Hamilton Island is one of the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Northern Australia; right next to the Great Barrier Reef. I have dreamt of staying on the beautiful shores of Hamilton Island for years, I was actually booked to visit in 2017 but a cyclone sadly scuppered my plans. As a result, I was extremely excited when I finally got to visit this year!

If you’re planning a trip, here are eight things you can’t miss:

1) Stay at Qualia Resort

This luxurious resort is reserved for guests aged 16 and over, located on the secluded Northern tip of Hamilton Island. It has won numerous awards and it is easy to see why, it has a “no expense spared” feel. The service is impeccable, the food is out of this world, the grounds are expansive and don’t even get me started on the food. From the moment we entered the lobby to the second we left the gates, we were encompassed by a feeling of comfort and calm. This hotel has taken place as one of my favourites I have ever stayed in, and that’s saying something.

2) Snorkel on Catseye Beach

This beautiful bay is home to an abundance of underwater life, the highlight being a friendly group of turtles who explore the waters. Grab your swimming costume and snorkel mask and head out into the water, you’re very likely to bump into a turtle or two, most of which are remarkably friendly and unfazed by humans.

3) Watch Sunset At One Tree Hill

This is quite simply a must do. This grassy hilltop is bustling in the early evening as the island inhabitants gather to watch the sunset over the neighbouring islands. Grab a blanket and a bottle of champagne and go watch the sun go down. It is truly a stunning view.

4) Experience the Great Barrier Reef

You knew this was coming! The Whitsunday islands are one of the best places to access the GBR from, so don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the largest living ecosystem on earth. My two favourite ways to do this are underwater and in the sky. We took a seaplane over the reef which was one of the most surreal and stunning experiences of my life, I cannot recommend it enough. We also scuba dived the reef, which is of course the ultimate way to get up close and personal with the coral and underwater life. If diving isn’t your thing, there are also local snorkelling excursions too!

5) Whitehaven Beach

Perhaps one of the most famous beaches in the world, winning multiple awards for its sheer beauty, it is a must-visit spot when on Hamilton Island. Whitehaven beach stretches over 7km with silky soft pure white sands. At the Northern end of the beach is Hill Inlet, an expansive inlet where the tide shifts the sand and water to create swirls of colour and texture. You just need to see it with your own eyes. You can visit this beach via a seaplane tour, a helicopter ride as well and boat trips.

6) Go Into A Food Coma

The restaurants and bars on Hamilton Island all work together through a central payment system, meaning you can visit any one of them and charge back to your hotel room. No need for cash! Our favourite spot on Hamilton Island was Coca Chu, a modern South east Asian restaurant with the most flavourful dishes I have tasted in a long time, in a stunning beachfront setting. We also fell in love with the food at Qualia Resort, it was high quality and incredible delicious, but the best bit was how vegan friendly it was. There were separate vegan menus, fully customisable options as well as a 6 course vegan tasting menu which was out of this world!

7) Get Active

Hamilton Island is an amazing location to get active while in stunning surroundings. There are of course a whole host of water sports you can get involved in from paddle boarding to sailing and even jet skis! I also recommend hiking up Passage Peak at either sunrise or sunset for the most incredible views over the Whitsunday islands. You might even spot a few wild wallabies on your way up!

8) Ride A Golf Buggy

Cars are banned on Hamilton Island and instead everyone drives around in little golf buggies. I don’t know about you, but driving around on a golf buggy makes me feel like a bit of a badass! So be sure to hire one if your hotel doesn’t provide one, and explore the island on four miniature wheels. It is heaps of fun!

Hamilton Island was everything I imagined it would be and more. I fell a little in love with it and vow to return with my boyfriend, as it would be an incredible place to experience together. It is quite simply a slice of heaven!

Want to plan a trip to Australia? Click here for more information!

Zanna xx

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