Luxury holidays in Hamilton Island

Slip on your skipper hat and keep your snorkel handy: on Hamilton Island, life plays out on the Pacific. The yacht club boasts an A-list guestbook, but with the Great Barrier Reef beckoning below the waves, we won’t blame you if you skip the sailing and reach straight for your scuba gear. Dry off on palm-dotted Catseye Beach – or splash across to secluded Whitehaven – then shake the sand from your sandals with an inland hike along tropical-forest-trimmed trails.

When to go

For one week every mid-to-late August, hundreds of yachts (and their crews) coast in for Hamilton Island Race Week. Those in the know go for September, when warm spring weather meets off-peak peacefulness, or in the summer months, when humpback whales come a-calling.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Touch down at the island’s own airport direct from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Cairns.
  • Boats

    Cruising in on your own yacht? Make sure to book a berth in the marina beforehand. Otherwise, it’s a 60-minute ferry ride from mainland Queensland’s Airlie Beach; services set off regularly from both Port of Airlie and Shute Harbour. Boat trips to other Whitsunday Islands, as well as Whitehaven Beach and the Great Barrier Reef, all head out from the island’s marina.
  • Automobiles

    No wheels required – the island’s a car-free zone. It’s easily strollable, but if you’d rather save your energy for the sea, hire a golf buggy to zip around on.