A tiny island that's big on activities
The largest of the Whitsundays’ 74 islands at a petite 5 square kilometres, 'Hammo' is an island with something for just about everyone. Families, tour groups and couples among others are drawn to the island for its sailing, beaches, bushland, wildlife park and golf courses.
Major events are another Hamilton Island drawcard. There's the Hamilton Island Race Week yachting festival, the Hilly Half Marathon and the Clash of the Paddles. There's also Audi Race Week, the Australian Ballet's Pas des Deux in Paradise and the Hamilton Island Triathlon.
Day trips to Great Barrier Reef Marine Park from Hamilton Island are easy to arrange and visitors to the crown jewel of the Whitsundays can choose from a vast array of accommodation options, from bungalows to five-star resorts.
Things to do: Hamilton Island
Choose from over 60 activities like go-karting, bushwalking, fishing, kayaking, parasailing, sailing, scuba diving, squash, target sports, tennis and windsurfing – just to name a few. The more adventurous might want to spend their time jet skiing, quad biking and getting a bird's eye view of the gorgeous scenery by helicopter or seaplane. Families can visit the island’s own mini-zoo, Hamilton Island Wildlife, enjoy a round of mini-golf and head out on the waves in a dinghy.
Food and wine
Sunset cocktails with a view of the Whitsundays really is the quintessential Hamilton Island dining experience. But there’s so much more than that. There is relaxed but assured fine dining, with cuisines spanning the globe, from Mexico to Southeast Asia. There are lovely, casual bistros with quality pub food, best enjoyed on breezy decks or with a view of the marina. There’s also takeaway options like pizza or fish and chips for an impromptu al fresco dinner or an easy night back on your hotel balcony.
To really up the romance factor, the aptly named Heart Reef and Whitehaven Beach are just a quick ferry, helicopter or seaplane ride away. This is one of the many reasons Hamilton Island and its surrounds is one of the most popular places for weddings and starry-eyed proposals. For a unique overnight experience, book a stay at Reefsuites, Australia's first underwater accommodation.
Hiking and bushwalking
Hamilton Island is crisscrossed with hiking trails, which makes it easy for bushwalking enthusiasts to get out there on foot to experience everything this surprisingly varied landscape has to offer. There are hidden coves and inviting stretches of sand to wildlife-supporting mangrove flats and hilltop lookouts. Best of all, hikers can wrap up their trekking odysseys with sunset cocktails at the casual bar atop One Tree Hill.
Whether you’re fiercely competitive or happy to watch from the sidelines, Hammo has something for you. May’s Hilly Half Marathon Challenge is a gruelling 21km uphill-downhill route, while June's Great Whitehaven Beach Run lets you pick the distance. The island’s biggest sporting event is August’s Hamilton Island Race Week, with superyacht racing and glittering events. In November the island welcomes athletes of all abilities for the annual triathlon.
Shuttle A free shuttle service is usually included in your hotel accommodation charge.
Taxi There is a taxi service on the island, called Resort Link, if you aren't using a shuttle.Back to top
When to go
Showers are not uncommon during the day between January and March but most days are hot and sunny – the average temperature is 30°C. The best time to visit is between April and June when the weather is more predictable with mild temperatures and clear blue skies. Winter temperatures average 24°C.
A lot of fun activities are offered during the school holidays in January and July. Spring starts early in Queensland and by August, the weather is perfect for sailing. This is also when the popular Audi Hamilton Island Race Week takes place. Hamilton Island is extremely popular over Christmas and New Year, with a lot of events and celebrations taking place.Back to top
Once you’re settled in, explore the island with Hammo’s preferred mode of transportation – golf buggies (available for hire either by the hour or the day) or island hop via ferry with Cruise Whitsundays. All major day tours to Whitehaven or the Great Barrier Reef depart from Hamilton Island Marina.Back to top
How to do Hamilton Island on a budget
If you think a tropical holiday might be out of your budget, think again. With a bit of insider knowledge, you can have a holiday on Hamilton Island and still live it up.