Ahoy! Hamilton Island for kids

Planning to take the kids to Hamilton Island? Get ready for a whole lot of family-friendly fun, island-style.

Family of four snorkelling among tropical fish and coral at Hardys Reef on the Whitsundays. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
  • Jetstar
  • August 2021

You might think of Hamilton Island as being a glamorous destination more suited to cocktails than kids. But ‘Hammo’ is one of those magical destinations that has something for everyone. This gorgeous, tropical wonderland is already nature’s playground for kids. Add to that a whole bunch of sports activities, beachside fun and resorts with tailored kids’ clubs and you’ve got an unforgettable getaway. Here’s how to kick off the family fun. (Handy hint – if you’re going during school holidays, it pays to pre-book activities and restaurants.)

Go wild at Hamilton Island Wildlife

Hamilton Island Wildlife gives the kids a fabulous chance to get up close with the local wildlife, including snakes, lizards, koalas and kangaroos. Keepers will take you on guided tours where you can feed and pat some of the animals – although you might want to give the giant crocodile a bit of space! There’s an onsite cafe and the option of getting your photo taken with a koala or dingo, or even a python.

Close up of a koala in a eucalyptus tree. Hamilton Island. Image credit: Jason Hill/Tourism and Events Queensland
The kids will go wild for the local critters. Image credit: Jason Hill/Tourism and Events Queensland

Get involved in games and activities

Hamilton Island really knows how to keep the kids entertained. There are heaps of organised activities for them to get involved in and make new friends. Choose from are kids’ art classes, all kinds of sports, even mini golf and nine-pin bowling. Most resorts have dedicated kid zones, including the Clownfish Club which can look after kids as young as six weeks old. At this childcare centre, kids go swimming, do drama, make chocolates, fly kites – sounds pretty good, right? You can book kids in for half or whole days, with discounts for siblings.

Two small children jumping in the water at Catseye Beach, Hamilton Island.
When in doubt, hit the beach.

Go four-wheeling

The kids will love roaming around in a golf buggy while learning about the island on this Buggy Rally. You get a list of questions to answer so they can really feel like they’re getting to know the place. If the Buggy Rally gives them a thirst for more four-wheel action, there’s also go-kart racing in Palm Valley, where kids ride as passengers in the double go-karts. Alternatively, sign the kids up for a kids’ quad bike tour, where they’ll ride mini 50cc quad bikes on a child-friendly circuit.

A row of different coloured golf buggies lined up on Hamilton Island. Image credit: my_ photos/Shutterstock.com
The kids will be bugging you for a buggy when they get home. Image credit: my_ photos/Shutterstock.com

Explore the underwater world

It’s no surprise that Hamilton Island, with its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, is full of underwater adventures for kids. The beaches alone are entire adventure playgrounds and there are plenty of options for sailing, windsurfing and kayaking. But the real magic is under the surface. Go snorkelling at Catseye Beach or take a tour to Reefworld. It’s a pontoon moored above Hardy Reef (part of the Great Barrier Reef) that gives kids a fun and interactive opportunity to explore the colourful world below.

Aerial view of Reefworld pontoon, with snorkellers in the waters, Whitsunday Coast. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Snorkel safely from the Reefworld pontoon. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Have some foodie fun

Dining on Hamilton Island is a whole lot of fun, so why not let the kids plan the dining itinerary for part of your trip? Maybe fish and chips for an al fresco picnic, gourmet pies for a post-swim pick-me-up, or pizza for a hotel room pizza party one night. Better yet, at some resorts, kids eat free at certain restaurants. You might come home with a junior food reviewer!

Bakery and other eateries on Front Street, with marina in foreground and forest in the background. Hamilton Island. Image credit: Claudine Van Massenhove/Shutterstock.com
You’ll find casual eateries along Front Street. Image credit: Claudine Van Massenhove/Shutterstock.com