top of page



Trip #1 

  • Hamilton Island - 5 Nights.



Things to do

  • You can book a snorkel tour through Explore's Sail and Snorkel that takes you to Chalkies Beach and Whitehaven Beach. There are beers, wine and cider onboard and you just run a tab all day which really takes the inconvenience out of having your wallet out all day.

  • Kayaking on Catseye Beach. This is totally free with your accommodation if you're staying at Reef View Hotel and gives you a whole other perspective of the island. There are of course limits on where you can go but it's quite special to kayak out and look back at the Island from that view.

  • Sunset drinks at One Tree Hill! This is a little bar/restaurant at the top of the island on One Tree Hill. It is the best vantage point for a beautiful sunset and you can enjoy a range of delicious cocktails. Or if you're wanting to save a bit of money, bring your own and enjoy it on the hill outside but just not at the bar!

  • Definitely check out trivia at Sail's Restaurant. This happens on a Tuesday and is a great way to get involved with some fun outside of sailing and swimming. Michael and I played with a couple we'd met on our snorkelling tour that day and we had so much fun. We won a participation prize which scored us a free game of mini golf at the Hamilton Island Sports Club.

  • See the island by golf cart! I would recommend hiring one for maybe a half day or a day to get a feel for if you'd like one for the whole week. It really depends what you want to do but Michael and I enjoyed walking around the whole week (The Island isn't that big). 

  • All Saints Chapel is definitely worth checking out. This place was totally not on our radar, we happened to stumble across it on our day on our golf buggy. It was hands down one of the most beautiful chapels I've seen. It's perched up on a hill and overlooks Catseye Beach and offers some really stunning views. At the time we were there the tree in the courtyard was full of butterflies and they were flying around us the entire time, it was really something special.

  • Having breakfast with the koalas at the Wildlife Cafe is a mustttt. You can literally dine within meters of them and it's the cutest thing ever. 

  • For a full list of activities, you can do head here.

Be mindful of


  • The usual dangers of swimming in the ocean - be aware of your surroundings and don't go swimming at dusk or dawn to lessen your risk of coming in contact with a shark.

  • Make sure you only opt to go snorkelling if you are a strong swimmer. While the instructors do their best to keep an eye on you, it's important for you to be able to handle the swimming conditions in the open water. 

  • The sun! Like any Aussie holiday destination, being outdoors means you're at risk of getting sunburnt. The last thing you want is to ruin your trip with sunburn so painful you have to stay in your hotel. 


Food & Drink

  • For a full list of the Restaurants on the island head here


The Positives

  • Hamilton Island is a one-stop 'flop and drop' for those travellers who love a relaxing holiday. There's so many restaurants, bars, cafes and options to swim and relax. 

  • With the island being so small, it's super easy to get around and explore without needing to worry about transport. The bus system is super easy or hiring a golf cart is even better. 

  • There is beauty as far as the eye can see on Hamilton Island. Anywhere you go, any direction you look - you will be impressed by Australia's natural beauty. 

  • For such a small island there is a heap of places to wine and dine. 

The Negatives 

  • You really need to stay on top of keeping your hotel doors and windows closed when you aren't home. The cockatoos are notorious for breaking into your room and stealing food (and in our case, pooping all over the room).

  • I found the tour out to Whitehaven Beach a little challenging in the heat/sun. There wasn't much shade there unless you were walking through the trees. Even still, it was very hot and hard to escape the sun and heat so just bare this in mind when heading over there (pack sunscreen and a hat!)

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

  • 5 nights we were there was the perfect amount of time for us. Any longer and I feel we may have run out of things to do, any shorter and we would've been wanting to come back for more!

  • Hamilton Island is a great destination for all travellers, particularly families and couples. 

  • October is a great time of year to travel to Hamilton Island where you can enjoy being outdoors without the intensity of the summer heat. 

Trip #2

  • North Stradbroke Island - 3 Nights.



