Getaway to the Whitsundays

At altitude, it’s just a tiny dot. But at sea level, it’s an island world of its own.

Although you’re surrounded by ocean somewhere between Australia and the Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island is super connected. From island transport (including accommodation transfers), to water activity hire, to dining, to downtime – our island time is a seamless operation. We bunker down at a bungalow a couple of blocks back from Catseye Beach; it’s walking distance to food, fun and frivolity. Well, babymoon-style frivolity (and … relax).

RELAX, JUST DO IT

This trip was architected as a winter sun escape. Day-to-day life had sucked us into a never ending to-do list. Exhaustion was rife.

A five day getaway was a bid to break this. As we stepped onto the plane amidst the rain, destined for the Sunshine State, all the messages from friends were: “Happy Babymoon!”. It dawned on me that soon our two would be three. This trip wasn’t just a relax and recharge; it was our time: a trip just for two.

To wind ourselves back into holiday mode, we started with a game of mini golf soon after our arrival (spoiler: Mr Co-Pilot won). It was like a slow, peaceful exhale after a yoga session. It kicked off a sequence of day naps, lazy reads, hammock swings, catamaran sails, pool dips and beach wanders. All against a backdrop of palm trees and a pleasant 25 degrees. Sigh.

catseye-beach-hamilton-island-our-little-travel-tales

AUSTRALIA’S MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACH? CHECK.

Hamilton Island is well-placed to explore all the Whitsundays, and the Great Barrier Reef, has to dazzle you with. Having researched the options from the mainland, we’d decided to book a day trip based on the local weather and what was appropriate for me on the day.

Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet, by boat, was it. I mean, it was recently voted the country’s most beautiful beach after all.

We boarded the boat with the assistance of the crew and soon were off: the sea sparkled, the sky reflected it, and the salty air was in our hair. We sped off from Hamilton to make our way around to the eastern side of Whitsunday Island. The seven kilometre journey along Whitehaven Beach is a spectacle. It’s a LOT of empty white beach.

Anchored just off the coast, we make a dinghy transfer to Whitsunday Island National Park. It’s an easy meander through the native flora to the Hill Inlet lookout: the view looks so good it could be on a brochure. The sea shimmers, the sand dazzles like diamonds … and everyone is in their swimmers doing handstands for their Instagram account (#sorrynotsorry). It’s the middle of winter and the water is as inviting as the height of summer.

whitehaven-beach-hill-inlet-our-little-travel-tales

UNDER THE SEA

I’m a keen travel bean. To punctuate our ‘us’ time with some adventures, we chose snorkelling as an activity. I felt I could get into the water without feeling nervous I would be out of my depth (pun!) physically.

There’s something so cool about donning goggles and snooping on the underwater world. Being pregnant, that’s pretty much how I snorkelled! Bobbing at the surface as the loggerhead turtles glided serenely beneath me.

turtle-our-little-travel-tales

We’ve snorkelled often and all over the world; but hanging out just off the Hamilton Island coast in a rashie and some flippers? Pure magic. Australia is so lucky to have The Great Barrier Reef.

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(PRE)TOT TIPS

  • Time for two. Cram in as many ‘just the two of you’ things as you can: go swimming together, get massages together, dine late together, don’t look at the time.
  • Nap. Sadly, we can’t accumulate sleep to draw on at a later date, but do enjoy the opportunity to nap as and when you like.
  • Get advice from your medical professional before embarking on any adventures whilst pregnant. This blog represents the activities I was able to participate in comfortably and safely during my pregnancy on the advice of my midwife.

TRIP FACTS

  • Time: 5 days
  • Accommodation: Self-contained bungalow
  • Transport: Flights to Hamilton Island. Free buses run on two different routes around the island. Golf buggies are available for hire too.
  • Get App-y: Hamilton Island offers an excellent (free) app that includes a map; plus activity, restaurant, transport, island information and more.
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