HAMILTON ISLAND - MORE INFO
Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island of the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia. Hamilton Island, like most in the Whitsunday group, was formed as sea levels rose creating numerous drowned mountains that are situated close to the east coast of Queensland, Australia. The island is a popular tourist destination and was featured in the successful "Best Job In The World" promotion.
In late August the island plays host to its annual Hamilton Island Race Week yachting festival, in which more than 150 yachts from across Australia and New Zealand gather for a week of races around the islands. 'Whitehaven Day' is when the yachts descend upon Whitehaven beach for a big beach party. However this is only one of many festivals hosted on the island.
At least two major films have been on location at Hamilton Island, Muriel's Wedding (1994) and Fools Gold (2008)
The island was purchased in 1975 by Keith Williams and Bryan Byrt, and in 1978 Keith Williams commenced construction of Hamilton Island Harbour and the resort complex shortly after. The resort opened in phases between 1982 and 1984. In 1985, a fire destroyed most of the central portion of the resort complex, which was completely rebuilt by 1986. The current Whitsunday Holiday Apartments opened in 1986 followed by the current Reefview Hotel in 1990. In 1992, the resort was placed in receivership and between 1995 and 2003 it was owned by BT Australia and managed by Holiday Inn for a portion of that time. In 1999, the five-star Beach Club opened. In 2003, the Oatley family acquired the resort and expanded developments to include an expanded Marina precinct, a yacht club and a luxury resort known as qualia which opened in 2007-8.
Unlike most islands off the east coast of Australia, Hamilton Island is used almost exclusively for tourism. However the island is catering for a growing number of residents, both employees of the various businesses on the island and also those people choosing to retire and enjoy the lifestyle. The island is on long term lease from the Commonwealth Government by the Oatley family. The Oatleys own and run Hamilton Island Enterprises which operates the majority of accommodation and businesses on the island.
Hamilton Island Airport is the only airport in the Whitsunday Islands that is big enough to cater for larger commercial aircraft. Hamilton Island is also catered for by several ferry services, which can only carry passengers. Mainland motor vehicles are prohibited on the island with the exception of those for tradespeople and island public transport. Private transport needs are mostly served by a fleet of golf buggies, available to tourists for rent and are included as part of some accommodation packages. A public shuttle bus operates on the island serving major points of interests and accommodation sites.
Day trips to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park from Hamilton Island, are provided exclusively by Fantasea.
Visitors can catch glimpses of migrating whales as they make their way through the warm waters of the Whitsundays around July–September each year.
Hamilton Island Triathlon
Hamilton Island Race Week (Sailing)
Hamilton Island Cup (Outrigger Canoe Racing)
Hilly Half Marathon (Cross Country Running)