Located East of Queensland, this island is one of the finest tourist spots and one of the most popular holidays destinations of the world which has a lot to explore as far as marine life is concerned. Apart from the famous pristine Whitehaven Beach there are a number of beaches and fascinating multicolored marine life that is housed in and around the coral reefs. Selected snorkeling sites provide you with hours of fascinating exploration. At the same time you have a wide choice of bars, restaurants and other cultural activities by way of exhibitions performances and plenty of water sports adventure.
There is plenty to do on the white sand beaches which have pure sand that children love to play with. There is a Yacht Club that offers plenty of sailing activities for the sailing enthusiast. For the Golfers there is an exclusive 18 hole Golf Course that holds Australian championships as well. Accommodation is available for all categories of guests meeting their budget.
For reaching this island the most convenient way is by air as this island has an air base serviced by most airlines from Cairns, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. You can even take the ferry from Port Airlie or Shute Harbour that takes just 60 minutes. More than a dozen services are available throughout the day.
While at Hamilton Island you can plan day outings to Catsey Beach, Cruise to Whitehaven Beach on the nearby Whitsunday Island or even go on a rafting tour to Whitehaven Beach or go trekking to Passage Peak, the highest point on Hamilton Island.
Some of the best tourist attractions in Hamilton Island are as below
1. Cats Eye Beach
This is where everything is happening. The Beach and Water Sports facility is located here and you have a variety of sporting activity, adventure water sports and sites for snorkeling and enjoying some exquisite colorful marine life.
2. Whitehaven Beach
Though Whitsunday Island is the largest of the group of Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island is the most inhabited. Yet Whitehaven Beach is the most attractive of all beaches where the sand is pure white silica and if you go to the Hill Inlet at Tongue Point lookout site you will be charmed by stunning wave action that shifts the sand with the tide, creating different colorful shades under water, something you’ve never seen elsewhere. You can reach here even directly from Airlie Beach on main land Australia hiring a ferry, yacht, power boat or even a luxury cruising yacht.
3. Rafting Tour to Whitehaven Beach
It is a full day tour to Whitsunday Islands on a sturdy raft where you can visit either the Hill Inlet Beach and spend most of the time on the beach itself or you can do more of snorkeling after anchoring the raft close to coral reefs. Your guide, if you choose one, can give you a lot of knowledge on the vivid aspects of ecology related to these coral reefs and beaches. While on this tour you will be treated to a sumptuous buffet lunch on the beach (at own expense) plus cakes and tea. Should you choose more of beach time i.e., The Southern Light Tour, you will get to see the Northern as well as Southern ends of Whitehaven Beach where you can stroll to the Hill Inlet and have a breathtaking view of Pentecost Islands. For more snorkeling time go for the ‘Northern Exposure’ where you can swim and snorkel around the coral reefs Border Island or Dumbell Island.
4. PASSAGE PEAK
If you are interested in trekking and getting a bird’s eye view of the area of around Hamilton Island including the Beaches then you can take this trip. You will witness some of the best scenic views of the island and its surroundings. In-fact the climb itself is very challenging along the Hiking Trail. The reward on reaching the top is the overwhelming view that fills your vision. Halfway up the hill is a picnic spot up to which the climb is fairly easy. Here you can have a break and enjoy some snacks and gear up for the second half which is fairly steep and challenging.
5. THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
This is indeed one of the greatest Natural Wonders of the World that provides the ultimate dive and Snorkel adventure under the sea. The reef extends for over 1300 miles along the eastern coast of, Australia from far North Queensland to Bundaberg. The reef is fragment along the entire stretch comprising over 3000 individual reefs. The size of this Barrier reef can be related to the size of entire length of Japanese group of islands or area wise to the United Kingdom. In-fact it is a very diverse eco system with over 70 different bio regions having numerous reefs, islands and coral cays. The variety of marine life and fish found here is unimaginably magnificent. All of this makes this natural wonder one of the most popular tourist destinations of the world.
The various attractions and experiences that one can enjoy out here range from scuba diving, snorkeling, semi-submersible boat ride, glass bottom boat viewing, whale watching, swimming with dolphins, cruising in yachts or catamarans and helicopter and tours Ariel viewing coupled with winning and dining on board and on the beaches.
The easiest way to get to the Great Barrier Reef is by talking an International flight to Cairns Airport Australia and there after fly by domestic airlines to Hamilton island or into Proserpine on Whitsunday Coast. You can even take a yacht or boat from Airlie Beach to the Whitsunday or Hamilton Island.
6. GREAT BARRIER REEF DAY CRUIS
For the ultimate experience of viewing the reef world you need to talk this day long cruise and come face to face with the greatest wonders of underwater marine life as well as this spectacular creation of nature. You can get trained on the raft by experts about the usage of the diving and snorkeling gear so that you derive the best view of marine life by getting close to natural beauty. Should you prefer not to get wet, you can board a high speed catamaran and then get into reef pontoon that has an underwater viewing glass chamber or even a semi-submersible boat or glass bottom boat that takes you close to the reef.
