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15 Best Things To Do On Hamilton Island

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Gabby Boucher
Updated Thu 14 Mar 2024

There are so many incredible things to do on Hamilton Island, one of the Whitsundays’ most sought-after destinations! Though the Whitsundays are made up of 74 different islands, Hamilton Island is undoubtedly the most well-known. It is also one of the most developed, complete with its own airport, marina, golf course, and many other amenities.

You can visit Hamilton Island as a day trip from Airlie Beach, or you can spend a few days staying on this island paradise and soaking in all the natural beauty, culture, and fun. So for those wondering what are the best things to do on Hamilton Island, we’ve got you covered!

girls posing on beach swing on hamilton island whitsundays

The 15 Best Things To Do On Hamilton Island

Though this list only scratches the surface of all the fun things to do on Hamilton Island, hopefully we can help you plan your first few days of adventure on the island. Let our travel experts highlight the top activities and attractions on Hamilton Island, including free things to do and ways to pass the time when it’s raining!

Check out our favourite tours from Hamilton Island!

1. Try Watersports

Surrounded by the calm, turquoise waters of the Coral Sea, Hamilton Island is the perfect place to try some fun water activities. Catseye Beach is a great place to start! This popular beach has stands where you can hire paddleboards, kayaks, snorkelling gear, and windsurfing equipment. Near the marina, you can also book jetski and waterski tours with some of the local tour operators.

man holding paddleboard on hamilton island whitsundays

2. Take A Trip To Whitehaven Beach

Arguably the most gorgeous beach in Australia, Whitehaven Beach is a world-famous location that is just a quick boat ride away from Hamilton Island! Book a full-day or half-day boat tour so you can see the dazzling white silica sands of Whitehaven Beach with your own eyes. Embark on a hike up to Hill Inlet Lookout and go for a dip in the pristine, sapphire waters. Don't forget sunscreen and a camera!

aerial view of hill inlet and Whitehaven Beach

3. Sip Cocktails By The Pool

Slip into true holiday mode with a classy cocktail by the pool! Hamilton Island is the perfect place to treat yourself to some delicious drinks as you float in the pool and admire the tropical scenery. The island’s Main Pool is a centrally-located swimming pool that is open to the public. Head here to grab a drink from the swim-up bar, relax in a lounge chair, and live your best life on Hamilton Island.

traveler smiling at a pool bar on hamilton island

4. See The Great Barrier Reef

No trip to the Whitsundays is complete without snorkelling or scuba diving in the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef! Book a day trip to the Outer Reef so you can explore the underwater world and relax onboard a sturdy reef pontoon. Or elevate your Great Barrier Reef experience by sleeping overnight on the reef with Reefsleep. Either way, a visit to the world’s largest coral reef system is a must!

tropical coral reefs in the great barrier reef with snorkellers

5. Go Golfing

Golf fanatics will be in heaven when they visit Hamilton Island. The island is home to a world-class golf course where you can have a game in the midst of the idyllic scenery of the Whitsundays. This golf course is actually located on its own private island, so you have to catch a boat to get there. You’ll feel like a celebrity while golfing at Hamilton Island’s Golf Club!

Hamilton Island Golf course with lush green grass

6. Book A Scenic Flight

Another one of the best things to do on Hamilton Island is take to the skies with a scenic flight. Because Hamilton Island has its own airstrip, you can book seaplane or helicopter flights over Whitehaven Beach and the Great Barrier Reef right from the island. There is no better way to appreciate the vast natural beauty of the Whitsundays than from the air!

scenic flight over the heart reef in the great barrier reef

Free Things To Do On Hamilton Island

7. Hit The Trails

Nature and fitness enthusiasts will have blast tackling Hamilton Island’s many hiking trails. There are 9 trails in total that range from easy strolls to challenging treks. You can hike to scenic lookouts atop mountains or to hidden coves and beaches. Wear comfy walking shoes, pack plenty of water, and enjoy hiking through the national park that covers the majority of Hamilton Island!

couple hiking on a forest trail in the whitsundays

8. Catch The Sunset From One Tree Hill

Another one of the best free things to do on Hamilton Island is watching the sunset. Though you can do this from any lookout or beach, the best sunset views can be found at One Tree Hill. This elevated location provides stunning panoramic views, and it’s easily accessible at just a 20-minute walk from the marina. If you do want to spend a bit of money, treat yourself to the One Tree Hill Sunset Cocktails which begin in the early evening every day.

Two people with their backs to the camera and the sunset behind them

9. Lounge on Catseye Beach

Catseye Beach is one of the best beaches on Hamilton Island. It’s one of the most centrally located beaches and it only takes about 10 minutes to walk there from the marina. Though Catseye Beach is most known for its watersports and nearby Main Pool, you can easily enjoy this beautiful spot for free. Go for a swim, stroll on the golden sand, and lounge in the hammocks with a good book.

girl lounging in a hammock on catseye beach hamilton island

10. Enjoy The View From Passage Peak

Those looking for a challenging hike with epic views should definitely add Passage Peak to their Hamilton Island bucket list! This steep hike usually takes around 2 hours to complete and offers sweeping views of Hamilton Island, the surrounding islands, and the cerulean Coral Sea.

Tropical scenery while hiking in Hamilton Island

Things To Do On Hamilton Island When It’s Raining

11. Visit A Local Cafe, Bar, or Restaurant

Tropical North Queensland does have a rainy season, with February being the wettest month. If you are visiting Hamilton Island between January and March, there is a higher chance of rain, though sunny days are still common! Escape the rain by hiding out in a cafe, bar, or restaurant with some tasty food and a warm coffee. There are lots of top-rated places to eat and drink on the island; check out this article for a full list of our favorite venues!

delicious food spread at a cafe on Hamilton Island

12. Explore The Hamilton Island Wildlife Park

Rain or shine, the Hamilton Island Wildlife Park is a top attraction. This small and action-packed wildlife sanctuary has a wide variety of native Aussie animals, including koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, dingos, and more. Go on a guided tour or enjoy up-close encounters with various reptiles, mammals, marsupials, and birds. This is a great attraction for travelers of all ages, especially animal lovers!

koala in a tree on hamilton island australia

13. Treat Yourself To A Spa Day

Relax and renew during a rainy day on Hamilton Island with a spa treatment! Spa Wumurdaylin is a top-rated treatment center that offers massages, facials, body wraps, and body scrubs, all of which incorporate high-quality Australian beauty products. The spa can book out during peak season, so make sure you book your treatments in advance! Many luxury resorts on Hamilton Island also have their own spas so don’t be afraid to enquire about your options. 

girl in a nice dress exploring a Hamilton Island hotel

14. Visit An Art Gallery

Broaden your mind and escape the rain at a local art gallery on Hamilton Island! There are two excellent galleries on the island: Hamilton Island Art Gallery and Foots Artwork. Both galleries showcase beautiful works from local artists, and Hamilton Island Art Gallery even offers interactive art classes which you can book in advance.

girl checking out local art at a local gallery in Australia

15. Go On A Crocodile Safari

Another one of the best things to do on Hamilton Island when it’s raining is a crocodile safari! These family-friendly boat cruises take you down the Proserpine River where there is a good chance of spotting saltwater crocodiles and other local wildlife. You can usually find the mysterious reptiles in any weather, so if the rain spoils your Hamilton Island beach day, consider a crocodile safari instead!

Crocodile in the wild near a river in Australia

Looking for more things to do on Hamilton Island? Check out our full list of tours here!

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