It's been twelve weeks & I am only piecing this together now #mumlife huh.
Hamilton Island is one of the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia. Mostly a car free island, here you find the ideal family travel destination complete with resorts, hop on – hop off free transport around the island & everything within easy walking distance!
Background: Traveling to Hamilton Island with an 11 month old, 4 year old & 7 year old.
Really, the most important thing to know is as soon as you book your accommodation, ensure you book a buggy, day trips & restaurants... and I mean like months ahead of time if traveling during school holidays!!
Anyway, the nitty gritty.
Honestly, traveling here with a baby (not yet crawling or walking) this holiday is the absolute goods - easy pram access & our 4 & 7 year old were entertained from the moment their little eyes opened until they closed.
With an endless array of pools & activities, this trip was close to one of the best.
We flew from Sydney to Hamilton Island via Virgin Australia & they were on time, completely hassle free & the flight staff were friendly & accommodating. Note for parents with young babes, never & I mean never forget the dummy!!! I left Will’s in the car which meant me absolutely legging it from the departure gate to a pharmacy in an attempt to find one.
With not much luck as the only one they had was a Mickey Mouse set, different brand & shape….. (Insert mum guilt face here). The entire flight he completely lost it because his preference is Avent... Der, mum. So yeah, traveling with an 11-month-old was slightly challenging, however the dummy situ, teething, his recovering ear infection plus gastro which we discovered once we arrived, I guess is it any wonder the poor love was hating life airborne.
Given how poorly he was feeling he was most comfortable staying within the walls of the accommodation so hubby & I barely saw each other in between taking turns as he slept & with the older kids adventures - still we snuck in some good reads, journaling & sunshine on the deck as he slept, it was actually pure bliss!!!
Hamilton Island Accommodation: Catseye Beach.
We stayed at Whitsunday Apartments (WAHI) website link here: WAHI
We stayed in a one-bedroom self-service apartment. With three kids a 2 bedroom would have probably been more appropriate however given covid & the delays (2 years) throughout the pandemic we weren’t picky & took what was on offer.
The one bedroom consists of private bedroom, lounge that condensed into a queen bed (very practical), kitchen & balcony overseeing the spectacular Catseye Beach.
Our apartment room did not have a bath but the shower was sufficient for us.
Our extended family stayed at The Reef View Hotel (located directly beside WAHI) & they said it was also wonderful. 2 minute walk between WAHI & The Reef View.
Beach Club is direct waterfront whereas WAHI & Reef View are located to the rear (still with direct water views, but just further back from the shoreline). Beach Club has loads to offer for children, there is a swim up pool bar, entertainment, games & pop up hair beading etc for children.
Qualia is luxury accommodation & unfortunately kid free! Wah. Maybe in another lifetime.
The kids club we didn’t utilise however it was full most of the time & looked great from the outside.
The resort pools are STUNNING & accessible for everyone staying along the beach - I think. We accessed them all so hopefully this is to true!
Dining on Hamilton Island
Menu options vary from takeaway to fine dining.
We spent most nights at the Pavilion located directly in front of WAHI on the foreshore. Being school holidays, they had movie & games nights on the lawn, all open plan & easy food options for the family. The service was efficient & nice although not many options (lucky our kids love chips & nuggets – every night)!
On the island (Marina side, 5 minute shuttle from WAHI, Reef View, Beach Club), casual and takeaway food outlets include delicious bakery, tasty fish and chips, ice cream parlour, IGA, deli and coffee shops.
WAHI has a coffee cart until around lunch time daily – WINNING!
Family-friendly restaurants on the island:
Manta Ray Café, offering wood fired pizzas
Coca Chu (modern South East Asian)
Wild Life Hamilton Island Café
Sails Restaurant (we had takeaway from here & it was pricey for the serving however extremely tasty)!
Additional: Romano's Restaurant, offering modern Australian-Italian
Mariners Restaurant for seafood
Marina Tavern for casual dining
We had pizza delivered one night however the kids did not approve - it was a wee bit fancy for younger kids who love domino's cheese pizza!! Eep.
For Autumn (April), the weather was divine. Sunny & high 20’s every day.
Traveling around Hamilton Island with kids
Direct transfers are offered from Hamilton Island airport to accommodation.
Buggy Hire: Hamilton Island Buggy Hire
4 seater buggy’s are available for hire however we did see 5 people per buggy on the regular. Passengers under four years of age are required to be restrained in an approved child seat or capsule (provided by them). A maximum of two restraints per buggy can be installed (rear or forwards facing). If you are travelling with more than two children under the age of four, additional buggies should be booked.
FREE Island Shuttle service link: Hamilton Island Shuttle Service
A complimentary bus service operates every day, from 7.30am until 10.45pm between the Resorts & Marina Village (direct door pickup).
The Green Shuttle operates continuously between the Resorts & the Marina Village every 10 minutes. The shuttle stops at the Resort Centre, Whitsunday Apartments, Reef View Hotel and the Ice Cream Parlour in the Marina Village (central point of the marina complex, 2 minute walk to IGA & food / restaurants).
Day Trip to Whitehaven Beach with Kids
You can book direct through your accommodation or at the marina dock.
The day trip was easy peasy with kids!
We jumped on the shuttle direct from accommodation to the marina. Boarded the boat & fumbled our way through the rough open waters for a few minutes (it was quite the washing machine of the belly) however the destination was well worth a few minutes of sea sickness. 15 to be exact, how could I forget. Agh.
Stinger suits are optional for swimming yet recommended. We thoroughly enjoyed 'dressing up' in them (See IG @the_mumma_nest highlights for the fun)!
Hamilton Island Key Takeaways
Baby food on Hamilton Island: Pack formula, food sachets & backup dummies as there was very limited stock at IGA for baby’s. Take my word. The dummy thing was a HUGE hassle for us.
7 nights in HI was enough, 5 would have been plenty
Pram access is extremely easy all over the island, shuttle & day trips (boat)
Baby bedding provided by WAHI
Buggy hire capsules provided
Book restaurants, buggy, day trips asap (especially if you are seeking private day trips) in advance!!
Kids activities include quads (6-14 year olds), art classes, kids sport, SUP, beach sports, go karts, golf driving range, bowling, mini golf, sports club, tennis, yacht club movies + more.
Traveling with kids is only as hard as you make it, go into it with no expectations on yourselves or the kids & it will make an incredible experience. We allowed an hour or two in the middle of the day for hotel time, rest & reading / ipads etc to break up the sunshine (it was really hot)!!!
So overall traveling to Hamilton Island with young kids I am rating it a 8/10 vacay!!!
Island Map: Map of Hamilton Island
For further information visit the Hamilton Island website: www.hamiltonisland.com.au
Highlight Reels located on IG @the_mumma_nest
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