Hamilton Island

How to have a perfect holiday with kids on Hamilton Island

For an escape that starts as soon as you board the boat or plane, check yourselves and the kids in for a holiday on Hamilton Island; heart of the Whitsundays.

Arrive in Style

 aircraft hamilton island | holiday with kids Hamilton Island

Photo by @joycejaber

If you’re flying in, expect a birdseye view of the bluest waters you’ve ever seen. And challenge your kids to count as many of islands that make up the Whitsundays as they can spy (psst – answer is 74). You’ll land directly on Hamilton Island, or “Hammo” as it is known by locals, and when you do, you’ve already ticked off a first – being the only Queensland island capable of taking a commercial jet aircraft.

If you are arriving by boat, the short glide from Abel Point Marina onboard one of Cruise Whitsundays fast cats is equally mesmerising. You’ll settle into holiday mode well before you disembark and when you do – from either the boat or plane, you’ll be on island time and on-route to your chosen holiday accommodation in minutes.

Plenty of Places to Call Your Family Holiday Home

When it comes to choosing somewhere to holiday with kids on Hamilton Island there are plenty of options. From family-friendly rooms with two queen beds at Reef View Hotel overlooking the Coral Sea, to cabins peeping out from the gardens at Palm Bungalows just a short stroll from Catseye Beach.

If you’re holidaying with friends on Hamilton Island, the luxurious Yacht Club Villas will fit larger families and groups, and there’s an array of private apartments and homes scattered amongst Hammo’s hills to consider too.

Getting around

Buggies on Hamilton island The Whitsundays

Photo by @arni.daily

A bonus of many of the private homes and Yacht Club Villas booked through Hamilton Island is they include a complimentary 4 seater buggy in your tariff. But if you are just here for the day or need an extra buggy to fit more people in, there are plenty to hire on the island too. You can also take the island bus, which is complimentary for in-house guests.

Eating In

If you’d prefer to make your own breakfast, pack your own lunch or enjoy a night in because the kids (or you) are exhausted, the IGA supermarket has a range of fresh food items available. From fresh fruit and vegetables, meats and deli produce and weekly specials that you can pick up on a whim to feed the tribe. Theres a bottle shop right next door and a bakery serving delicious pies, sausage rolls and cakes close by too – and if your family are pizza lovers, Pizzeria and Gelato will deliver direct to your door and offer 20 different pizza and 30 gelato flavours; bound to please even the fussiest of eaters.

Eating Out

You are here to relax so let the array of restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars tempt you with choices to suit every budget and taste. And if your kids are under 12 they’ll eat free at select restaurants when dining with you and choosing from the kids menu.

Kid-friendly cuisine ranges from fresh fish and chips at Manta Ray, spaghetti bolognese at Romanos and newest crowd-pleasing eatery TAKO has brought the popular taste of Mexico to Hammo. Kids meals include a soft-drink, juice or ice-cream too.

Let’s Adventure

There are over 60 activities to try on Hamilton Island; some free and others offered for a small fee. Here’s our top 10 to get your started.

1. Breakfast with the Koalas

Join the cutest crew on the island for a breakfast with the koalas from 7am to 10am at Hamilton Island Wildlife. From 10am – take the wildlife tour to meet Aussie animals such as lizards, snakes, a dingo and crocodile and if you kids are over 12 – they can opt to cuddle a koala. Be sure to pack a hat and sunscreen.

2. Go Karts

Is Dad feeling a bit of FOMO after missing out on the quads? Step right up dad in these Go-Karts designed for bigger kids with the little kids welcome to join you as a passenger. Tickets are $49.00 for 10 minutes and $59 for 15 minutes. Drivers need to be a minimum 149cm and aged 16 or above and passengers can be as young as four.

3. Quad Bikes

Little daredevils from aged 6-14 can ride quad bikes especially designed for younger kids. There’s experts at the helm to teach them about safety first, and afterwards they can take the the track for a burn. Tickets are $34 per child for a 30 minute ride. Closed in shoes and long pants are required and it’s a good idea to  book ahead.

4. Hit the Trails

For a free activity that the whole family can join in – take one of the many walking trails that weave around Hamilton Island. Expect breath-taking views of the surrounding islands and spy the islands many native residents including wallabies, goannas, kookaburras, kites, ospreys, and sea eagles. You might also spot one of the cheeky sulphur crested cockatoos who do like to visit your apartment and make themselves at home when you are out – so be sure to keep your doors and windows closed.

5. Sea More

A range of non-motorised activities are available including kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, windsurfing and catamarans. While dependant on the weather and tides, the friendly team at Beach Sports at Catseye Beach will let you know what is available daily and ensure you have everything you need to enjoy a fun-filled family time out on the water.

6. Under the Sea

Hamilton Island is unlike anywhere else in the world when it comes to aquatic adventures. And the best way to introduce your family to what lies beneath is by snorkelling the coral reef just off Catseye Beach. Join the kids to wade or snorkel in shallow waters while checking out the coral, fish and hopefully spot one of the friendly turtle’s that feed here. Snorkelling gear is free to use for in-house Hamilton Island guests.

7. Good old-fashioned fun

Mini golf | holiday with kids Hamilton Island

Photo by @shannbamz

Slow it down a little with a family friendly challenge on the tennis courts, at the bowing alley, or on the mini golf course. Kids against parents or team up to take on another family, there are plenty of friends to meet on Hamilton Island and so many  organised activities on offer too – just check in with the activities office or sign up to the Hamilton Island app to find out what’s on.

8. Adrenaline Seekers

For those seeking power over a paddle – Hamilton delivers with thrilling options including waterskiing and wakeboarding, private ski boats, tube rides and jetskis. Be sure to pack the go pro to catch all the action.

9. Wondrous Whitehaven

For another off island excursion, a visit to Whitehaven Beach is an easy half day tour leaving from Hamilton Island. Be mesmerised by the swirling sands of Hill Inlet and then bask on Australia’s multi-award winning beach fringed with pure white silica sand spilling into turquoise waters. The kids can swim safely near shore or beach-comb over to Champagne Pools to feel the naturally effervescent waters bubbling around them as they wade.

10. The Reef is Calling

Join the crew from Cruise Whitsundays and head out to Hardy Reef Pontoon, where you can swim, snorkel, dive or drift to witness the wonders of The Great Barrier Reef up close. All ages are catered for with all gear provided. But for those not quite ready to immerse, visit the under water observatory or take a spin in the semi submersible to see just how special the Great Barrier Reef truly is.

Fun activities for the kids include swimming through swarms of fish, hovering over colourful coral and meeting Maggie – the resident Maori Wrasse who likes to greet newcomers by the stairs. Lunch is provided on board. And don’t forget to pack your reef safe sunscreen.

Read here for the ultimate guide to the Great Barrier Reef for families.

R&R

There is so much to do on Hamilton Island for all the family, but be sure to pop some rest days on your itinerary too. The Clownfish Club will happily look after and entertain children from 6 weeks to 14 years. With a chance to indulge in some couples time alone; sign yourself up for spa therapy at Spa Wumurdaylin, dine in one of the premier restaurants sans kids or just find yourselves under a shady palm tree overlooking those baby blue water views. Its your holiday too after-all.

Read here for more on having the best family holiday ever in the Whitsundays