In May 2021 in between lockdown, we packed our cosies and escaped the cooler days in Sydney to travel and feel the warmth of the Whitsundays. Both Steve and I have been to the Whitsundays separately before and to be honest probably avoided “Hamo” because it was too big or commercial.
FYI; for an easy get out to the reef, or to just spend a few days on an island, Hamilton Island is my new favourite get away and in fact we are taking our whole tribe for a long weekend at the end of the month to continue celebrating our 60th Birthdays.
On arrival at the small almost regional airport, they take your bags and got shuttle bus passengers for a short ride to your accomodation for us this is the Reef Hotel.
Coming in from Sydney a direct flight is such a great option. You land around 12.30pm and by 1.00pm we are sitting by the pool or the beautiful cats eye bay with a champagne in hand. My tip is to pack your day clothes/swim wear in your carry on…. avoid the hotel check in until you need to.
As we had never been to this Island before we weren’t sure what to expect. But we had seen the view from the Reef hotel and we can totally recommend. a room with a ocean view. I mean how much time to do you really spend in your room unless you are sleeping? Or a child is resting. they have a balcony to sit on an enjoy the cockatoos appearing, or to get up and watch the sunrise. Just make sure you shut the door, as the cockatoos will enter and trash your room.
The Reef hotel has had a make over. The last time we were there, covid restrictions were in place and staffing was a bit of an issue, I cant wait to see the new island bar downstairs at this Hotel.
The hotel has a cool 1980’s vibe, and whilst old school, the rooms had been upgraded so no daggy furniture. I personally don’t mind a little old school including the lift with the outdoor view. we have 15 rooms next week for our nearest and dearest which includes a breakfast buffet.
I would definitely recommend booking restaurants, the spa, activities, a buggy -actually book everything!
Hamilton Island, have their own app, which in our modern mobile world is a fabulous way to know what is happening daily or in advance. I would also recommend booking direct, their guest relations are probably one of the best I’ve ever experienced and we travel a lot !
The island has a bus service, that runs every 20 minutes. or you book a buggy for your stay. Its such a popular place they take booking for everything 90 days in advance.
To be honest the hotel at main Cats Eye Beach is an easy walk up and over the the Marina, where most of the restaurants are. and the bus can take you up to One tree Hill for the obligatory sunset drinks/view.
Seriously we walked to all the beaches around the island so pack your gym gear, and get out side. They do have a gym but really? Swimming walking/hiking what is not to love about a run around a tropical island instead of a tread mill.
Have you heard of the Gympie Gympie tree? Well actually we never saw it but its a nasty bush /tree that causes immense pain and grows all over the island so do what they say and stay on the paths and tracks. I didn’t go looking for is but apparently it has a heart shaped leaf, so be warned.
Of course you could also get stung in the water ( which I did) or eaten by a shark ( I did not) – the water is so divine, you can snorkel, swim, grab a paddle board, or a small little catamaran. they do have stinger suits.
There are also loads of pools at the resort areas along with loads of loungers, or pop on your trainers and walk out to Coral Cove or Hidden Cove pack a picnic and enjoy.
This coming trip we have booked to go out to the heart reef via helicopter for our special birthday some family have booked trips to the reef and fishing adventures with a side of golf.
one day I will get to the gold course as they say its unbelievable. Unfortunately we have missed the lunch bookings for the amazing golf course lunch ( again) so will have to add that onto the next trip Stay tuned for an update really soon…..
Mrs WONG XOXO