Hamilton Island

Ultimate guide to things to do in Hamilton Island with kids

While Hamilton Island’s incredible location, at the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and direct flights from most capital cities are a great incentive to visit the Whitsunday wonderland, it is the range of unique experiences of offer on and around the island that make this one of Australia’s best family holiday havens

Water babies will love the range of activities on the water. Hire a catamaran or take sailing lessons in the pristine waters around the Island. Kayaking and stand up paddle boarding are another great way to explore. If you feel the need for a little more excitement, scoot across the water on a jet ski, take to the skies with parasailing or get the adrenalin pumping on a high-speed jet boat.

Hamilton Island Kayak

If you’re more interested in what’s under the water, grab some snorkelling gear and take to the fringing reefs around Hamilton to see turtles on a turtle discovery tour. Head further afield with one of Hamilton’s many reputable tour companies to spend a day exploring the magical Great Barrier Reef. Whether you see it by boat or from a bird’s eye perspective on a joy flight, don’t miss the opportunity to snorkel in what is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. 

Above the water you can tee off at Hamilton Island Mini Golf course, trek through the bush trails to spot the hidden coves and pretty picnic spots dotted throughout the bushland, get up close with iconic Australian animals and birds at Wild Life Hamilton Island, or indulge your need for speed at Hamilton Island’s own go-kart track. And while it is always great to hang out with the family, it’s also fun to enjoy kids only time at the awesome Clownfish Club for kids from 6 weeks to 14 years of age.

Top things to do in Hamilton Island

One of the most beautiful, and feature packed islands of the Whitsundays, there’s no shortage of activities and sights to be found on Hamilton Island. Here are a few of our favourites.

  1. Take a tour to Whitehaven Beach, voted one of the best beaches in the world
  2. Enjoy a day tour to the reef to swim, snorkel or dive
  3. Play a round of mini-golf
  4. Race around the island on a Jet Ski
  5. Hire a yacht and learn to sail
  6. Cruise the island in an open-air buggy
  7. Make a stop at One Tree Hill for sunset
  8. Stand-up paddleboard, kayak or windsurf at Catseye Beach
  9. Breakfast with the koalas at Wild Life Hamilton Island
  10. Feed your need for speed on the go-kart track

Things to do in Hamilton Island with...

Clownfish Club at Hamilton Island
The activities change regularly at the Clownfish Club. Credit: Hamilton Island

Best time to visit Hamilton Island as a family

Experiencing only two seasons, the wet and dry, Hamilton Island’s weather allows for special experiences all year round. Summer is the wet season and it is hot, humid and rainy. Tours may be disrupted if there is unsettled weather. 

The dry season, from April to October, is the most popular time for tourists so expect to pay more, and you may need to book early to secure suitable family accommodation. April to June is particularly beautiful with weather ranging from mild to warm and lots of days with crisp, clear blue skies. The minimal rainfall allows for days packed full of activities on and above the water as well as clearer viewing underwater for snorkelers and scuba diving. At this time of year, the sight of Humpback whales playing and colourful tropical fish frolicking in the Whitsundays is an added bonus for visitors.

dining at Sails, Hamilton Island
Dining at Sails you have a great view of the pool and beach. Credit: Hamilton Island

Family-friendly places to eat in Hamilton Island

Surrounded by sea and with a lush hinterland just a boat ride away, some of Queensland’s best fresh produce is guaranteed on Hamilton island. Enjoy fresh caught local seafood and luscious local fruits like mangos and pineapples to be served up at resorts and restaurants.

With a huge choice of dining at everything from laid-back, family-friendly cafés to waterside seafood specialists and award-winning high-end restaurants, you’ll find something on Hamilton to suit travellers of every budget and palate. 

Some Hamilton resorts and restaurants even offer deals where kids up to 12 can eat free when dining with a paying adult. Sails and the Pool Terrace Restaurant offer great kid’s menus and Tako serves up Mexican food with a Japanese and Korean twist in a kid-friendly atmosphere. If the kids are hankering for pizza and pasta, check out laid-back Manta Ray Cafe or the more upmarket Italian, Romano’s, on the waterfront.

Catseye Beach. Credit: Tourism & Events QLD

Things to do for free in Hamilton Island

  • Start your adventure by downloading the free Hamilton Island App, which will provide you with a live what’s-on’ guide with start-times and locations of the island’s many free daily activities. And be sure to do your research and take advantage of the stay and eat free packages for kids under 12. 
  • Spend a day splashing in the water or playing on pretty Catseye Beach, or snorkel the nearby fringing reef and explore the sand flats at low tide to see shells and hermit crabs.
  • Bushwalkers are spoiled for choice with a number of trails, including the popular Scenic Trail, many leading to quiet beaches. Hideaway Bay is one secluded beach that’s just a short hike from the Scenic Trail entrance, and provides an idyllic spot for a swim. Another trail not to be missed is one to the top of Passage Peak from Catseye Beach, where epic views await.
What’s on?

Annual events for families in Hamilton Island

June - Great Whitehaven Beach Run

Keen runners can take to the bone white sands of Whitehaven Beach for the Great Whitehaven Beach Run, a fun family event.

August - Audi Hamilton Island Race Week

Enjoy the spectacle of one of the world’s most famous annual yachting events.

November - Fujifilm Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim

This annual swim takes places in the waters off Whitehaven Beach with a 750-metre swim and a 2-kilometre swim for those aged 13 and over, as well as a 350-metre swim for kids aged five to 12.

Popular stories

Latest stories

Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get notified about new articles