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Hamilton Island, Daydream Island, or Hayman Island?


Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort

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The stress and responsibilities of everyday life call for a getaway at the beach, surrounded by serene blue waters!

After all, what’s better than basking in some sunshine and listening to the ocean waves? Hence, my daughters always ask us to go to the beach for most of our family trips. In fact, in the past few months, we’ve already been to three must-visit beaches in Australia.

So, if you’re considering going to a beach this summer, look no further! We’ve curated this guide based on our personal experience, so you’ll know exactly what to expect on these beaches.

Let’s get started…

How To Get To The Whitsunday Islands

The Whitsunday Islands are accessible via any mode of transport. In fact, you can even get a one-day ticket for a ferry ride to the island and many other tourist attractions on the way.

Intercontinental Hayman Island Review Luxury Boat Transfer - Lounge Area

We chose to travel by air as that felt like the fastest option since we wanted to allow more time for the main destination. We got off at the Whitsunday Coast Airport located at Proserpine. It is roughly 20 km away from Airlie Beach, which was a 30-minute drive.

The Great Barrier Reef Airport is also a viable option as it is the central point between Hayman Island, Hamilton Island, and Daydream Island.

Hamilton Island, Daydream Island, or Hayman Island?

So here it is, our honest reviews of the three of the most popular islands in the Whitsundays:

1. Hayman Island

Hayman Island is our definition of “Heaven on Earth,” with its turquoise waters, vast beaches, and pleasant blue sky. Despite visiting the island last year, we’d gladly plan another vacation in a heartbeat!

Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort

A major part of the credit to our amazing stay in Hayman Island goes to the Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort.

The staff left no stone unturned in ensuring our comfort and enjoyment with large rooms, prompt service, complimentary activities, finger-licking delicacies, and more.

However, the highlight of the trip was the pool-view suite, which was perfect for hydrophiles like us. Be it the pool, the oversized bathtub, or the beach- we just couldn’t resist a dip!

Additionally, our room boasted a double balcony that invited plenty of sunshine and made the perfect backdrop for our holiday pictures.

Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort - Beach

If you visit the resort with kids, we recommend enrolling them for a snorkeling lesson conducted on the shallow end of the pool. Not only will they learn a new skill, but it will also keep them busy while you steal a sip of wine at the bar!

The restaurants at the resort also did not disappoint. From Mediterranean flavors to Pan-Asian cuisines- you name it, and they’ve got it.

Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort - Sailing in the Bay

We also recommend calling it a day with a detoxing clay wrap at the resort spa, or a session of sunrise yoga. The resort even offers fun activities at the beach like sailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

Moreover, the hotel conducts a fish feeding session at the Marina Pontoon every morning. We bet your children are going to love it! Or you can take them to the beach to marvel at the beautiful seashells, corals, and sea urchins.

Finally, you can visit the boutique shop to grab some souvenirs or luxury items for friends and family back home.

Tip: Check out our review of the Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort.

2. Hamilton Island

Enveloped by sparkly water and sunny beaches, Hamilton Island is the hotspot for those who wish to explore the Great Barrier Reef and soak up some sun at Whitehaven Beach. Hence, it is another one of our favorite family holiday destinations.

Best Things To Do In Hamilton Island - Main Pool Cocktails

The island offers a variety of exotic cuisines and drinks, which you can enjoy with your partner while the kids indulge in exciting water and sports activities. Notably, Hamilton Island boasts a range of award-winning, fine dining restaurants as well as budget-friendly cafes.

Best Things To Do In Hamilton Island - Catseye Beach Walk

However, the best part about eating on this beautiful island is the incredible view that accompanies most of the bars out there.

Apart from the usual swimming and snorkeling, we suggest signing up for the Hamilton Island Yacht Club to experience the joys of sailing across vast water bodies. Additionally, you can check out the Hamilton Island Golf Club if you enjoy the sport.

Best Things To Do In Hamilton Island - Best Lookouts Hamilton Island

You will be spoilt for choice in terms of accommodation, too. From luxurious couples’ suites to cozy holiday homes- Hamilton Island has got something for everyone!

Tip: Check out our review of the Lagoon 104 Hamilton Island.

3. Daydream Island

A favorite among sailing enthusiasts, we were certainly looking forward to our trip to Daydream Island. When it comes to exploring the natural scenic beauty, the island surely lives up to its “dreamy” name.

Daydream Island

However, we were hard on luck as we happened to visit Daydream Island Resort & Living Reef when it had not yet recovered from the damage caused by Cyclone Debbie.

Consequently, our stay there wasn’t the most comfortable, with limited amenities and access.

Daydream Island Resort - main beach

Despite offering average service and food, the overall bill was quite high, which disappointed us the most. Moreover, the beach was still in a poor state with lots of dead corals, and no sandy beaches as advertised on the website at the time.

Daydream Island Resort - side view of the main beach with umbrellas next to the pool

However, if you plan to visit the resort now, we believe the refurbished rooms and suites, accompanied by a pool view, would offer an enjoyable stay. Plus, the “Weekly Activities and Tours Schedule” ensures no one feels left behind with non-motorized water activities, outdoor cinema, rainforest walks, and more.

Final Words

That was all we had for you. We hope this guide will help you choose your next dream holiday destination!

As you can probably tell, our pick is Hayman Island. The resort staff, the fun activities, and the sumptuous food stole our hearts, and we can’t wait to go back!

Although we went there without our daughters for a “parent-only” getaway, the resort seems to be suitable for kids as well.

On the other hand, Hamilton Island gets the second spot on our list. Despite being ideal for families, it couldn’t outdo the luxurious service we received in the previous pick!

Lastly, our trip to Daydream Island was quite disappointing. But, for that, we would blame the timing and our lack of research to a large extent.

Additional Reading:

  1. Best Things to do in Hamilton Island
  2. Hamilton Island Catseye Beach 
  3. Best Hamilton Daytrips
  4. Lagoon 104 Hamilton Island Review
  5. Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort Review
  6. How to get to Hamilton Island to Whitehaven Beach

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Poppi Tunner
    April 3, 2022 at 1:29 am

    This is an amazing blog and I found it very informative. You have done a great job and keep writing such wonderful articles.

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