October 2016: Hamilton Island Part 1

So my dream came true and we flew out to Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays to spend a week getting some sun, catching up with our friend, Andrew and his kids, and taking in all the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef.

^^ Travelling with kids is so much easier now that they're older. And technology keeps them so busy!! :/ Haha.

We flew via Brisbane:

... and landed at this cute little airport on Hamilton Island a few hours later...

... and then headed straight to the apartment we'd rented for our stay. This was the view from our balcony that evening. Those cockatoos are Hamilton Island's version of the common pigeon and were frequent visitors to our balcony (or any place there was food, really).

I love that we got to have a family holiday together, spending precious time with each other in that beautiful, relaxed environment. It really was special and so good for everyone. Just look at this cute sibling love:

And here's the part in this post where I bombard you with photos of island sunsets because wow, the sunsets in this place were truly sensational!

I mean. Hamilton Island is just the cutest island! Besides its small airport and gorgeous sunsets, it also has a big marina where all the boats are moored, a few hotels, apartments, a shopping strip, quite a few lovely hikes, lots of restaurants and bars, a beautiful beach, many activities and water sports to enjoy, and lovely warm weather! And oh, it's a boat trip away from the Great Barrier Reef!

We hired a golf buggy during our stay there. (That's the main mode of transport on the island.) And we used that thing on our morning coffee runs, to get us to brunch/lunch and dinner, to take us for sundowners up the hill when it was too steep for us lazies to walk, to get us to the beach with all our kit and to carry our groceries home from the store. Loved that little cart!

Buggy selfie with Andrew's daughter, after a day at the beach:

That buggy got us all around that island, exploring every beautiful spot:

This is the view from One Tree Hill, an awesome little bar that had the most interesting and delicious cocktails:

This one was a coffee cocktail: I had to try one of those because you know how much I love coffee!

And here's my cute family up at One Tree Hill, enjoying those views and each other:

These two boys had great fun reconnecting again. (Jack lives in Australia.) They have a crazy friendship that sees them getting together in various gorgeous places around the world! Just recently they've had holidays together in Noosa and now Hamilton Island. Tough lives, you lucky guys!

And here are the parents in a rare photo:

One day at lunch we laughed so hard - the cockatoos descended on us, literally (they live for chips, apparently) and it was all a bit crazy, really:

Those cockatoos not only left remnants of chips all over Jess's hair, but some pretty mean scratches too!

I even got a couple of little videos of their shenanigans:

(I took these little snippets over on Snapchat. Love that little app.)

On one of the days that we were on Hamilton Island, we went out on a full day boat trip. There are so many options for things to do around Hamilton Island, but in the end we decided that we wanted to see Whitehaven Beach and do a spot of snorkelling on our first trip out. It was a fantastic cruise on a huge catamaran which stopped at Chalkies Beach where we did our first stint of snorkelling before heading off to Whitehaven Beach. It was the perfect day out.

Morning tea on the cat:

So we dropped anchor off Chalkies Beach and did some snorkelling out on the reef there after our morning tea on the boat. And wow, I saw some of the most beautiful coral out here that day. This is also where I saw two turtles, two big parrot fish and lots and lots of other, smaller fish.

I could have spent longer at this gorgeous spot on such a beautiful day, but our next stop was Whitehaven Beach - a real gem and highlight in the Whitsundays.

When we got to Whitehaven Beach, Luke swam ashore from the boat:

(Ooh, I'm just remembering how soft this sand is! Wow! It actually squeaks when you walk on it - so amazing!)

After taking in our beautiful surroundings, we hiked up the hill, through a wood full of BIG monitor lizards (😳) and were rewarded with another pretty view:

And then we relaxed, swam in that clear water, and enjoyed a few hours on that beautiful Whitehaven Beach. A good beach day is my best!

And after an amazing day out in the Whitsundays, we sailed back to Hamilton Island, sun-kissed and happy.

Okay, this post is getting rather long and photo heavy now, so I think I'll sign off here and be back tomorrow with Part two...

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