Last week we spent 5 glorious days on Hamilton Island in tropical North Queensland. Hamilton Island is part of the chain known as the Whitsunday Islands. With Hawaii like weather, proximity to The Great Barrier Reef, amazing white sand beaches and stunning views, it is a tropical paradise and the perfect place for a family holiday.
We stayed in a private apartment on the resort side of the island overlooking Catseye Beach. The best thing about the apartment was that it came complete with its own golf buggy- the primary mode of transportation on the island. We drove the buggy everywhere- just because it was so much fun. My dare devil husband even thrilled the kiddos with a few buggy "donuts" in the car park. I was particularly happy that I didn't have to trudge up all the island's hills in my enlarged condition. Waddling from the buggy to the pool was enough for me!
While there we took a full day boat tour with H2OSportz called the Triple Treat. It really was a treat for the whole family. We boarded their boat, The Reef Spirit, and set out for a fun filled day. Our first stop was at the coral reef for snorkeling. We saw many colourful fish and of course all variety of beautiful coral. A few lucky people even spotted some sea turtles. The Little Princess was a pro at snorkeling, staying in the water the whole time. The Little Buddy got geared up and floated around a little with Dad before heading back to the boat with me. He looked so cute in that wetsuit- I can just picture him 10 years from now heading out to surf in a similar get up.
Our second stop was at the unbelievable Whitehaven Beach. The sand on this beach is 95% pure silica and stretches for over 5 km. The sand was so fine it felt like flour and actually squeaked when we walked on it. The kids had fun digging around and the Little Buddy had a chance to show off his newly acquired cricket skills.
Our third "treat" of the day was a stop at Tongue Bay and a short bushwalk to the lookout over Hill Inlet. Our guide was quite knowledgeable and pointed out many interesting things along the way, including the green ants which she encouraged us to taste stating that their "bums" taste like honey and lime. We passed on the ant bums, and headed to the lookout point where we were amazed at the gorgeous sand formations and the crystal blue water at Hill Inlet.
The rest of our trip was spent lounging around at the pool and enjoying the tropical weather. We rented little catamarans one day and spent some time touring the island in our buggy. One morning the kids went to the Clownfish Club (which they LOVED) and my sweetheart and I took a scenic seaplane ride over the Great Barrier Reef. Seeing the reef from the air was breathtaking! You really get a different perspective when you see it from above. My favorite bit was Heart Reef, the most photographed part of the Great Barrier Reef. Isn't it lovely? We also cruised over Hayman Island, Hamilton Island, Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet. The views from the air were absolutely stunning and I am so glad we did the air tour.
We also had some wildlife encounters while on the island. The rainbow lorikeets and cockatoos were everywhere- and pretty persistent when it came to snatching food. I nearly had a heart attack when a beautiful little lorikeet landed on my knee one evening. (I hate birds!). Why is it that animals always flock to the one person in the group who does not want to be near them? We also had several visits from creepy little opossums each evening. They were definitely used to seeing people and got a little too close for my comfort!
Like all good vacations, the end came too soon. We were all sad to say goodbye to the beautiful weather and the relaxing atmosphere. Too bad we couldn't bring some of that Queensland sunshine back with us. It's been raining buckets in Sydney!