Surrounded by sandy white beaches and turquoise water, Hamilton Island is the ideal place to kick back and take it easy. But what if your family is more interested in adventure than rest and relaxation? Luckily, this sun-kissed destination has plenty of activities that will keep both kids and adults entertained. Here’s our round-up of the top five attractions for families.
Take to the water
Hamilton Island is the largest of the Whitsunday Islands and situated at the heart of Australia’s glorious Great Barrier Reef. The ocean here demands exploration and there is a variety of ways to take to the water. Paddle a sea kayak in the shallows, or jump onboard a boat for a day trip to Whitehaven Beach. Come face to face with some of the fascinating underwater creatures that call this place home. Grab a mask and flippers and enjoy a spot of snorkeling – there’s a stunning coral reef just a short swim from Catseye Beach.
Get your game face on
No family holiday is complete without some healthy competition. See who can be the first to score a strike at the local bowling alley. Or, you can putt your way around a maze-like course of palms and exotic plants with a game of mini golf. Then, give dad a few tips on perfecting his swing at the Aquatic Golf Driving Range or challenge the kids to a tennis match.
Make friends with the locals
The island is home to lots of native wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled for wallabies and goannas as you explore. Also, expect to hear the call of cockatoos and kookaburras in the trees above you. However, if you want a really up-close encounter, head for WILD LIFE Hamilton Island. Expert guides will introduce you to the furry, and not so furry, residents of this unique sanctuary – you can even cuddle a koala.
Enjoy the ride of your life
For a high-octane adventure, put your foot to the pedal at Palm Valley’s outdoor go-karting track. Kids aged 11 years old or over can go solo, while Formula 1 fans over four years old can ride with their parents. Then for off-road thrills, the island’s quad biking tracks are the perfect place to kick up some dust. However, if you like your thrills to be a little more sedate, tour the car-free island in your own golf buggy. You can drive from one jaw-dropping lookout to another – watching the sunset from One Tree Hill is a real highlight.
Make tracks on a bushwalk
Swap your bathers for boots, pack a picnic and take on the island’s walking tracks. There’s no chance of getting lost thanks to a couple of audio tours that you can download for free. There’s the Village Trail, which leads you through Marina Village and offers great views of Dent Island, and the Passage Peak Walk. Yes, it means walking uphill, but it does lead to the Whitsundays’ highest point, meaning walkers are rewarded with a stunning 360-degree vista.