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Hamilton Island really is a tropical playground. Your first stop will probably be the beautiful Catseye Beach, a gently curving strip of sand that’s perfect for swimming, sunbaking and watersports. And you don’t want to miss out on the wonders that await below the water – the snorkelling and diving on Hamilton and surrounding islands is among the best in the world. Back on dry land,

hop across to Dent Island to play a round at Australia’s only island golf course. Much of the island is still covered in pristine bushland, so head off onto one of the many walking tracks to discovered secluded beaches, winding creeks and stunning natural lookouts.

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Explore

You can’t come to Hamilton without going further afield and exploring more of the Whitsundays. Take a day cruise to visit some of the nearby islands, including the spectacular Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. If you want to splurge, you can also visit other islands by helicopter and land right on the beach for a picnic lunch. The flight itself is also spectacular and the view of the world’s most famous reef from above will take your breath away.

See

Hamilton Island is known for its exciting events calendar, so it’s a great idea to time your trip to coincide. The largest is the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August when spectator and sailors from around the world come to the island for a huge lineup of offshore and onshore events. There are also triathlons and ocean swims, ballet performances and gourmet weekends held at the many resorts.

Eat & drink

You certainly aren’t restricted to seaside fish and chips on Hamilton Island (though you can eat that if you want). There are many award-winning restaurants on the island, like Bommie at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club specialising in local seafood or the innovative TACO Mexican fusion. There are plenty of other casual options available too, with relaxed outdoor seating and live music.

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Stay

If money is no object, then check yourself into qualia. Easily one of the best resorts in the country, 60 ultra luxe pavilions are scattered around a private headland surrounded by tropical bush. Many have private pools, the views are incredible and you get your own golf buggy to drive around in. Absolute bliss. There are plenty of other options on the island if you aren’t travelling on a millionaire’s budget. Choose from the classic Reef View Hotel, the adults-only Beach Club or a huge range of holiday homes for groups of all sizes.

What’s your favourite thing to do on Hamilton Island? Share your tips in the comments below.

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