for my parents and I, there were quite a few different options for the Great Barrier Reef ranging from where to stay, how to get there, and what to see. We chose to stay on the gorgeous Hamilton Island (which is part of the famous Whitsunday Islands). The easiest way to book everything on the island is through their website. I didn’t know this at the time, but the Hamilton Island company owns and runs everything on the island- making it super easy to book everything.
Arrival: The flight was not only easy but absolutely stunning. You get an amazing view of the reef and surrounding islands as you arrive into the Hamilton Island Airport. They even have vans waiting to pick up the guests and take them to the various hotels.
The Island: Hamilton Island is quite tiny, there is a free bus that drives you around and it only takes about 20 min to cover the whole island. It does give you a nice sense of a tight-knit community. Despite the size, there are plenty of restaurants and hotels to chose from, cute stores, a bakery, the general store, a few bars (some swim-up 😉 ), hiking trails, a marina, and a wildlife park. If you are keen on holding a koala – like I was – keep in mind that Queensland is the only place in Australia you can legally do it!
The Reef: There are lots of different options regarding trips to the Great Barrier Reef. I’ll go into further detail about this in a later post, but we chose the Explore Group Half Day Trip. It was a perfect day spent sailing and swimming with the fishies.
Durration/ Timing: Even though it’s stinger season, I would highly recommend going in the summer (December through March). The water was like a bath and we didn’t have to worry about any storms effecting our trip out to the reef. I would recommend going for three or four days. Getting to the more colorful and isolated parts of the reef take a whole day of sailing and then you will want a day or two to explore the island. We got in on Thursday afternoon and left Saturday afternoon and all agreed that one more day would have been perfect.
Hamilton Island was an absolute dream and if you’re planning a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, I highly suggest you stay there…already trying to find a way to get back to the island myself 🙂 Let me know if you have ever been to Hamilton Island or if you have any questions about planning a trip there in the comments below!
Little Brantley Abroad