Yet Diving on the outer Great Barrier Reef is a life time experience of viewing the amazing multitude of colors that nature has created and maintained over millions of years under the sea. The clam shells multicolor strips of living beings are just out of the word .You will be advised not to touch any of these with your hands or feet for the grip of a clam shell is just too strong.
In short the following will be available for experiencing a best on this tour.
– For Snorkeling gear is available
– For viewing marine life without getting wet a semi submersible boat/pontoon is available
– Underwater viewing chamber with glass windows
– Diving gear/wet suit available
– Briefing and training by experts
– Commentary by guides
7. AIRLIE BEACH
The Airlie Beach is more than just a Beach. In-fact it is a place you can spend a whole day without a dull moment. It is also a gateway / launch pad to the famous island of Whitsunday and the world’s only Great Barrier Reef. At the beach town itself you have various open air restaurants (Alfresco) shopping arcades, boutiques, cafes and much more. You can spend a quite time relaxing by the Airlie Beach Lagoon. In-fact at the local markets you can collect artifacts prepared by local craftsmen, fruits and vegetables etc.
There are a number of beaches with very fine clean sand and row of palm trees in the back drop. You can either go sailing, scuba dive and snorkel as well as go up in a sea plane and sky dive from 14000 ft.
The best and most convenient way to reach here is to take a flight from Brisbane, land at the Proserpine Airbase (Whitsunday Coast Airport) and then take a 40 minutes bus ride to Airline Beach.
The Various Outings / activities you can plan off this beach are:
- Jet Boat Thrill ride
- Whitsunday Segway Rainforest Tour
- Whitsunday Crocodile Safari
- Sky diving
- Flight over the Great Barriers Reef for an Ariel view in a sea plane
8. JET BOAT THRILL RIDE
From Airlie Beach you have a great sea adventure activity like the rollercoaster ride on land. You zip up your life jacket and get on board a 350 hp speed boat that will zip past Pioneer Bay then close to Whitsunday Island, and along the coast line of Queensland where you will see an old shipwreck as well. Hold on to the rails while your expert jet boat driver takes the 90°, 180° and 360° turns and makes a power stop. It’s a wow ride you’ll never forget, these 30 minutes that you spend on the speed boat sends your blood rushing to your head and you at times may feel as if you’ll fly off the curvaceous spin. It’s a great ride not to be missed.
9. WHITSUNDAY SEGWAY RAINFOREST TOUR
Enjoy a 9 km ride on your own Segway along with your guide for approx 3 ½ hours. It is one of the most exclusive experiences you will go through while riding deep into the tropical rain forest Conway National Park along the forest trail, appreciating the exquisite flora and fauna as well as the brooks / streams you encounter. The place is without any noise and you will hear distinctly vivid sounds of birds, flowing water, insects and even the breeze whistling through the trees. Midway down the Whitsunday great walk stop at the Impulse Creek for some tea, snacks, cakes and chocolates while you admire the pristine crystal clear waters of the creek. Your guide will give you a detailed commentary of all that you witness around you.
10. WHITSUNDAY CROCODILE TOUR
This is a inland river cruise full day tour from the Airlie Beach along bushes, estuaries and back water Channels. With the help of your guide you will be able to spot crocodiles on the land as well as in the water along with other wild life like snakes, and turtles, exotic birds and even lizards. At Some point you will get off the boat and get on a tractor pulled wagon that will take you through the wet land forest for an insight into the local wildlife habitat. Here again you get to see a lot of wildlife which will be explained by your guide.
Around mid day you will be hosted to a freshly prepared bar – be – que amidst the wetland wild life. As the day gets over and the sun starts to set you head back to the hotel.
11. SKY DIVING EXPERIENCE
This is an out of the world life time experience that you can narrate to the world in future with great pride. It all starts at the skydive Airlie Beach where you get into a plane that takes you to an altitude of 14000 – 15000 feet. From there you jump off in tandem with world class experienced Sky divers hawing 5000- 12000 dive to their credit. The first 60 seconds are heart in mouth period and it is a free fall moving at over 200 km/hr till your chute opens and you glide slowly for the next 5-7 minutes before touching the ground. During these 7-8 minutes you get to see the Whitsunday island tropical forest, the blue waters underneath and the Queens land coast line in different forms and sizes as you descend.
Before you take this adventurous dive you will be put through some training by the sky diving instructors with whom you will pair up for the tandem jump. During the training you will be given a lot of do’s and don’ts which you must remember so that you react in the right manner during different stages of the dive and descent.
12. FLIGHT OVER THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
To get a bird’s eye view of the amazing natural wonder of the world, you can take this scenic flight from Cairns. You get a close aerial view of marine life as well as wet lush green forests on some islands. You will need to book this tour over the internet.