We’re here to fill you in on all of the important stuff you’ll need to know before embarking on your holiday.
Hamilton Island is encompassed by the Whitsunday Islands, a group of 74 islands just off the Queensland coast, at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Hamilton Island is one of the most popular holiday destination for Aussies travelling to the Whitsunday Islands thanks to its idyllic and immaculate setting.
There’s an array of life-changing experiences and activities to choose from on Hamilton Island. Fancy kayaking in the sea? Or maybe a casual breakfast with the koalas? If this sounds right up your street then Hamilton is the holiday destination for you.
What to know before you go
Who owns Hamilton Island?
While the Oatley family does have a long-term lease of the island, it is actually owned by the Australian state. The lease has been agreed on by the Commonwealth government and the Oatley family runs and owns Hamilton Island Enterprises, which operates the lion’s share of the businesses and luxurious accommodation facilities on the island.
Is Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays?
Yes. Hamilton Island is the central and largest island of the 74 islands that make up the Whitsunday Islands.
How big is Hamilton Island?
Hamilton Island is the largest of the Whitsunday Islands and is approximately 5 square kilometres in its footprint.
Where is Hamilton Island Airport?
Hamilton Island Airport is located on Airport Drive, Hamilton Island, Queensland. It is also known as The Great Barrier Reef Airport.
Who flies to Hamilton Island?
Virgin Australia and Qantas offer direct flights to Hamilton Island from Brisbane and Melbourne. Flying from Sydney? You’ll have the additional choice of Jetstar.
Can you drive to Hamilton Island?
Yes. You would need to take the Bruce Highway, which is the major highway running between Brisbane and Cairns. The Airlie Beach turnoff is just one kilometre north of Proserpine and then all that’s left is a 20km trip into the beach town. All roads including Shute Harbour are suitable for all vehicles.
How many islands are in the Whitsundays?
There are 74 islands that make up the Whitsundays.
Health and safety
Does Hamilton Island have stinger nets?
Due to the tropical climate conditions, stingers can be present in the waters surrounding Hamilton Island. The risk increases during October–May. You can minimise risk to allow a safe and comfortable swim throughout the Whitsundays by using a protective “stinger suit” which is available to all tourists at little or no cost.
Stinger nets are in place in some areas and they do keep out the box jellyfish; however, they cannot prevent the much smaller Irukandji from entering the enclosure. As such, we recommend Aussies that are Hamilton-bound wear “stinger suits” in open water to reduce their risk of being stung even further – and carry vinegar!
Getting around and things to do
How far are the Whitsunday Islands from Cairns?
The Whitsunday Islands are approximately 512km south of Cairns via air with a flight time of approximately 1.5 hours. If you were to drive, the journey would cover approximately 655km and take somewhere in the region of 9 hours.
How far are the Whitsunday Islands from Sydney?
The Whitsunday Islands are a massive 1,918km north of Sydney, which equates to just over 23 hours of drive time. If you’d prefer to fly, it’d cover a similar distance and take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. You’d also have a choice of airlines: Qantas, Jetstar or Virgin Australia.
How far are the Whitsunday Islands from Brisbane?
The drive from Brisbane to the Whitsunday Islands would cover approximately 1,149km, calculating to about 14 hours on the road. If you were to fly direct from Brisbane to the Whitsunday Islands it would take anywhere between 1 hour and 30 minutes, and 2 hours. You could choose between Qantas and Virgin Australia, and the distance would cover 893km.
Are the Whitsundays located in the Great Barrier Reef?
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It sweeps in excess of 2,000km along the Queensland coast, and the Whitsunday Islands are perfectly located close to the centre of this natural wonder.