Ok I admit the title of this post is total click-bait but now that your here. The paradise that I am referring to is non other than the spectacular Whitsunday Islands in Australia. I choose to stay in the luxourious Hamilton Island.

This post is going to be a one stop shop on everything Hamilton Island from getting there, making memories to leaving the island and coping with the holiday blues!

Getting There: As I was already in Sydney I flew to Hamilton Island via JetStar which was a breeze. Everything was made so easy for us, we had around a 2 hour flight. The great thing about Hamilton Island is that there is an airport on the island so you can fly direct. The views coming into the island were incredible, it literally was like something from a postcard. Jetstar has some great deals especially if you live in Australia and are interested in travelling to internal destinations.

Where to stay: Its safe to say Hamilton Island as some of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen. The hotels are spectacular to say the least. We stayed in the amazing Reef View Hotel, I could not recommend it more! No words would do this place justice, one of the main reasons I choose to stay here is that it had a Tourist Booking desk which was the main one for the island in our hotel. This made booking trips a lot easier for us. The island gets around in golf carts which you can rent across the road from the Reef View Hotel, which I recommend if you want to explore the island yourself. There is lots of accommodation options but another stand out hotel would be the Qualia resort which is a big fans of celebrities worldwide. I can see why the hotel and suites were beyond incredible!

The best spots for food & drink: As it is an Island there is a limit to the number of restaurants and bars available. That being said the variety was fantastic and we were never short of somewhere new to try. I’m going to recommend my top 5 places below:

  1. Tako: This is a Mexican restaurant in more tapas style but the food is mouthwatering good. The margaritas were also fantastic but I will not let that make me bias! The views are also lovely as a lot of the restaurants are on the marina so it nice to have a walk around after to take in the scenery.
  2. Marina Tavern: No booking is required for this place which is great. It has a relaxed atmosphere which is great as a lunch spot if you have kids.
  3. Romano’s This place is definitely a favourite on the island, a stunning Italian restaurant with waterfront views of the marina. I would definitely make a reservation for here.
  4. Bommie: This restaurant is located in the Yacht Club if you would like a night to dine in absolute luxury. The Yacht club is simply stunning.
  5. For Sunset drinks it has   to be One Tree Hill. This viewpoint gets the most spectacular view of the sunset across the island. There is a small bar on this viewpoint so grab a drink and enjoy. This was a big highlight for me for sure!

Tours that I would recommend: I’m that person who enjoys their spare time researching every inch of a destination and scouting the best tours possible. If your like me hopefully this part of the post will help you narrow down your search and see which tours suit you best! 

  1. Great Barrier Reef: There are endless tours for the Great Barrier Reef so I would research well for this one. As I have such a passion for Scuba Diving I choose a tour which was prominently diving. Diving in the Great Barrier Reef was such a dream moment for me, its been on my bucket list for as long as I could remember! I also went snorkeling as you can see more sea life higher up sometimes so I wanted to experience both.
  2. Whitehaven beach: This is another must, I love booking tours where im out all day on a catamaran soaking in my surroundings and being by the water. That’s my ideal day! I found a tour that did snorkeling on Chalkies Beach which is right around the corner from Whitehaven. The coral on Chalkies was great and we got to see some great sea life. A Turtle came swimming beside me and it was a moment I’ll never forget. Our tour included was a wine and dine option so at this point we had lunch and a few beers on the boat while we dried off. Then off to see Whitehaven beach! This was just like it is in the pictures pure white 100% silica sand that melted when you touched it and crystal blue water completely transparent.
  3. If you had some extra disposable money for tours I would recommend a helicopter ride to the Heart Reef. I didn’t have time to do this but it looks incredible so I thought it would be good here to include as an option.
  4. Hill Inlet: The infamous Hill Inlet is another must. The views of this is incredible and such a pinch me moment. The sand changes with the current depending on the season so no patterns are ever the same. It is such a unique experience!

Overall, Hamilton Island was a dream destination of mine and being there I couldn’t recommend it more! If you are heading to the Whitsundays islands and have any questions comment below as I would love to hear your thoughts 🙂 Read my guide to Sydney here.

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For as long as I can remember I dreamt about seeing Australia, the white beaches, endless sunshine and exotic animals. What isn’t there to love?!

Last October I travelled from Dublin to Australia for a month and I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life. I would of stayed longer if I could!

I’m going to do a couple of posts on Australia just so I can give you the full lowdown in a digestible way rather than one long post. This post is going to be how to choose what to do and see. If you have specific posts you would like to see comment below 🙂

Getting there: I was extremely lucky when booking these flights as we got a pretty good deal! The universe was on our side to say the least I’ve always wanted to see Sydney but worried that I wouldn’t be able to afford it. I found a flight deal on e-dreams for €1000 which entailed a stop over for 2 hours in Abu Dhabi with Etihad which was an easy process from beginning to end. Its so important to have a comfortable flight for this long of a journey so I would spend the money on an airline you want. Check out my in flight essentials post to make you comfortable for any long haul journey here. 

Where to stay: This was hard for me to decide did I want to stay in the incredible hustle and bustle of Sydney city or did I want to stay by the beach. Safe to say I chose the beach, I stayed in Bondi right beside the beachfront. I luckily found an amazing Airbnb for such a good price so definitely look around the area don’t be put off by the hotel prices! It is important to note that from Bondi to the city say the opera house is around an hour on the bus and about 35mins by train. However, the balance between beach and city was phenomenal, seeing the work life balance so level there.

The must see’s:

I’m going to break this into bullet points and link off to their websites. Thank me later!

  • Taronga zoo: this zoo is probably the most extravagant zoo I’ve ever been to in my life. I never really like going to zoos but this zoo is on its own island and the animals are cared for so well. You have to get a ferry from the opera house to it, then a cable car up the Mountain to the top of the zoo entrance. I got a tour from a zookeeper and it was such a memorable experience. If you have kids, this is a must.
  • Opera house:  The Opera House is an obvious but essential to do. People travel across the world including myself to see this incredible iconic building. I recommend going for drinks in the opera house bar underneath.
  • Watson bay boutique hotel:  This venue is a must. The Watson Bay is such a great location, there isn’t anything to like. Great food, great music and great views. I recommend coming here for some quick bites in their beach club and have a few cocktails while watching the sunset. Great Instagram Spot. Thank me for your new followers later.
  • Bondi beach: The infamous Bondi Beach- it’s worth the hype. There is lots to do cool restaurants, bars and cafes. There is also the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk   which I would highly recommend because it is a great way to see the other towns especially if you are restricted with time. There is also the Icebergs Club which is great to use their pool and they have a lovely restaurant to grab a lunch time snack.
  • The Rocks:  This was a highlight for me, personally. I thought it was so unique in terms of architecture as it was right beside the Opera House. There is lots of cool bars, restaurants, markets and boutiques.

Costings:

This aspect varies from person to person but for me I spent less that €1000 for a month which is good for my track record. There’s easy ways to cut costs, simply get an Airbnb which will allow you to eat meals there, get the bus /train over taxis, buy alcohol in the shop rather in restaurant and have drinks at home. Easy but effective ways to save costs.

I’m going to do some other posts around Australia but comment below any suggestions!

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