{ HAMILTON ISLAND } FAMILY TRAVEL WITHIN AUSTRALIA

{ HAMILTON ISLAND } FAMILY TRAVEL WITHIN AUSTRALIA

{ HAMILTON ISLAND } FAMILY TRAVEL WITHIN AUSTRALIA >

I had all these grand plans to post about our trip to Hamilton Island over the Christmas and new year period, but then life got in the way – like six months worth of life and growing a baby, SOZ! I am also in the midst of planning our babymoon to Port Douglas in a few weeks, and love sharing what works for us regarding family travel within Australia. So, today on the blog I’ve tried to cover every square inch of Hamilton Island, including: great family accommodation, activities for both the kiddies and adults, where to get the best coffee #melbournesnob #ownit, travelling with toddlers, great places to eat/drink and a whole lot of top-knot inspo for those who also aren’t compatible with the humidity! Happy travelling y’all!

SARAH JANE YOUNG, HAMILTON ISLAND, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIAN FAMILY TRAVEL, SHEISSARAHJANE, MUMMY BLOGGER

A I R P O R T S  &  T R A V E L L I N G … WITH TODDLERS!

Sweet baby Jesus I hear you say, or worse! Yep, airports can be HEEEC-tic, but all you can do is plan and pray – if you are that way inclined. We’ve done about eight domestic trips with MG and one overseas, and I can absolutely say practice will never make you perfect, but it does help. Obviously I can really only comment on travelling with babies and now a pre-schooler, so I hope some of it helps>

Coffee – start with coffee, this is not a joke. I prefer the Giancarlo coffee at Melbourne airport (QANTAS & Virgin terminal), but be prepared to wait for about 15mins and pay $27 for a coffee! Not quite, but almost. Crazy town…

A favourite toy – within reason of course! MG’s fave toy/comforter is Teddy, but he is the size of an 15 month old baby. So he gets (humanly) squished and travels in the big suitcase – only to magically reappear at our final destination and mummy looks like a total legend! When MG was a bit younger we used a Trunki (great for storage and fun), but I found as she got older she was less interested and we were left lugging it around. It’s nice for them to have a small comfort toy, or something they associate with sleep/rest time (dummy, sleep suit etc.)

Activity pack – ours have ranged from basic to hard core in complexity, depending on the flight time and how much sleep we got the night before! Anything further than two hours definitely requires some form of electronics #iamparentgoalsiknow, stickers, colouring-in, figurines, activity packs from the Newsagent (there are some fab Wiggles and Peppa Pig ones). A nap would be great, but it often doesn’t work out that way! I try to confine all of my entertainment to one snap lock bag

Parents/guardians that are in simpatico – you know exactly what I mean. I remember our first trip away when MG was just four months and having a domestic trying to fold down our Nano stroller going through security! The looks and words flying out my mouth towards my husband were clearly bad enough they just let us walk it through, ha! IT WAS HIS ONE JOB TO PREP FOR, FFS! It was very likely they feared for his safety at that point. SO… Practice with the strollers, baby carriers and so on, BEFORE you go away! I would also have some sort of agreement (particularly if there’s more than one child!), of who is doing what – eg. luggage, tickets, passports, child/ren, carry-on etc. I’ll bring it back to my advertising days : YOU’RE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR BRIEF!

Pack simply & sensibly – common sense right? But it’s true. It’s amazing how much crap you accumulate, before you even leave the house. This is also an entire blog post on its own, but just think about what CAN GO WRONG! So… Changes of clothes for the kids, more nappies than really required, plenty of wipes for spills, dummies for landing/take-off, fluid to sip for landing/take-off, a change of clothes for you (top half), fully charged electronics, snacks, and get all the key tools out and ready in the seat pockets so you can call out for them, like it’s an emergency surgery! I found particularly when she was a bub, she’d throw dummies and bottles if her ears were hurting, have another ready to go in your travel partner’s seat etc. 

The rest is in the laps of the Gods!

