Adventure

6 Hamilton Island Day Trips Not To Be Missed

Get off your sun lounger and get amongst the action.

Whether you're at home or on the road, there's no excuse to miss AWOL ever again. Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram.

While it can be tempting to lay about all day long, Hamilton Island offers plenty of reasons to get off your sun lounger and get amongst the action on, above and around the Whitsunday islands.

#1 Go Wild On A Jet Boat Ride

If you can’t decide whether you want a scenic trip or a shot of adrenaline, Jetryder is the perfect compromise. When you’re not laughing and screaming at the spray-drenched 360 degree spins, you’ll be enjoying the view. You’ll taste the salt on your lips as the driver seeks out small waves and cuts across them, teasing the wheel left and right the boat discos across the water. Swimwear is a must.

Thirty-minute trips depart daily from the Watersports shop at Hamilton Island Marina at 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. Tickets cost $65 for adults and $55 for children. Bookings are essential and can be made by calling 07 4946 8305.


#2 Explore The Great Barrier Reef

Slip into the shimmering blue ocean alongside Hardy Reef, where coral gardens sparkle with jewel-bright tropical fish and clown fish peek out of anemones tucked into the coral drop-off on a day trip to the Reefworld pontoon. When you get tired of snorkelling, head back to the pontoon’s underwater viewing area, where huge fish glide past floor-to-ceiling windows.

Everything from stinger suits, masks and fins to a gourmet seafood buffet lunch is provided by Cruise Whitsundays. Tours depart Hamilton at 9am daily, returning around 5pm, and cost $245 for adults and $120 for children.


#3 Indulge On A Romantic Sunset Cruise

Image: Andrew Parnell / Flickr

Slip off your shoes and watch one of the Whitsunday’s famous sunsets from the deck of Ricochet, a luxury 47ft ocean-going catamaran which sails around the sheltered waters of Hamilton Island as evening descends. Unlike some “all-inclusive” cruises where you have to virtually tackle someone to get a drink, Ricochet’s crew is generous with the bubbly. Complimentary drinks flow freely and a delicious antipasto platter will well-and-truly keep you going until dinner.

With a maximum of just 12 passengers and loads of deck space, it’s easy to find a secluded spot to watch the sun go down with someone special. Cruises operate from 4:30pm to 6pm, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and cost $125 per person. Bookings are essential and can be made by calling 07 4946 8305.


#4 Play Golf With Turtles

One of the world’s most beautiful golf courses and a restaurant with knockout views create the perfect day out at Hamilton Island Golf Club. With holes strung along the spectacular ridges and steep valleys of Dent Island, this course offers obstacles like almost-impenetrable bushland and a 14th hole dubbed the “Valley of Death”. If your swing could use a little work, just blame the turtles swimming below the fairways for distracting you from the game.

Games start at $110 for nine holes and includes return ferry transfers and buggy hire, while clubs can be hired separately for $40.


#5 See The World’s Most Famous Beach

What could be more Aussie than a barbeque and a game of beach cricket on one of world’s most famous beaches? After you’ve dived in for a swim (it’s irresistible, trust us), the Cruise Whitsundays crew sets up stumps for a game of beach cricket on Whitehaven Beach, where travellers from around the world come together to try and smash a six along the sand or into the stunning surrounding waters (retrieving the ball is the perfect excuse for another swim).

There is time to explore Chance Bay, walk up to the Hill Inlet lookout and enjoy a beach barbeque before the scenic launch trip back to Hamilton Island.

Tours leave Hamilton Island at 8:05am daily, returning around 5pm, and cost $220 for adults or $110 for children aged between four and 14 years. A picnic lunch is included.


#6 Take A Scenic Flight To Heart Reef

A post shared by Mimi1981iva (@mimi1981iva) on

See the best of the Whitsundays from the air on a one-hour scenic plane flight which takes in some of the area’s many highlights like Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet, Hook Passage and Heart Reef. It feels as if you are looking at a postcard each time you gaze out the window: rainforest tumbling down rocky hillsides, idyllic sheltered bays and crystalline blue ocean will have you reaching for your camera.

Even better, you’ll save a bundle as the plane trip is half the cost of the same helicopter flight at $299 per person.

(Lead image: Hamilton Island / Facebook)