We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hamilton Island versus Airlie Beach - help!

Chicago
Level Contributor
105 posts
13 reviews
Save Topic
Hamilton Island versus Airlie Beach - help!

I'm flying into Hamilton Island for 3 nights in late December and was told to stay in Airlie Beach as I'm with a group of early 30's single girls. However, we are flying into Hamilton Island and now I have counter advice that says we should stay in HI. I have already booked Peppers Coral Coast but I can get a similar rate at the Reef View Hotel. Does anyone have any thoughts on which would be more enjoyable for my group? I'm sure we can't go wrong but we'd like a little nightlife mixed in with our beach filled days!

Sydney
Level Contributor
563 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Hamilton Island versus Airlie Beach - help!

Hi

Theres a few things to consider.

- As soon as you land on Hamilton Island, your holiday starts straight away. No having to get the ferry then get to your hotel.

- Hamilton Island has a good mixture of activities inc day spa's, sitting by the beach or by the pool bar and also a nightclub, tavern and a few lounges/bars

- I have stayed at the Reef View before, the rooms are lovely and big! And have great views out to to the beach and sea

- Just remember though, it is a busy time of the year on Hamilton Island so there will be a lot of families. But in saying that, there are quite a number of pools you can use

- I would assume that Airlie Beach would have more of a nightlife than Hamilton Island

In my personal opinion (and im in my early 30's) I would stay on Hamilton Island as everything is there and I enjoy what the island has to offer. Peppers does look very nice too but for me, there are too many backpackers in Airlie.

Good luck!!

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
Level Contributor
30,590 posts
1,607 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Hamilton Island versus Airlie Beach - help!

Another vote for Hamilton Island, Barina has described it perfectly..

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
386 posts
79 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Hamilton Island versus Airlie Beach - help!

There is more night life in Airlie Beach than in HI, so if that is a priority, you may wish to choose Airlie Beach. However for three nights you have to consider how much "down time" you are prepared to lose in transit. If you stay on HI , you can be booked in to your hotel and enjoying the beach/pool before the ferry has even reached Airle Beach. There are bars and restaurants in HI, but they are not the jumping backpacker type places you will find in Airlie Beach. ( Airlie has a younger crowd). It really all depends on what type of nightlife you are looking for.

Chicago
Level Contributor
105 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Hamilton Island versus Airlie Beach - help!

Thank you all! This is very helpful!

Gold Coast
Level Contributor
103 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Hamilton Island versus Airlie Beach - help!

I'm on Hamilton Island right now and woul suggest Airlie Beach. More to do and a lot cheaper.

Destination Expert
for Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island
Level Contributor
3,600 posts
94 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Hamilton Island versus Airlie Beach - help!

Definitely Airlie Beach for a night or two if you want to wander restaurants (food much cheaper than on the island) and do some bar hopping.

The island is perfect if you just want to sit by the pool and drink cocktails... not necessarily mix and mingle with lots of other people (we found it easier to meet people in Airlie than on the Island )

only you can choose which best suits your group of friends.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
2,044 posts
86 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Hamilton Island versus Airlie Beach - help!

Airlie Beach for a younger crowd, more bars and nightlife than Hamilton Island.

There is a club on Hamilton Island but it's only open on Friday and Saturday nights so maybe you could spend some time in each place if you wanted to make the most of your nights out. The main strip of Airlie Beach is buzzing each night unlike Hamilton Island which is much quieter and the main night activity is choosing where you want to dine.

The boat ride doesn't take long between each island if you want to see both places.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Melbourne
Level Contributor
2,415 posts
218 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Hamilton Island versus Airlie Beach - help!

Hi Chicago, we have been to both Airlie Beach & Hamilton Island & I think Hamilton Island is the way to go. Given that you're coming from overseas, you may as well take the opportunity to stay on a beautiful island in the Whitsundays.

Airlie Beach is lovely too but it is full of backpackers and in my opinion, it simply does not have the same 'island' feel or specialness to it. Yes, Airlie Beach has much more nightlife but I think there is enough on Hamilton Island to keep you happy as you're only there for 3 days.

It would be a shame to come all the way from overseas and to miss out on an island experience in the Whitsundays! Why would you want to stay on the mainland when you can be on a beautiful tropical island?!

Airlie Beach...
Level Contributor
83 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Hamilton Island versus Airlie Beach - help!

Beryl from Airlie you can get out and see the most beautiful islands on any of many daytrips for less than $100, why spend your time on 1 island when Airlie allows you to see many many more with the money you save from accommodation.

Either way they have come and gone so it probably doesnt matter.

I am unsure what the problem is with young international travellers or backpackers or whatever you want to call them, if you ever took the time to chat to them the very vast majority are great kids with exciting tales to tell and are very respectful of where they are. They are my favorite visitors to talk to and I am on the other side of 50.

.

Chicago
Level Contributor
105 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Hamilton Island versus Airlie Beach - help!

We stayed in Airlie and loved it! And loved the backpackers as well...It was nice to fool most of them to think I was one as well :) We did day trips to see the islands but I'm glad with our decision. Thanks for the comments!

Get answers to your questions about Hamilton Island
More Hamilton Island Topics