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Hamilton Island with a Toddler?


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#1 dreamweaver80

Posted 24 May 2019 - 12:00 PM

Hi,

Per the title, has anyone done this and had success/regrets? Or any advice?

We're looking to go in August for maybe 4 or 5 nights and our son will be 18 months then. I feel he is probably too young for some of the cruising options around the islands even though we'd love to do that. Is there enough to do on the island itself that would be manageable with a child that age? Or maybe someone knows of sailing/cruising companies that could accommodate young children?

Or is there better options around the Whitsundays, ie Airlie Beach or ? I've been wanting to visit the area since moving to Australia 8 years ago and never made it there. I know going with a toddler isn't ideal but we plan on moving back to Europe at the end of 2020 and, with baby #2 arriving at the beginning of November, this may be our last chance!

TIA for any suggestions!

#2 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 24 May 2019 - 12:09 PM

we went with my older son when he was a toddler - but that was around 10 years ago now.

we liked it...he mainly hung out in the pool - we didn’t do any snorkelling  or cruising. all the restaurants were fine with toddlers - had high chairs and kids menus.

there is a kids club from memory - but it was moot for us as ds refused to go to anything like that.

one thing though - you get around the island in golf buggies and i cannot recall how that worked with a toddler....i can’t remember installing a car seat into the buggy, but i feel we must have?


#3 MarciaB

Posted 24 May 2019 - 12:28 PM

View PostLucrezia Borgia, on 24 May 2019 - 12:09 PM, said:

we went with my older son when he was a toddler - but that was around 10 years ago now.

we liked it...he mainly hung out in the pool - we didn’t do any snorkelling  or cruising. all the restaurants were fine with toddlers - had high chairs and kids menus.

there is a kids club from memory - but it was moot for us as ds refused to go to anything like that.

one thing though - you get around the island in golf buggies and i cannot recall how that worked with a toddler....i can’t remember installing a car seat into the buggy, but i feel we must have?

We just went recently and there were heaps of car seats in the buggies (it may now be a rule?).  Seatbelts definitely are a rule now.

#4 Drat

Posted 24 May 2019 - 12:30 PM

We went with our 1 year old. It was great. We didn't do any excursions or anything, just spent plenty of time at the beach/pool and walking around. You get a pram and if you hire a buggy they fit it with a carseat (do it, it's fun!).

I want to go back with both kids now.

#5 Living Type

Posted 24 May 2019 - 12:41 PM

I’ve done it recently with a two year old and a seven year old, it was great. We stayed in a ground floor apartment, that opened up to a lovely grass play area. Mornings were generally spent  by the pool or the beach, home for lunch and nap time and then back to the pool or beach for the afternoon. Dinner out a couple of nights and we did a half day trip to white haven beach which was fun. We also had breakfast at the zoo with the koalas which was a highlight for my seven year old. It was a very expensive holiday though and there isn’t much to do with toddler except pool/beach. We hired a little boat too one morning and took it around the island too which was fun. Have you considered somewhere like Port Douglas? My favorite place, and a bit more to do for families?

#6 dreamweaver80

Posted 24 May 2019 - 02:22 PM

View PostLiving Type, on 24 May 2019 - 12:41 PM, said:

I’ve done it recently with a two year old and a seven year old, it was great. We stayed in a ground floor apartment, that opened up to a lovely grass play area. Mornings were generally spent  by the pool or the beach, home for lunch and nap time and then back to the pool or beach for the afternoon. Dinner out a couple of nights and we did a half day trip to white haven beach which was fun. We also had breakfast at the zoo with the koalas which was a highlight for my seven year old. It was a very expensive holiday though and there isn’t much to do with toddler except pool/beach. We hired a little boat too one morning and took it around the island too which was fun. Have you considered somewhere like Port Douglas? My favorite place, and a bit more to do for families?

I've been to Port Douglas before, I liked it but we had a car and pretty much left the actual town every day. And my favourite bits I couldn't really do again with a toddler (diving, kayaking, hiking). Plus..the crocodiles that sometimes go in the sea! For someone who loves the beach AND is insanely fearful of crocodiles, that realisation nearly ruined my trip. It may be irrational but that's the main reason I've never returned there!
I'm glad to hear you were able to get to Whitehaven Beach, I'm guessing you took the 2 year old on a boat with no problem? We'll be happy with the beach most days as our son loves the water as much as we do and it doesn't take much to entertain him at this age. It would be nice (for us mainly) to  have one day or two where we explore further and just trying to guage whether we will be able to do with such a young child. I also know it's an expensive place but we plan on getting an apartment so we can prepare most of our food and limit meals out. Knowing we won't be able to do many of the tours offered, I can't envision too many other expenses. I'll be 6 months pregnant anyway by that time and if this pregnancy is anything like my last, I'll be quite happy just to keep things slow and relaxing :)

#7 dreamweaver80

Posted 24 May 2019 - 02:28 PM

View PostDrat, on 24 May 2019 - 12:30 PM, said:

We went with our 1 year old. It was great. We didn't do any excursions or anything, just spent plenty of time at the beach/pool and walking around. You get a pram and if you hire a buggy they fit it with a carseat (do it, it's fun!).