Things to do

  • Take a picnic at South Gorge for sunset. It's one of the most beautiful places on the island to kick back and relax. It's a great spot to set up a picnic, play some games, have a few drinks and take some photos of the beautiful scenery. You might find at times you could be the only ones there! 

  • Have some gelato on the hill. There is a cool little gelato place (there's two of them actually) across the road from this beautiful little spot that overlooks the ocean and you can actually sit there with kangaroos and take it all in as they graze.

  • Get your walking shoes on for a stroll around North Gorge. This is the nicest walk all along the cliffs and ocean. I recommend going first thing in the morning when the path isn't too crowded and the morning light hitting the ocean is a sight to behold. It's a nice handmade foot path with occasional stairs rather than being on an incline. It is worth noting that it may not be pram or wheelchair friendly (unless you are prepared to lift the pram every set of steps then in which case it would be lovely).

  • Go for a swim in Brown Lake. This lake is... you guessed it, brown! But don't be deterred. It is brown from the tea trees and it makes some really beautiful shades of red and yellow the closer to the shore you are. We opted to swim here the day there was bluebottles in the beaches and I'm so glad we did! There's room to set up your umbrella on the sand and play some music and chill between swims. 

  • There's so much more to do at Straddie so I've made a link here for you to explore more.

Be mindful of


  • If you're someone who prefers autonomy over relying on buses or walking around on foot I'd recommend taking your car over. It'll give you more freedom to stop and start wherever and whenever. It'll also be easier to pick up supplies from the grocery store as well. 

  • If you're not so much a crowds person, consider heading to Straddie during the week. We were there from Thursday to Sunday and noticed a significant change in the amount of people on the island once it hit the weekend. Don't get me wrong I do think it's good to be there on the weekend as well for the social aspect, but if you want some nice private moments it might be worth considering coming a day or two just before the weekend crowds arrive.

  • If you get car sick or sea sick I would advise going up to the top of the ferry when it's taking you to or from the island. A lot of people stay in their cars but I much preferred the views from up top!

  • It's common sense I know, but WEAR SUNSCREEN. Someone warned me to do the same and I thought to myself that I'd be fine. Sure enough, I was having so much fun I got complacent and burnt my poor skin. We all know sunburn sucks and it is not a guest we want to invite on our holiday so just be proactive and wear sunscreen.

  • If you're wanting to have some home cooked meals or snacks while you're there, I'd recommend bringing your groceries with you from the mainland. The grocery stores have a limited range and are quite expensive.

Food & Drink


  • In my opinion there wasn't a huge range of food options. You've got a couple of bakeries (which have pretty much the exact same food), a few cafes, a gelato place and a couple of smaller restaurants. Due to the pandemic (I can only assume) a lot of places weren't actually open when we were there which was in February 2021. I really struggled to find somewhere I could get a fresh juice on our morning walk which I was surprised by considering the location.

  • You can get some awesome hot chips from Fins N Fries

  • You can enjoy some stunning views and lunch at Manta Ray Bistro which overlooks the water. I'd recommend booking as it can get pretty busy!


The Positives

  • There's rugged beauty as far as the eye can see, everywhere you turn on Straddie. It doesn't matter where you're accommodation is you can almost guarantee you'll be situated somewhere beautiful. 

  • There a lot of great camping spots that include glamping and private rooms/units if you'd prefer. 

  • The beaches are absolutely stunning and the landscape is true blue Aussie. 

The Negatives 

  • Just the lack of food and drink options at the time, however I recognise this was during a difficult time (Covid) so could very well be different now. 

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

  • Straddie is a great destination to visit with friends, your partner or your family. There's so much beauty and beach you can keep yourself and your guests pretty happy no matter what!

  • Like any popular destination, it gets very busy over peak periods like school holidays, Easter and Christmas - so if you can try travel outside of these periods you may get lucky with a quieter stay if that's what you're after.

bottom of page