Compare Cheap Flights from Mackay to Hamilton Island, Australia
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A Guide to Hamilton Island
Know Before You Go
- Download the Hamilton Island app. It has information on the islands activities, guest services, opening times and events. It also has ferry times, restaurant availability and audio guides for trail walks.
- Bring a stinger wetsuit. There are Irukandji jellyfish in the waters around the island. If you don’t have your own, they are provided on tours, or you can rent one out from a shop near the beach.
- Make your restaurant reservation in advance. There are only a limited number of establishments, and the popular ones book up fast. You can use the online system to reserve your seats or try your luck when you arrive.
- If the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach are on your bucket list, don’t try book your trip at the last minute. The tours usually book out, so it’s worth securing your spot for these activities before you arrive.
- You don’t need to carry cash or your bank cards with you. The restaurants and bars on the island can charge all your expenses back to your hotel room. All they need to your room key and signature.
Getting Around Hamilton Island
- Hire a buggy. If you want some independence, you can explore the island at your own pace with a golf buggy. During high season, they do book out so make sure you reserve yours in advance to ensure availability.
- Take the shuttle bus. There is a free island shuttle service that operates from 6:50 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. every day. You can choose from two different routes and the buses depart every 15 to 40 minutes.
- Explore the island on foot. Due to its small size, there are several activities, restaurants and bars within walking distance of each other on the resort side of the island. If you get tired, you can always hop on board the shuttle bus to take you back to your hotel.
When is The Best Time to Visit Hamilton Island?
January to March is the best time to visit Hamilton Island if you have kids. The island offers a whole selection of family-friendly activities, and the weather is sunny and hot. There are also plenty of tours available on and in the water to help you beat the heat and explore Hamilton’s natural heritage.
From April to June the temperatures start to drop as Queensland approaches winter. The weather is perfect for travellers who prefer milder temperatures, less daily rain and clear blue skies. If you’re travelling on a budget, plan your trip around the school and Easter holidays that fall into this period.
July to September is an ideal time to visit for sailing enthusiasts. The island holds its famous offshore regatta, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. The weather also starts to warm up but stays at a comfortable 23°C. There is also bit more rain in July as well as school holidays which drive hotel prices up.
The summer months of October to December are the most popular time of year to visit Hamilton Island. The weather is hot, and locals flock here to celebrate the approaching holiday season. While there are showers, they are usually quick and won’t put too much of a damper on activities. Just be sure to book your flights, accommodation and activities well in advance to lock in lower prices and ensure availability.
Airports in Hamilton Island
Hamilton Airport, also known as the Great Barrier Reef Airport, serves the Whitsunday Islands Group and Hamilton Island. It offers flights from low-cost airlines Jetstar and Virgin Australia as well as Qantas. The airport has direct routes to and from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns.
Getting To and From Hamilton Airport
There are no cars on Hamilton Island, so you won’t be able to taxi to your hotel.
If you book at select hotels, you can use the complimentary door-to-door airport shuttle.
Hire a golf buggy. You will need to book it 72 hours before you arrive and rates start at AUD 46 for one hour and AUD 87 for 24 hours.