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Hamilton Island

Great Barrier Reef Resort Island

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A bird's-eye view of Hamilton Island

A bird's-eye view of Hamilton Island

© Tourism Queensland

About 900 kilometres (560 miles) north of Brisbane, in the heart of Queensland's popular Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island is one of the more accessible resort islands on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

It is the only Queensland island with a modern jet airport, and you can fly direct to Hamilton Island from Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Cairns and Townsville in Queensland, and from Melbourne, Sydney, and Uluru in the Northern Territory.

If traveling by land on the Queensland coast, there's fast ferry travel to Hamilton Island from Airlie Beach, south of the town of Bowen.

And you can sail your own boat to Hamilton Island, of course.

Attractions and activities

As a Great Barrier Reef island, Hamilton Island is inevitably pictured as a tropical paradise with great beaches, underwater coral and creature wonders, sea sports and adventures, and a live-it-up holiday lifestyle.

The island includes resort accommodation, boutique shops, swimming pools, restaurants, and a marina to moor your boat.

With a fringing coral reef, snorkeling and diving are among the island's most popular water activities, which include beach cruises, water skiing, wind surfing, sailing, kayaking, game fishing.

On land, there are nature walks and native flora and fauna to discover. Kangaroos, koalas and, yes, dolphins are also to be found in a 20-hectare (50-acre) fauna park.

Location and area

Hamilton Island, with an area of about five square kilometres, lies close to the southeastern tip of Whitsunday Island, the largest island (109 square kilometres) in the Whitsunday group. There is no resort on Whitsunday Island.

There are 74 islands in the Whitsunday group, all within 50 kilometres of Shute Harbour, which is eight kilometres east of Airlie Beach. There is an airport at Airlie Beach.

The Whitsundays

Unlike Green Island and Heron Island, which are cays, the Whitsunday Islands are mostly continental islands and are the tips of underwater mountains. Many of these islands, like Hamilton Island, have fringing coral reefs and are generally considered part of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef extends 2000 kilometres from the Torres Strait in the north to south of the Tropic of Capricorn all along the north Queensland coast.

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