How to Spend 48 Hours in Hamilton Island, Australia

Sunset view from One Tree Hill
Sunset view from One Tree Hill | © James Whitlock / Shutterstock
Photo of Hayley Simpson
Writer1 August 2018

Hamilton Island is home to resorts with celebrity clientele, streets ruled by golf buggies and a golf course on its own private island. Fortunately, this playground for the rich and famous is accessible to everyone, from families to budget travellers.

It doesn’t matter whether you have a week or simply a weekend on Hamilton Island. There is a plethora of fine dining restaurants, activities and day trips to keep everyone busy. But if you only have two days on Hamilton Island, check out our 48-hour guide for the ultimate list of things to do.

Day One


Buffet breakfast at Sails Restaurant

Restaurant, Australian, $$$
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Poolside dining at Sails | © Hamilton Island

Go big or go home is the aim of the game at Sails Restaurant. Its daily breakfast buffet isn’t cheap, but there’s a range of hot and cold dishes available, including scrambled eggs and fresh fruit. However, the best part about Sails Restaurant may be its waterfront views across Sails Pool and Catseye Beach.

Catseye Beach | © Darren Tierney / Shutterstock

Speaking of Catseye Beach, this is the perfect place to begin your Hamilton Island holiday, as it’s the island’s most popular beach. It’s also where Hamilton Island Beach Sports is based, which has catamarans, snorkelling gear, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for hire. If beach swimming isn’t your cup of tea, visit Sails Pool or Bougainvillea Pool, which overlook the beach and are accessible to the public.


Fast lunch from Bob's Bakery

Bakery, Australian, Pastries, $$$
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Enjoy a pie from Bob's Bakery
Enjoy a pie from Bob's Bakery | Enjoy a pie from Bob's Bakery

Stop by Bob’s Bakery and pick up some pastries or paninis to take away for a picnic-style lunch. From the savoury selection, the meat pie is a fan favourite, as it’s made with gourmet butter puff pastry. There is also a variety of sandwiches, paninis and focaccias made fresh daily. For something sweet, choose between Australian classics like lamingtons and vanilla slice. There’s also bread rolls and loaves of bread available.

Now it’s time to choose an adventurous afternoon activity. Following a relaxing morning by the beach or pool, head out for a hike after lunch. Hamilton Island has many walking trails, which range from easy to advanced. Passage Peak is a challenging option, with stunning Whitsunday Island views at the top. Resort Lookout is an alternative, as it’s Hamilton Island’s second highest point. Meanwhile, for families and groups of friends, learn more about the island via the Buggy Rally. It involves driving around Hamilton Island in a golf buggy and answering a set of trivia questions. For more information and to participate, visit the island’s Sports Club.

Buggies rule the road on Hamilton Island | © Andrew Robins Photography / Shutterstock

Finally, golfers will not want to miss a visit to Hamilton Island Golf Club, which is located on its own private island. Dent Island is a short ferry ride from Hamilton Island, and is home to one of the world’s most challenging golf courses. The 18-hole course was designed by renowned golfer, Peter Thomson.


Firstly, Hamilton Island is known for its sunsets. The most popular place to view the sunset is from One Tree Hill. The bar is known for its cocktails, but does offer bar snacks, and antipasto and cheese boards as well. It’s also a great place for the whole family to watch the sunset, as it has an open grassed area. Otherwise, hop aboard the Hamilton Star for its Sunset and Dine sailing experience. Enjoy a three-course meal and a drink from the fully stocked bar, as you sail the seas surrounding Hamilton Island.

Sunset view from One Tree Hill | © James Whitlock / Shutterstock

Dinner at Coca Chu

Restaurant, Fusion, Asian, $$$
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Dinner is served at coca chu | © Hamilton Island

If you decide on dinner after sunset drinks at One Tree Hill, one of the best dining experiences on Hamilton Island is Coca Chu, which is inspired by Southeast Asia’s hawker-style street food. The menu blends “bold Asian flavours with relaxed Australian style,” and is designed to be shared. Main dishes include Tasmanian king scallop stir fry, spicy chicken larb gai and caramelised lamb shoulder. The modern restaurant — complete with an open kitchen, high ceilings and exposed timber panelling — is surrounded by tropical gardens and overlooks Catseye Beach.

Day Two


Breakfast with a difference at WILD LIFE Hamilton Island

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Koala at the Healesville Sanctuary © James Austin / Flickr
Get up close to a koala | Get up close to a koala

Start your morning in the best way possible, with a koala breakfast at WILD LIFE Hamilton Island. A buffet breakfast is supplied, which includes eggs made to order. While enjoying your breakfast, you’ll be able to pet koalas that join you in the arms of staff. This is followed by an optional koala cuddle session, for an additional fee. It’s an unforgettable island experience involving one of the cutest Australian animals. Other animals you can spot at WILD LIFE Hamilton Island include a saltwater crocodile, dingoes and cassowary.

After breakfast, head off of Hamilton Island and explore more of either the Whitsundays Islands or the Great Barrier Reef (or both). Cruise Whitsundays does half and full day trips to the award-winning Whitehaven Beach, which is constantly named one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches. With its 98% pure white silica sand and calm turquoise waters, you won’t want to leave.

Kayaking at Whitehaven Beach | © Phill Gordon / Tourism Whitsundays

Cruise Whitsundays also offer day trips from Hamilton Island to its Reefworld pontoon on Hardy Reef, on the outer Great Barrier Reef. From the pontoon you can snorkel, dive and spot fish in the underwater observatory. Alternatively, depart from Hamilton Island in a seaplane or helicopter and spot the renowned Heart Reef from the sky.

Hardy Reef | © John Carnemolla / Shutterstock


Be blown away at Bommie

Restaurant, Australian, Seafood, Contemporary, $$$
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Inside Bommie Restaurant | © Hamilton Island
Bommie Restaurant is an exclusive, fine dining restaurant located in the Hamilton Island Yacht Club. The modern Australian menu — created by chef, Trent Dawson — offers the best in fresh and seasonal produce. There are three and four-course menus available, as well as a chef’s daily tasting menu. Bommie only caters to guests who are 12 years and older too. You can enjoy dishes that feature quail, Fremantle octopus, Byron Bay berkshire pork or Mandagery Creek venison at Bommie Restaurant.

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