Brought to you by Hamilton Island
Chugging up One Tree Hill in our nifty golf buggy, toddler Alannah squealed with delight. The wind in her hair, the sea far below and an adventure ahead, she was in her element.
While our pre-kids travels had taken us around the globe, becoming parents brought our sights back to Australia, to exploring our beautiful backyard. No long flights, vaccinations or anything foreign to negotiate. So easy.
It is this simplicity that makes a Hamilton Island holiday so desirable. Fly directly onto the island and enjoy the stunning natural beauty and endless family friendly activities.
Below you will find all you need to know to have a fantastic Hamilton Island family holiday (click to jump to the section) –
- Where is Hamilton Island?
- Which airlines fly to Hamilton Island?
- The best time to go to Hamilton Island
- Where to stay on Hamilton Island with kids
- The best Hamilton Island family accommodation
- The best family-friendly things to do on Hamilton Island
- What to take to Hamilton Island
- What to pack for Hamilton Island
Hamilton Island holidays with kids planning guide
Where is Hamilton Island?
Hamilton Island is in the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland. It is the only island in the Great Barrier Reef with its own commercial airport and is about a 3 hour direct flight from Melbourne.
Which airlines fly to Hamilton Island?
- Qantas offers direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
- Virgin offers direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
- Jetstar offers direct flights from Sydney.
The best time to go to Hamilton Island
A mild climate which avoids both hot and cold extremes makes Hamilton Island a year-round destination. Not too tropical to go in summer, perfect for a sunny mid-winter break, and ideal in between.
Between September and April the daytime temperature averages 25-30°c, although with the warmer weather in summer comes an increased likelihood of tropical rain. Winter daytime temperatures average 22°c, with daily sunshine hours reaching their annual peak of 14 in July.
But I think spring is the best time to go to Hamilton Island, as the weather is warm (daytime average of 27°c) and rainfall is at its lowest.
Pricing is generally based on Australia and New Zealand school holidays, so if you can possibly avoid them then you will save yourselves A LOT of money! But read this post first if you’re considering taking your kids out of school to travel.
Where to stay on Hamilton Island with kids
The most popular areas to stay on Hamilton Island are –
- Catseye Beach
- Hills above the marina
Catseye Beach on the eastern coast is the most convenient area to stay for families. The palm-studded beach is one of the main beaches on the island and most of the accommodation and resort facilities, such as pools and kids club, are located here.
Both hotel-style accommodation and self-contained apartments are on offer here. The beach itself offers endless water sports and activities. And the marina and surrounding shops and restaurants on the western coast are less than 1km away. It’s a skinny island!
Hills above the marina
With an elevated position a short distance from the marina on the western coast are a huge range of holiday homes. We rented a spacious 2 bedroom apartment here and lapped up the peaceful location and fresh sea breezes.
With a golf buggy included in the rental you don’t need to tackle those hills on foot either!
The best Hamilton Island family accommodation
These are the top Hamilton Island accommodation options according to TripAdvisor. The Yacht Club Villas and Holiday Homes are reviewed individually, so an overall rating is not available. Prices are based on 2 adults and 2 kids.
If you’re staying at the Reef View Hotel, Palm Bungalows or Holiday Homes, make sure you take advantage of the Kids Stay & Eat Free offer. This substantial saving is only available to guests who book their accommodation directly with Hamilton Island.
|Resort||Accom style||Location||Star rating||Approx cost for week (AUD)||Click to check latest prices|
|Palm Bungalows||Hotel style + kitchenette||Catseye Beach||3 stars||2,730|
|Reef View Hotel||Hotel style||Catseye Beach||4 stars||2,590|
|Yacht Club Villas||Self-contained apartments||Hills above marina||4 stars||7,875|
|Holiday Homes||Self-contained apartments||Hills above marina||3-4 stars||2,030|
The best family-friendly things to do on Hamilton Island
From simple pleasures like splashing in the pool or building a sandcastle, to more adventurous activities that older kids will love, you’ll never be bored in this island paradise. For an action and adventure focus, check out Top things to do on Hamilton Island with kids.
- Family splash time – Most kids will happily play in the pools or at the beach endlessly, so join in or supervise with a cocktail in hand. Enjoy water sports of all kinds at Catseye Beach, from kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and catamaran hire, to something with a bit of speed, like water-skiing and tube riding. If you book your accommodation direct with Hamilton Island, then non-motorised beach sports equipment is included in your stay at no additional cost.
- Get busy in a buggy – Golf buggies replace cars on the island, so grab yours and head for the hills! Tootle around the shops and restaurants of the marina, or take off to the bush where you can explore on foot in search of a deserted beach or a stunning view.
- Feast your eyes on sunset at One Tree Hill – You won’t be alone at this spectacular spot, but there’s something very special about gathering with strangers to appreciate nature’s beauty.
- Explore Whitehaven Beach – Consistently winning accolades like best beach in Australia, take a trip on a high speed catamaran or a more leisurely sailing boat to this patch of heaven.
- Roar around the quad bike kids course – The 6-14 year old revheads in your family will definitely get a rush from this pairing of child and machine.
- Meet some furry friends – Australian animals abound at family-friendly WILD LIFE Hamilton Island.
- Bond over speed in double go-karts – The kids can ride as passengers as you race at speeds up to 45 kph. Exhilaration overload!
- Drop the kids off at the kids club – Take the opportunity for a little one-on-one time while your little ones (6 weeks to 14 years) play!
- Snorkel the Barrier Reef – Practically a rite of passage once the kids are old enough and the island is a perfectly positioned base. Or, if budget allows, take a helicopter tour to see the iconic Heart Reef.
- Have a hit and giggle – Ball sports galore such as mini golf, tennis and bowling will ensure the kids sleep well at night.
What to take to Hamilton Island
Find some room in your suitcase amongst the sundresses and sandals for these handy items –
- A rashie or two – You’re sure to spend a lot of time supervising water-loving kids.
- Blow up and sand toys – They’re light and don’t take up much room and the kids will love them!
- Insect repellant – Take a tropical strength one, but make sure it’s safe for the kids’ sensitive skin.
- Closed toe shoes – These are required for many of the activities, such as go-karting.
- Warm clothes – Yes it is likely to be warm most of the time, but if a storm comes through and the temperature drops, you will be grateful for your jeans and jumper.
What to pack for Hamilton Island
Check out What to pack for a cruise to get you sorted for a week in the sun. Enjoy!
By the end of our holiday we adored our little golf buggy and it wasn’t just our toddler who loved feeling the wind in her hair. We’d had a ball exploring the island in it and we bid it a fond farewell at the airport.
Find more information here – Hamilton Island
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Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links then I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Most photos are from a girlfriend’s July 2017 trip. The photos of Alannah and my husband are from our 2009 trip.