Hamilton Island is without a doubt the heart of the Whitsundays and a truly spectacular part of Australia. With near perfect weather throughout most of the year, hotel rooms that over look palm trees and the stunning sea water of the Whitsundays and golf carts scooting all over the island, it’s the ultimate holiday getaway.
After a devastating cyclone left the island with an incredible amount of damage in March 2017, Hamilton Island has now rebuilt, with almost all of the island re-opened now and no evidence of the cyclone that flattened this little island only 3 years ago.
To help you plan your visit to this perfect slice of Queensland paradise, here’s our essential travel guide to Hamilton Island with everything you need to know.
In this post:
Where is Hamilton Island?
Found off the coast of Queensland in Australia, Hamilton Island is part of the Whitsunday Islands. The closest mainland town is Airlie Beach. Hamilton Island follows the Australian Eastern Time Zone UTC +10.
Getting To Hamilton Island
Hamilton Island has it’s own domestic airport (HTI) which has regular direct flights to and from many major cities around Australia. From Hamilton Island Airport complimentary buses will take you to your accommodation around the island. It is definitely the most convenient way to arrive into Hamilton Island.
If you’re coming from Airlie Beach you can jump on an island transfer with Cruise Whitsundays, which will drop you right in the Hamilton Island Marina. It’s a great option if you’e driving to Airlie Beach, or if you have booked a flight into Whitsunday Coast Airport (also known as Proserpine Airport – PPP), which is about a 40 minute drive from the port of Airlie.
Head to the Cruise Whitsundays website to check out their island transfer timetable and book your trip.
Getting Around Hamilton Island
The best way to get around Hamilton Island is by golf buggy! Golf buggies are available to rent from the resort centre on the island and are the easiest way to explore the island. The buggies fit four people and you can also hire a booster seat or capsule if you’re travelling with kids.
If golf buggies aren’t your thing, the island is quite small and is definitely in walking distance, with Catseye Beach and the main resort hotels only about a 15 minute walk away from the marina and shops.
Currency in Australia
The currency is Australian Dollars (AUD$). Credit and debit cards are widely accepted across the island, however if you would like to get some cash out you can find a Westpac ATM either on Front Street at the marina or in the resort centre.
Climate on Hamilton Island
Hamilton Island has a sub-tropical climate and generally experiences nice warm weather all year round, with hot summers and warm winters, making it the perfect holiday destination.
Internet Access on Hamilton Island
Most hotels only offer free wifi in their lobbies and common areas and don’t have wifi access in the rooms. Wifi is also difficult to come across in the local restaurants and bars. However, you can get 4G internet across the whole island if you have an Australian sim card. If free wifi is a concern, it’s a good idea to ask your hotel ahead of time if they have wifi capabilities in every room.
The Main Streets of Hamilton Island
Front Street is where you can find everything you need in Hamilton Island, with the local pub, fish and chip shop and bakery all overlooking the marina. You can also find little boutiques, speciality restaurants and necessities like IGA and a pharmacy along front street.
The Resort Centre is the other hub of Hamilton Island with the main pool, golf buggy rental, ten pin bowling and souvenir and gift shops.
Best Time To Go to Hamilton Island
Hamilton Island has some pretty fantastic warm weather all year round. To avoid the crowds try not to travel during any school holiday periods and book your accommodation, buggy and tours in advance if you can to avoid disappointment.
Can’t Miss Experiences on Hamilton Island
- A swim at Whitehaven Beach and cruise around the Whitsundays with Cruise Whitsundays
- Take a hike up to Hill Inlet to see the sandbars swirling around the ocean
- Sip on a Hamilton Island Iced Tea while you watch the sunset at One Tree Hill
- Ride a golf buggy around the island, have a swim in Catseye Beach
- Take a helicopter flight over Heart Reef and the Great Barrier Reef
- Pool hop across all the resort pools
- Grab some fish and chips to eat beside the marina
- Watch the sunrise while the cockys fly around at 5:30 in the morning
- Kick back and relax and enjoy the island life
Good to know about Hamilton Island
The cockatoos (known as cockys to Aussies) are extremely cheeky and would love nothing more than to get into your room and have a poke around your luggage and snacks. They can actually cause quite a bit of damage to the hotel rooms if they get inside so make sure you always keep your balcony door closed as many hotels charge large fines if a cocky gets into your room.