Hamilton Island With the Kids! - How to Get the Most Out of Your Whitsunday Family Holiday

Hamilton Island With the Kids! – How to Get the Most Out of Your Whitsunday Family Holiday

For a family-oriented, idyllic and relaxing holiday, Hamilton Island ranks among on of the top destinations in Australia. Its convenient access by boat and air makes for easy traveling to the island.hamilton island kids

The largest of the 74 tropical Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island offers kid-friendly accommodation, activities, dining choices and fun water activities.

Whether your children are teens, toddlers or somewhere in between, parents rank Hamilton Island high on the list for a stress-free, fun-filled destination.


How to Get There

Located in the centre of the Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island lies between the Great Barrier Reef and the Queensland mainland. Whatever your style of travel, from private air charter to local ferry, there’s a convenient way to travel to Hamilton Island.

If you drive to Shute Harbour from the south, Mackay is about 150 km and Brisbane is about 1100 km. From the north, Cairns is about 600 km, Bowen is 90 km and Townsville is about 315 km.

There’s long-term parking at the Port of Airlie terminals and other nearby spots. Ferries operate throughout the day between Airlie Beach or Shute Harbour and Hamilton Island. The trip over takes about an hour.

Private operators offer tours to Hamilton Island and Whitehaven Beach as well as several other Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.

In addition, private yachts are for hire as bareboat charters, by-the-cabin or crewed charters for trips throughout the Whitsundays. The Hamilton Island Marina has berths, fuel, accommodation and other boat services.

Hamilton Island is the only island within the Whitsundays that has a commercial airport. Several commercial airlines fly from Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne and Sydney. Private charters are also available.


Island Transportation

Once on the car-free island, many families enjoy renting golf buggies for a fun way to get around. Children love the experience of an open-air ride that lets them see the sights as they travel.

Children under four years of age must use a restraining seat. Inform the buggy hire when you book that you have small children who will need restraining seats.

No training is required for driving however drivers must be at least 21 years old and have a current drivers license. Take a tour of the island or use the buggy to go to places of interest from your hotel.

Buggy hire can be by the hour, day or for overnight excursions. All buggies have canopies, drink holders and headlights.

Of course, walking is always an option! Children can run and be active in a safe environment. Many popular scenic spots and destinations are within a few minutes of most accommodation.


Where to Stay

Accommodation includes apartments, villas, homes and penthouses all with spectacular views and outfitted with kitchen facilities, TVs, ceiling fans and air conditioning. The accommodation on the island caters for a variety of budgets and tastes.

Most accommodation comes with extras, such as linen, DVDs, games, irons, ironing boards, hair dryers, washers and dryers.

Families can spread out in private accommodation options that range from two-bedroom, one-bath apartments to self-contained villas and homes that sleep up to 14 people and include up to four bathrooms.

Extended family and friends can enjoy the amenities of common living quarters with ample space allowing for privacy when you want it.


Hamilton Island Activities

There’s plenty of activities on Hamilton Island to occupy children of all ages from sunrise to after sunset. Of course, the beach is one of the main draw-cards.

Children as young as toddlers enjoy the water, especially at low tide. Let them explore pools and shallows for crabs, sea snails and other marine life.

Walking on the beach, playing in the sand and having beachside picnics are fun activities for the entire family. Older children can enjoy swimming, snorkelling and other water activities.

Wildlife Park

cuddling a koala

The wildlife park showcases animals native to Australia. Kids can hold a koala and see kangaroos, cockatoos, crocodiles and an assortment of other reptiles.

Treat yourselves to breakfast with the koalas where you and your children can have a tasty, home-style buffet breakfast while viewing koalas perched in trees above the dining area.

Reef Trips

There are many guided tours that highlight the beaches, the Great Barrier Reef and the other Whitsunday islands.

A day trip to Reef World offers many activities geared to both young children and adults. Take a tour on the semi-submarine to view the reef’s ocean life from underwater.

Older kids and adults can go on a guided snorkelling safari that highlights spectacular points in the reefs, including coral beds and colourful tropical fish.

Away from the water, land-based activities on Hamilton Island include golf, mini-golf, bushwalking, shopping and go-kart racing.

Golf and Mini Golf

Hamilton Island Golf Club features an 18-hole champion course, attractive clubhouse and experts who can help you refine your game. Practice and hone your skills off the course at the Golf Driving Range.

Mini-golf lets the kids try their hand at the game. Open daily, entry fees include clubs, balls and scorecards. The course winds its way through a scenic maze of tropical plants and trees.

Boat Hire

There are many boats for hire available as well, from leisurely to the exciting. Get the thrill of reeling in a big catch on a fishing tour, drift on the swell on a catamaran, take a day cruise to see nearby islands or go for an exciting half-hour ride on a jet boat. Water skiing, jet skiing and parasailing are also on offer on Hamilton Island


Dining Options

dining at bommie

As some accommodation includes fully equipped kitchens, you and your family can choose to cook. But you’re on holiday and the island is home to an array of restaurants featuring food ranging from fish and chips to gourmet fine dining.

Pizza, ice cream, bakeries and seafood are on offer and for fine dining, the Hamilton Island Golf Club clubhouse and the Hamilton Island Yacht Club offer world-class modern cuisine in distinctive architectural surroundings.

Caterers and provisioners can also bring made-to-order meals to your door. The IGA supermarket on Front Street offers fresh vegetables and fruit, seasonal Australian produce, meats, seafood and pantry items. The Bottle Shop next door has a variety of wine, beer and spirits to choose from.


Childcare Options

If you want time out with your partner or friends, there are several childcare options that entertain the children as well as make sure they’re safe and secure. The Clownfish Club offers fun activities for children up to 14 years, including swimming, mini-golf, kite-flying and art.

The Clownfish Club Junior Childminding Centre provides high-quality care for infants and young children between six months and four years old.

Morning, afternoon, half-day and full-day sessions are available. In addition, private babysitters are available to come to your room and stay with your children while you’re out. Advance bookings are required for babysitting.

You don’t need to haul bulky, heavy prams and toys with you. Packing is made easy by using local hire for baby gear. Backpacks, prams, cots, books and toys are available from the Clownfish Club.

Make your family holiday on Hamilton Island stress-free and fun by booking facilities ahead of your stay. Spacious, comfortable accommodation will make you and the kids feel right at home and just outside your door are a range of activities that appeal to kids of all ages.