Hamilton Island – holiday destination

Where: Hamilton Island, Queensland Australia

What: Family friendly Island getaway http://www.hamiltonisland.com.au/

Cost: Best to check, but for a rough example wotif.com had an apartment with kitchen, living room, king size bed and two single beds listed for $255/night (current April 2012) – there are options that include your own buggy, kids eat free packages and access to more island facilities for free.

Review

Last October we were lucky enough to have a week in Hamilton Island – and it’s taken me six months to write up a post because I wasn’t quite sure how I could share our experience without sounding like I was gloating.

Hamilton Island is an amazing destination if you are looking for an island holiday with the family without leaving Australia.  Direct flights make Hamilton Island an easy place to access – the airport on the island is a five minute drive from everything.

Talking of driving – Hamilton Island is car-free and so we had a golf buggy to drive around for the week.. how much fun to jump onto our little buggy (no doors!) and zoom off – six months later and the kids are still talking about it.  

There are heaps of things to do on the island to suit all ages and a range of budgets.  From kayaking to island hopping power boats, sailing adventures to day trips out to the reef, beautiful beaches, bush walks, beach sports, golf, fishing, tennis, mini golf, bowling, day spas, amazing views and the list goes on – and as well as your accommodation’s pool you also have access to three main pools across the island.

Loads of great choices for food – we really enjoyed the Italian Romano’s and the Steakhouse with the kids for dinner and the kids loved the Wildlife Hamilton Island for breakfast with the koalas.

Another bonus for families is the kids club – each day they have different activities to keep the kids entertained.  Immi and Charlie checked in for two half days, which allowed me some grown up time on the golf course and a grown up lunch at Qualia – thanks mum for having a milestone birthday we could share in such an amazing spot in the world!

It’s a no brainer – we’d go back in a heartbeat.

A few tips..

  • Coles online deliver to the island – only twice a week and often their spots are booked out a week or two in advance.  If you are staying in an apartment with a kitchen and plan to do a little cooking I would recommend setting up an order!!  There is a local general store which stocks most products – but it’s expensive.
  • You can just rock up to the kids Clownfish Club, but it’s worth booking in advance and checking which days are available (during non peak times the older kids room is not open every day).  For more information click here.  The Clownfish Club also provide babysitters (we used one and she was lovely) and also baby equipment hire.
  • Our accommodation included the “kids eat free” deal – and I quite enjoyed the fact that we had the flexibility to eat out if we felt like it.  And the venues that offered this deal (there are five of them) were generally very family friendly.  Click here for more information.
  • There are heaps of family activities to sign up for – some are promoted on the website and on flyers at the info stands on the island, and some are only promoted at the information desk.. I discovered on our last day that on different days there were movie screenings and kids discos as well as a jumping castle and craft station on the beach at certain times.. so it is worth checking in at the info desk and asking what’s happening for kids each day when you first arrive.  Click here for info about the publicised activities.
  • The day spas are pretty popular so it is worth booking in advance if you are dreaming about having some pampering on the island.