I want to go back with both kids now.


Thank you!

I'm glad to hear it's easy to get around and the buggies look so fun! Nothing makes our son happier than just walking in new places so he'll be easy to please :)

#8 StartledFlamingo

Posted 24 May 2019 - 08:48 PM

It's very steep, so although things aren't far for walking it takes effort!

I had a holiday there last year with female friends no kids. With a toddler all you'd be doing is paying inflated prices to hang out by a pool/ small beach. A nice pool, but that's it.

For the price, go to Bali or Thailand.

#9 NeedSleepNow

Posted 24 May 2019 - 08:55 PM

Hamilton Island is one of my favourite destinations with young children! The clownfish club is great, and there are high quality babysitters. That helped us enjoy a bit of time out to recharge. If you stay in one of the Hamilton Island branded homes you also get free water sports, a free buggy, and kids eat free. There is a supermarket on the island, which helps with catering. The kids loved the pools, the beach at both high and low tide, and getting to see turtles when we took them on the kayak or catermaran

I found airfares there cheap, and it was definitely a less expensive holiday for us than Fiji. The accomodation was the main pricey bit.

#10 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 24 May 2019 - 08:59 PM

the island itself is stunning OP - it’s really quite beautiful - set in these lush tropical gardens with that perfect acqua water. from memory (as i wrote in my PP - this was 10 yrs ago) they do these sunset cocktails at a lookout - does anyone who has been recently know if that still happens? the view is amazing - it’s a beautiful part of the world.


#11 dreamweaver80

Posted 24 May 2019 - 09:20 PM

View PostStartledFlamingo, on 24 May 2019 - 08:48 PM, said:

It's very steep, so although things aren't far for walking it takes effort!

I had a holiday there last year with female friends no kids. With a toddler all you'd be doing is paying inflated prices to hang out by a pool/ small beach. A nice pool, but that's it.

For the price, go to Bali or Thailand.

I've been to Bali, didn't particularly love it and probably wouldn't go back. I love Thailand as we've stopped there a couple of times on the way back from Europe but can't justify that long of a journey for only a 4 night stay. Plus if anything goes wrong in my pregnancy, I'd rather not be in either of those countries seeking medical treatment.

#12 dreamweaver80

Posted 24 May 2019 - 09:25 PM

View PostLucrezia Borgia, on 24 May 2019 - 08:59 PM, said:

the island itself is stunning OP - it’s really quite beautiful - set in these lush tropical gardens with that perfect acqua water. from memory (as i wrote in my PP - this was 10 yrs ago) they do these sunset cocktails at a lookout - does anyone who has been recently know if that still happens? the view is amazing - it’s a beautiful part of the world.

I've seen the sunset lookout you mentioned, will definitely be checking that out!

But the main draw is really the stunning natural beauty. I partially made the decision to move to Australia after reading a travel article on Whitehaven Beach and the Whitsundays. It looks like the absolute definition of paradise to me!

#13 PrincessPeach

Posted 24 May 2019 - 09:29 PM

If you stay in a holiday house I'm sure it's coles in Airlie Beach do deliver food (if not, it's woolworths), so you can online shop at more economical prices.

Although staying on the mainland in Airlie beach itself is just as nice, there is a lovely lagoon on the foreshore for swimming, more choices of self contained apartments & you can still do the cruise out to Whitehaven beach (it really is gorgeous).

#14 dreamweaver80

Posted 24 May 2019 - 09:37 PM

View PostNeedSleepNow, on 24 May 2019 - 08:55 PM, said:

Hamilton Island is one of my favourite destinations with young children! The clownfish club is great, and there are high quality babysitters. That helped us enjoy a bit of time out to recharge. If you stay in one of the Hamilton Island branded homes you also get free water sports, a free buggy, and kids eat free. There is a supermarket on the island, which helps with catering. The kids loved the pools, the beach at both high and low tide, and getting to see turtles when we took them on the kayak or catermaran

I found airfares there cheap, and it was definitely a less expensive holiday for us than Fiji. The accomodation was the main pricey bit.

Thank you!

