Five things that you must do on Hamilton Island
As it turns out, there's a lot more to do on 'Hamo' than relax by the pool or sunbathe at Catseye Beach (although both are enjoyable!)
I've compiled our Hamilton Island highlights: five of my favourite things that you should not miss during your visit.
Nº 1 - take a walk
The island boasts a range of fantastic bushwalks to secluded beaches and rugged peaks. Most visitors to Hamilton Island are there to relax, so if you choose to trek you'll most likely have the trails to yourself.
I walked to Coral Cove early in the morning, which is relatively steep but rewarding - the quiet, sandy beach is the perfect place to rest your legs. I then retraced my steps and continued onto the Escape Beach trail, past the mangroves and down to a charming stretch of sand. I regrettably did not have time to hike up to Passage Peak, which has 360 degree views at the highest point on the island. Sunrise is meant to be incredible from this spot, so set your alarm!
Remember to take at least 2 litres of water per person per hour of hiking, especially during the hottest parts of the day. Wear your stinger suit and take extra care if you plan to swim, although it's best not to if you are alone. Irukandji jellyfish live in the waters surrounding the island and their venom induces excruciating symptoms that usually lead to hospitalisation.
Nº 2 - Eat well
If, like me, you enjoy fine dining now and then, you should reserve a table at Bommie. It isn't just one of the islands best restaurants; it served me some of the best food I've eaten in Australia so far. With mains starting at $48, it's not cheap, but it is worth it.
Another restaurant you should book at the same time as your flights is coca chu. Asian sharing plates packed with flavour are accompanied by delicious cocktails - it's a favourite with many of the locals, and for good reason.
Nº 3 - HIRE A JET SKI
Exploring on foot or by golf buggy is great, but riding around the whole island is a different experience entirely. You get a new perspective of the island and the chance to explore the hidden coves nearby.
I felt very 'Bond girl', bumping over the ocean at 55km/h with the wind in my hair. In reality, I looked like a drowned rat with foggy sunglasses and a slight sunburn, but no matter - that hour on a jet ski tour was one of my fondest memories of my trip to the Whitsundays.
Nº 4 - Get involved in island activities
There are a number of daily events and activities across the island, and many of them are free. Grab a takeaway pizza from Manta Ray, find a spot on the grass and watch the band play at Marina Daze. Test your general knowledge at the Marina Tavern Trivia (that's a pub quiz, to us Brits!) Download the Hamilton Island app or ask at the tour desk within the main resort centre or Reef View Hotel for details of what's on during your stay.
Nº 5 - watch the Sunset at One Tree Hill
Sunsets on Hamilton Island are dreamy, and there's no better place to watch the sun go down than One Tree Hill. With a cocktail bar and plenty of space to relax on the grass with your own beverage(s), it's the perfect way to end the day.