{ NYD with my best girl – Yacht Club Villas }


I S L A N D  A C C O M M O D A T I O N

We’ve stayed at the Yacht Club Villas twice, and qualia for our babymoon with MG. Obviously I’d like to focus on travelling with children in this post, but qualia is SOMETHING ELSE! Children under 16 years are not allowed (kind of awesome, right?!), and it takes luxury, exclusivity and excellent service to another level. Add it to your domestic bucket list fo-shiz. We did a date night dinner here over Christmas, as their two restaurants are available for external bookings.Learn more about qualia – CLICK HERE }.

The Yacht Club Villas are located right on the water and have breathtakingly beautiful views. They are ideal for families and groups of friends who are looking for premium island accommodation. Both times we have stayed there has been with my husband’s parents, brother, his wife and their two children. There was clearly a huge design emphasis dedicated to privacy and space (which is key when travelling with in-laws, huh?! Kidding – I LOVE YOU!), with each villa spanning four levels. Each villas includes four bedrooms and four bathrooms, a full-size laundry and self-contained kitchen. A 4-seater golf buggy is also provided to use throughout your stay (you cannot drive on Hamilton island – which I actually LOVE once you have kids as it’s soooo much easier), with the option to rent a second. The kids LOVE these! Each villa is just a short stroll from the iconic Hamilton Island Yacht Club (also the perfect spot for date night drinks/dinner at Bommie at sunset). I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend the YCV for your next visit.

{ MORE INFO ON YACHT CLUB VILLAS & ACCOMM – CLICK HERE }

There are also private holiday homes available to rent, hotel accommodation – Reef View Hotel, bungalows, Beach Club (couples) and qualia. There’s an entire section on the official Hamilton Island website where you can compare all types of accommodation, just click through from the above link. 

SARAH JANE YOUNG, HAMILTON ISLAND, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIAN FAMILY TRAVEL, SHEISSARAHJANE, MUMMY BLOGGER

{ YACHT CLUB VILLAS POOL & exhibit A regarding the top-knots, ha! Humidity and my hair do NOT work well together… }

{ MG looking so ridiculously cute in her stinger suit during our visit to Chance Bay – Whitsundays } 

{ STRIKE A POSE! We totally brought our A-GAME for this shot! } 


F O O D  &  D R I N K

There are SO many amazing places to eat and drink, but booking early is ESSENTIAL! If you are travelling during peak times (particularly over Christmas/NYE period), I would suggest booking from at least two/three months in advance. If you do have young kids and prefer eating earlier for that 7pm #bedtimegoals, I would suggest booking for 5.15 – 5.30pm at the latest so you can enjoy the sunset and a leisurely dinner (no daylight savings). 

SOMETHING A BIT FANCY: qualia – Pebble Beach (degustation and a sexy date night opp!) & Long Pavilion / Bommie at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club

SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE: Romanos (LOVE this place ) / Coca Chu / Dent Island clubhouse (on the golf course – and you will need to catch the small ferry across)

COOL & CASUAL: Manta Ray / Marina Tavern 

FOR MELBOURNE COFFEE SNOBS: we tried a few places for coffee, but I think Bob’s Bakery are the best. It’s all relative though, of course! #harsh 

TAKEAWAY: Marina Café & Manta Ray, there are also some super casual F&C places – just be prepared to wait up to 45min+ during busy periods – I’m not kidding!

For those staying in self-contained accommodation, there is now a proper IGA supermarket (woo-hoo!) located at the southern end Front Street in the Marina Village (Yacht Club Villas side of the Island). Open: 8.00am – 7.30pm. This is a good way to keep costs down for breakfast and lunch, and also break up the dinners out.

{ MORE INFO & TO BOOK – CLICK HERE }

SARAH JANE YOUNG, HAMILTON ISLAND, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIAN FAMILY TRAVEL, SHEISSARAHJANE, MUMMY BLOGGER, QUALIA

{ Jan 4th 2018 – the one year anniversary of learning Charlotte was not going to survive. This was the hardest day since her birth for me and I didn’t get out of bed until late in the afternoon. I cried, and cried, and cried and just wanted to be alone. My incredible husband kept the wheels turning for MG, and once I emerged we all went out for a family dinner at Romanos. It ended on a high and I know that’s what Charlotte would want for us all. This photo is so special to me, I just had to share that }

{ NYE 2018 dinner at Romanos with the extended family – p.s my hair lasted about 0.7 seconds after leaving the villa! }

{ My crew waiting for our coffees. I don’t get a look-in when daddy is around… Daddy’s little girl – BIG TIME! }


A C I T I V I T I E S 

Obviously there are forty-bajillion things to do on and around Hamilton Island, so I’ve just listed a few of my faves. All these tours can be booked directly through the Hamilton Island central booking office and I’ve provided the link below. I’ve included a mix of pre-schooler friendly things to do, adult-only-ish tours, as well as some other suggested activities for water and on-land. 

