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9 things to do on Hamilton Island and the Whitsundays in 2020

Our top picks for what to get up to in Queensland’s island paradise.


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Whitsundays, Australia

The Whitsundays encompasses islands such as Hamilton Island, Daydream Island and Long Island. The destination overflows with water-based outdoor activities, helicopter tours of the islands and boat cruises. Whatever your agenda, here are the top things to do in the Whitsundays and Hamilton Island.

Top things to do in the Whitsundays

1. Visit the Great Barrier Reef

The Whitsundays is located in the very heart of the Great Barrier Reef, making any island or shore township in the area an ideal base to explore the world's largest coral reef. There are plenty of snorkelling and diving opportunities for up-close-and-personal experiences with colourful coral formations and marine life. You'll also have more than your fair share of jet skiing experiences, scenic flights and multi-day tours to soak up the beauty of this world heritage site.

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2. Cruise or sail to Whitehaven Beach

Board a scenic cruise or sailboat to Whitehaven Beach. Sit back and relax as you take in the sea breeze and snap some pics of one of Australia's most photographed locations, while your tour guide reveals stories and information about the history and nature surrounding you.

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3. Enjoy an exhilarating skydiving experience

For the ultimate adrenaline-inducing experience, treat yourself to a skydiving experience. During the flight, you'll be met with views of the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsundays. Choose between a 7,000, 14,000 or 15,000-foot high experience and get ready for the ultimate thrill.

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Things to do on Hamilton Island

4. Visit the WILD LIFE park

Hang out with furry friends at WILD LIFE on Hamilton Island. You'll come face-to-face with Australian animals including crocodiles, kangaroos, koalas and dingoes. Start the fun early with a breakfast experience where you'll be seated amongst koalas while you dine.

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5. Take a swing at a day of golf

Keen golfers will not only find their paradise on the deck of a boat, but also on the championship green of Hamilton Island Golf Club. Designed by Aussie golfer Peter Thompson, this is an 18-hole par-71 golf course with a stunning backdrop of mountains, beaches, coves and island vistas.

The state-of-the-art clubhouse is located on nearby Dent Island and the kids can also get involved at the mini-golf range, which is located amongst the palms and plants for all sorts of fun challenges.

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6. Explore Hamilton Island by foot

Head off on a journey that will take you to some of the most popular locations on Hamilton Island including the Hamilton Island Wildlife Cafe. Take a hike up Passage Peak, One Tree Hill or Southeast Head Trail and watch the sunset from Catseye Beach. This full-day adventure is the perfect way to explore the island with land and water activities incorporated.

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Things to do in Airlie Beach

7. Board a full-day fishing charter

Depart from Airlie Beach and head out for a fishing adventure around the Whitsunday Islands. Your expert local fishing guide will take you to the best spots to maximise your chances of catching Spanish mackerel, red emperor, tuna and more. You'll be provided with high-quality equipment, so all you have to do is show up and get ready to make some great catches.

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8. Traipse the waterways by jet ski or jet boat

Make the most of your time in the crystal clear Whitsunday ocean with a jet ski experience that will take you to the waterways around South Molle and Daydream Islands. If you're looking for a more exhilarating experience, hold on tight as you take a jet boat ride that will jolt you around with abrasive 180 and 360-degree turns. Be prepared to get soaked and have the time of your life.

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9. Depart on a whale watching tour

June to September is when you can witness these endearing creatures frolicking around the Whitsundays on their annual migration north to give birth. The consistently warm weather coupled with the protection of the Whitsundays makes it the perfect nursery for whale babies. As this area becomes the whales' base for several months, you shouldn't have to venture far or wait long to set your sights on them. You can find some of the best views off Airlie Beach or by helicopter from above.

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Seasonal events in Hamilton Island and Whitsundays

Things to do in Hamilton Island and the Whitsundays in summer

  • Great Australian Bites
  • Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival

Things to do in Hamilton Island and the Whitsunday in winter

  • Bowen River Rodeo
  • Airlie Beach Race Week
  • Whitsunday Reef Festival

Things to do in Hamilton Island and the Whitsunday in autumn

  • Airlie Beach Markets
  • Twilight Sailing

Things to do in Hamilton Island and the Whitsundays in spring

  • Airlie Beach Festival of Music
  • Airlie Beach Triathlon
  • Mushroom Valley Festival

Book your flights

Feeling inspired? Book your flights to the Whitsundays below.

Experience Hamilton Island and the Whitsundays for less with these top deals

Hamilton Island Hamilton Island

Stay for 7 nights, pay for 6

Available for select stay dates from 15 June 2020 - 31 March 2021 on select properties. T&Cs apply.

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Hamilton Island stays from $135/night

Available on select 2020 dates. Sample accommodation is at Yuengee Villas. T&Cs apply.

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Hamilton Island Hamilton Island

Sign up to receive latest offers

Subscribe to receive the latest Hamilton Island eNewsletters and exclusive marketing offers. T&Cs apply.

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