Hamilton Island
photo by Corey Butler

Hamilton Island is one of the Whitsunday Islands of Queensland, Australia. It is part of the Great Barrier Reef. The island has been developed as a popular holiday resort, and made waves in 2008 when it advertised the caretaker's position as the Best Job in the World — $150,000 for six months of living on the island and blogging about it once a week.


Hamilton Island is a resort island part of the Whitsunday Islands. Hamilton Island has the most places to stay, restaurants and shops of all the Whitsunday Islands. Whereas many of the Whitsunday Islands only feature a single resort, Hamilton Island features many different resorts and hotels. Infrastructure is on the north side of island. To the south, the island is untouched natural vegetation.

Getting there

By plane

Hamilton Island has an airport with a single runway. It is capable of supporting jet aircraft, but there is no aerobridge, passengers embark and disembark via unsheltered stairs. The two level terminal building services three departure gates and features a club lounge and a small cafe. Hamilton Island airport is served by Jetstar , Virgin Blue and Qantas . There are direct flights from many Australia cities, including Sydney,Brisbane, and Melbourne.

By ferry

  • Fantasea , Fantasea operates ferries between Shute Harbour on mainland Australia.

  • Blue Ferries , Blue Ferries operates ferries between Shute Harbour on mainland Australia.

Traveling around

Airport transfer

A free shuttle bus meets all arriving aircraft to transfer guests to the Reef View Hotel, Whitsunday Holiday Apartments or Palm Bungalows. Beach Club guests, Reef View Hotel Suite, qualia and Deluxe Holiday Home Villa guests will receive VIP transfers in a chauffeured golf buggy. Hamilton Island Holiday Home guests check in at reception counter at the airport entrance - and pick up their personal 4 seater golf buggy on arrival.

By buggy

You can get around in Hamilton island by golf buggies. Cars are prohibited. Apartment hire usually includes exclusive use of a buggy. Golf buggies can be hired, for a daily fee. Hiring a buggy requires a credit card imprint which will be returned if the buggy is returned with no damage. Insurance is also available for an extra fee. A full drivers licence is required to drive a buggy. Beach Club guests receive 24 hour complementary buggy chauffeur service to any destination of their choice.

  • Resort Buggy Hire, +61 (0)7 4946 8263, +61 (0)7 4946 8263

  • Harbourside Buggy Hire, +61 (0)7 4946 8095

By bus

Free shuttle bus services operate on the island. One service operates continuously between the resort precinct and the marina, completing the loop every 15 minutes. Two other services run clockwise and counter-clockwise on a circuit that covers a greater part of the island.

Things to do

  • Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. There is no reef of the Hamilton Island beaches, so good snorkelling requires a boat trip.

  • Take a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef

  • Visit Whitehaven Beach

  • Sail the Whitsunday islands

  • Kayaking around the island

  • Trek up to Passage Peak

  • Catch your own fish for dinner

  • Go SCUBA diving.

  • Witness a spectacular sunset

  • Play a round of golf. Hamilton Island Golf Course is on the neighbouring Dent Island, a 5 minute ferry trip away.


There are restaurants, cafes and pool bars attached to most of the hotels and resorts. There are also independent food places in the Marina area. You can get reasonably priced food at the take-away places, and even an occasional snack from the pool bars. Expect to be paying a premium to eat here though. There are no real bargains to be had.

  • Bommie - Modern Australian in the new Hamilton Island Yacht Club - signature restaurant on Hamilton island.

  • Romanos Italian Restaurant - Italian and Seafood restaurant on the Marina.

  • Steakhouse - Relaxed family-style restaurant and bar specialising in steak dishes.

  • Mariners - Fresh Seafood and contemporary dining in the Marina Village.

  • The Pool Terrace Restaurant - Buffet breakfasts and lunchtime ssnack menu and a la carte dinner menus - located poolside at the Reef View Hotel.

  • Sails - Casual Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Dining for families - located in the resort centre.

  • Manta Ray Cafe - Gourmet woodfired Pizzas & cocktails overlooking the Marina. Dine in or takeaway.

  • Koala Gallery - Outdoor Breakfast BBQ in a Koala enclosure.

  • Popeyes - Fish & Chips, and Chicken takeaway.

  • Hamilton Island Bakery - Takeaway Sandwiches and pastries.

  • Marina Deli - Delicatessen specialising in paninis, foccacias and wraps.

  • Dennison Star Dinner Cruise - 4 course dinner cruising the Witsundays on 107ft timber boat.

  • qualia - exclusive to guests of qualia (and included in room tarriff) is a fine dining restaurant housed in the luxurious Long Pavillion

  • Beach Club - Exclusive to Beach Club guests - fine dining on Catseye Beach


  • Marina Tavern - Large pub with wooden decks overlooking the Hamilton Island Marina

  • Bottle shop - Retail shop selling a range of wine, beer and spirits

  • Cocktails - Sunset cockatils on One-Tree Hill most days (Weather permitting)

  • Bars - There are numerous bars and lounges spread throughout the resort complexes specialising in beer, wine, spirits and cocktails


There are multiple forms of accommodation to choose from on Hamilton. From bungalows, to high rise hotel, to apartment, to 5-star resort.

Hotel Accommodation

  • qualia - Premium Luxury .

  • Beach Club - Boutique Luxury. .

  • Reef View Hotel - 4.5 stars .

  • Whitsunday Holiday Apartments - 3.5 stars. .

  • Palm Bungalows - 3 stars. .

Private homes - Self catering

There are lot of privately owned apartments on the island, which the owners are free to let as they choose. They are generally managed by agencies commissioned by the property owners.

  • Hamilton Island Holiday Homes. .

  • Hamilton Island Accommodation Deals. .

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Corey Butler, Julian Berry, Kirsty Johns

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Bernard O'Keefe, Peter Fitzgerald, Jani Patokallio, Craig Keogh, Vincent Yu, Tom Holland and jan, Inas, Jonboy, Nzpcmad and Huttite

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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