NUMBER ONE: Cruise Whitsundays Whitehaven Beach Half Day – we’ve done this tour twice, although last time we were diverted to Chance Bay due to high winds at Whitehaven Beach. This doesn’t involve any snorkelling/swimming off the boat, only at the destination (Whitehaven Beach / Chance Bay). If you have the flexibility and weather forecast, try and book this for a day with minimal winds, as Whitehaven Beach is just amazing (and they don’t refund on the day if it’s pre-booked!). Tour: 8am – 12.30pm, or 1pm – 5pm. $109 per adult, $55 per child aged 4 – 14 years and infants 0-3 years of age are free. Morning/afternoon tea also included, as well as stinger suits

NUMBER TWO: Explore’s Sail & Swim at Whitehaven Beach – we did this tour a few years ago when I was sans toddler and baby bump, just young and in love! It was awesome! This tour only operates three days per week – weather pending, 11am – 3.30pm. $140 per adult and kids 5 – 17 years are $90 each. Lunch and afternoon tea are included. It’s a three hour sailing adventure with two hours spent on Whitehaven Beach (this is plenty in the blazing sun!)

NUMBER THREE: Hamilton Island Air Whitehaven Funseeker by Seaplane – this is totally doable with kids, but probably wasted on small kiddies. This is a fancy AF way to travel and ideal for a romantic day trip – resulting in some MAJOR brownie points! It’s $220 per person and absolutely a bucket list kinda activity!

{ MG not loving the wind – just like her mamma! }

{ More DLG time x }

NUMBER FOUR: Hamilton Island Air Heart Reef & Whitehaven Scenic Flight by Helicopter – This was amazing, but I was totally shitting myself! It’s super pricey (about $1000.00 each!), but infants 0-2 are free. This includes: one hour flying over the Great Barrier Reef, two hours at Reefworld and then an hour exploring Whitehaven Beach. Probably a little pricey for a family of three or more, but food for thought

NUMBER FIVE: Explore’s Sail & Snorkel Whitehaven & Chalkies Beach – This is a goodie and super family friendly – we did this one with our extended family (kids must be over 5 years though!). Pricing is $185 per adult and $110 for kids 5 – 17 years. This tour includes: buffet lunch, you’ll enjoy a large catamaran (with a shaded area), all snorkelling equipment is provided and you can enjoy a swim/explore on Whitehaven Beach and Chalkies Beach. This is a 3/4 day tour – 8.30am until 3.30pm. I highly recommend this one and definitely take some sea-sick tablets if you are prone to sickness

OTHER THINGS TO DO: ladies (and especially babymooners!) Spa qualia is AH-MAZING! During our stay at qualia I was 28 weeks pregnant with MG and had a fantastic pregnancy massage – as did my hubby, it’s like so tough on them too… Hmmm. There is also Spa Wumurdaylin and both are open to external bookings. I’ve spent many Saturdays alone as a #golfwidow, luckily my husband wanted to stay (happily) married and has only played a handful of times since MG was born. However, there is an amazing and very famous golf course on Dent Island, which all golfers should play at least once in their lifetime. I’d work this into a day spa trade-off deal! For families: there’s mini golf and a driving range on Hamilton Island. 

There is also snorkelling, kayaking, diving, jet skiing, walking trails, tennis court hire, bowling alley, Clownfish Club (kids club), quad bikes, go-kart racing, off-road adventure tours and of course sitting on your rear end and doing absolutely nothing! 

{ MORE INFO ON THINGS TO DO/SEE & BOOKINGS – CLICK HERE }

{ 2014 – Whitehaven Beach & Heart Reef }


Well, that was a mouthful and that’s me keeping is short and snappy! I hope this helped and a BIG thank you to everyone for their Port Douglas restaurant recommendations, it’s been about 11 years since I’ve been!

SJ x

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