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Just back from Hamilton Island report

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port lincoln
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203 posts
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Just back from Hamilton Island report

Greetings. Have just spent a week on Hamilton Island with hubby and 2 kids aged 10 and 13 years. First visit. Wow loved the place. Stayed in Shorelines 15- see seperate review- superb! Shorelines is situated marina side. We were very happy with our position and the apartment though I must say if my kids were younger perhaps staying resort side would have been better due to easy access to kids pools and the beach. We had 2 beautiful pools to use - the Shoreline pool and The edge pool- wow the edge pool has to be seen to be believed!! Amazing! though not relly suited to little ones which we didnt have. Unfortunately most of the pools on the island are unheated , hence a little cool especially because we travelled in winter and weather quite mild at the time. Spent more time at the Reef view Hotel pool which is heated. Had the use of a buggy with our apartment and they are a must as the island is very hilly and some of the hills are killers!! There is a shuttle bus that gets around but you need to work with its schedule which would be annoying! Found all staff on the island super friendly. Yes the island is expensive overall, though if you do your research you will figure this out. We ate out at Romanos, beautiful food and ambience, Manta Ray Cafe, delicious pizzas, Sails restaurant, yummy and also Popeyes take away and the Bakery, all delicious. Bought our essentials at the small local supermarket, yes more expensive then the mainland, didnt use the coles on-line service as didnt want any wastage etc. Local supermarket very busy and it wasnt even peak time- so I think during the warmer months and school holidays they would run out of things so get in early.

Did a trip on Cruise Indigo to Whitehaven and snorkelling at Chalkies- great trip and superb crew. Unfortunately windy the whole week we were there so did limit our activities. Also went out to the reef with Fantasea- wonderful trip- very rough day BUT we were warned many times by the skipper what to expect- we took sea sick tablets and were fine but many around us not so! In saying that they were warned and had the choice of backing out. Even thought windy we snorklled and it was amazing. We flew back to Ham Island by helicopter which is an optional and what an amzing experience this was- well worth the extra dollars! Pilot very informative and we even saw a whale! Only thing of note is that once you get out to the reef the time goes so quickly and seems a little rushed. I will review both these trips individually on TA later.

Also went target shooting, which was a buzz for the boys and also go-karting which us girls enjoyed! There is a lot to do on the island though bear in mind it all costs money...do your research! Visited the wildlife park- cute little park though I would say not worth the money except you do get to return as many times as you want.

Some quaint little shops to wander through on the main street, everywhere you go the views are amazing. Hence it is a great holiday destination, couples, families whomever really- sooo beautiful. Wish we had warmer weather so we could have used all the pools but we cant control that. The main resort pools are amazing on Catseye beach and the beach itself is lovely. Lots of actvities down here to partake in- we only used the kayaks one day ...great fun. Also if you are up to it - take a hike on some of the hiking trails up near Palm Valley- very hilly so beware- we took one trail to Coral Cove- wow what a gorgeous little beach- postcard perfect! Overall superb holi destination!

Melbourne, Australia
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11. Re: Just back from Hamilton Island report

Hi all

We got some great info from this Forum to help us with our trip so thought I would add our experience.

Myself and partner went on the Monday and stayed at Lagoon on Catseye Beach and had a great quiet few days before 7 more friends turned up on Thursday for a family wedding.

We stayed at Iluka, a 5 bedroom house up near One Tree Hill. Great accommodation for the group but the property is for sale and to us looked a bit tired and neglected. But it suited our purpose.

We used Colesonline for major food purchases with 2 deliveries. We chose Coles over IGA just based on ease of use. First order was great, second order missing 3 major items. They were picked and despatched but not recieved. Another of the wedding group had the same experience. When I contacted Coles they were less than helpful. No they could not get the items to us the next day. No they could not replace them. Best they could offer was to credit our on line account. Not much use when we won't use them again for a long time. Eventually convinced them to credit our CC, which we are still waiting to come through. So some good, some bad. We used The BottleO for bulk Victorian beer supplies as the island has gone all Lion Nathan. Again good reliable service.

Apart from what we had shipped in we found the HI Bottle Shop good supply and not unreasonably priced. Beer slabs at about $45 and we have paid a lot more than that on the mainland when travelling remote. Good wine supply and reasonable prices. Found the Oatley wines good drinking and reasonable prices at about $18 per bottle. And the red drinkers could get good supplies of Pepperjack.

General Store was poorly stocked the first day we arrived but for the rest of the 10 days stock of meat and vegies looked OK. Prices not over the top. Bakery on the island makes great bread, pies and a birthday cake for one of our group.

Wedding was very well done on the beach and then a marquee at Outrigger.

We played 9 holes of golf and had a great time on the beautiful back 9. And yes we did lose a few balls... Impossible not to we reckon.

Lunch at the Golf Club was great. Hamilton Air flight to Whitehaven Beach in a seaplane was a highlight for the whole group.

All in all a great 10 days and we do hope to get back to HI.

Rusty

Sydney, Australia
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12. Re: Just back from Hamilton Island report

Thanks Rusty for adding to the review... Sounds like a great time and I know weddings especially are super fun

Abbey

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13. Re: Just back from Hamilton Island report

Hi Melstef - thanks for your informative review ... Am about to go on a trip to Hamo and am having difficulty deciding on which snorkelling tour to take.

As you did both Chalkies reef and The Fantasea pontoon which would you say was best value as far as viewing reef and fish?

Am leaning towards Indigo as it isn't so commercial but if the snorkelling views are poor I will happily go out to the outer pontoon.

I'd be grateful if you can advise.

Cheers!

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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14. Re: Just back from Hamilton Island report

Not melstef, but I have done Chalkies and the outer trip a few times. There is really no comparison IMHO. Chalkies is a fringing reef, albeit very good one, however it can be subject to more turbidity, i.e. less clear water.

If quality of snorkelling is the main criteria then the outer reef trip is the one to do. if the "pretty" location and a shorter trip for reasonable snorkelling is what you want go with Chalkies

port lincoln
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15. Re: Just back from Hamilton Island report

HI there. No comparison really- Chalkies as beautiful location as it was , was pretty murky the day we were there hence didnt see a real lot . When we went to the outer reef even thought it was a rough choppy day the snorkelling was still pretty amazing! So yes even though Fantasea more "commercialised" it defintely provides the better snorkelling. Enjoy!

16. Re: Just back from Hamilton Island report

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Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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17. Re: Just back from Hamilton Island report

So that is two votes outer reef!

Sydney
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18. Re: Just back from Hamilton Island report

Agree with the last couple. There is not really any comparision.

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19. Re: Just back from Hamilton Island report

Thanks guys! Sounds like I shall be forking out the extra cash for the outer reef - well worth it if the snorkelling is better.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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20. Re: Just back from Hamilton Island report

Another vote for the outer reef - heaps better for snorkelling than Chalkies. Hope you have calm waters & enjoy the Whitsundays !

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