Do you happen to know what the Hamilton branded homes are? I've been looking at Reef View Hotel and Whitsunday apartments, which offer the free water sports. Not bothered about the kids eating free bit, mine's happy with Weetbix and fruit and whatever we're eating! Good to know about the kid's club, we might be able to sneak away for a few hours on our own one of the days.

We went to Fiji a couple of years ago when I was expecting my first. Loved it but the cost was easily twice what I've priced out for Hamilton Island and I feel like it's a very similar holiday...island, nice resort, expensive food. It will be nice to see someplace new.

#15 dreamweaver80

Posted 24 May 2019 - 09:43 PM

View PostPrincessPeach, on 24 May 2019 - 09:29 PM, said:

If you stay in a holiday house I'm sure it's coles in Airlie Beach do deliver food (if not, it's woolworths), so you can online shop at more economical prices.

Although staying on the mainland in Airlie beach itself is just as nice, there is a lovely lagoon on the foreshore for swimming, more choices of self contained apartments & you can still do the cruise out to Whitehaven beach (it really is gorgeous).

I had looked at Airlie Beach but would we need a car then? All the self-catering properties mentioned the main street being a drive away. I then looked at the cruise options and couldn't figure out if they allowed children as young as ours. Perhaps more research is needed but I'm not going to rush off and book anything just yet as I've only started seriously looking today!

#16 NeedSleepNow

Posted 24 May 2019 - 10:42 PM

View Postdreamweaver80, on 24 May 2019 - 09:37 PM, said:



Thank you!

Do you happen to know what the Hamilton branded homes are? I've been looking at Reef View Hotel and Whitsunday apartments, which offer the free water sports. Not bothered about the kids eating free bit, mine's happy with Weetbix and fruit and whatever we're eating! Good to know about the kid's club, we might be able to sneak away for a few hours on our own one of the days.

We went to Fiji a couple of years ago when I was expecting my first. Loved it but the cost was easily twice what I've priced out for Hamilton Island and I feel like it's a very similar holiday...island, nice resort, expensive food. It will be nice to see someplace new.

I think just google Hamilton Island holiday homes. If you want a buggy then it’s often worth booking somewhere with one included as they are expensive to book separately. That said, the shuttle around the island is pretty great. We have too many people for a buggy now, so have to use the bus as well!

#17 *Melstar*

Posted 25 May 2019 - 07:44 AM

We did Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach when youngest was 2.5. Flew on and off Hamilton, ferried in and out of Airlie.

Hamilton Island nearly killed us. Such a shame because it is a beautiful spot. I think it was just our kid though, reading the other responses! We stayed at the Reef View and the room sizes were great for a lengthy stay (not too small).

We stayed in Airlie in an apartment down the lagoon end. Did three nights. Didn't need a car. Easy walk down main street.

Be prepared that both places might still be not as lush as they should be - they are still recovering from the cyclone. Hamilton Island gardens etc are perfection, but the trees on the hills were stripped during the cyclone. Daydream Island only just reopened.

After that holiday we said it was off to the coast for us for the next few years, until kids were older and we could relax a bit more (us supervise swimming from outside the pool, kids able to amuse selves a bit more).

#18 StartledFlamingo

Posted 25 May 2019 - 07:57 AM

Cocktails still happen at the top of the island.

Coles doesn't deliver to the Island anymore bit the IGA is reasonably big.

#19 Chchgirl

Posted 25 May 2019 - 10:18 AM

I love Hamilton island, it's one of my favourite destinations and I prefer it to Fiji. When I worked in travel it was a very popular destination.

I haven't been with toddlers but went with teenagers, am going back again next year. We stay at reef view hotel, we go at ,least every two years. I would have gone again this year but an overseas move trumped that.

Plenty of families, if you stay at Reef view four nights you get buffet breakfast included, last time I was there it was about $35 per adult. It's the best brekky I've had anywhere.

You can use most pools on fhe island except the Beach club, across from reef view, that's an over 18 only hotel.

I would hire a buggy and yes they have car seats. I have only had a buggy once as I am a walker and prefer walking down to the marina but the buggy would be great with a child.

There's a cute little wildlife park just up from the hotel , once you pay you get unlimited entry. My kids still love it and they're 18 and 20!

It's worth checking out if there are any deals at the moment.

#20 3rd time lucky

Posted 29 May 2019 - 05:43 PM

Hi!
In my opinion Hamilton Island is perfect with a toddler.

I recommend booking a private rental, as then you get the buggy included. They are so fun and easy to get around in.
Plus, with an apartment you can do your own cooking, plus have separate space for when your toddler is asleep or napping.

What we like about it is the ease of getting around. If you hed to the beach and your kid is bored after 2 hours, just head home - it’s a 2 minute buggy ride! Then when they’re ready to go out again, 2 min buggy ride to your choice of pool!

We put ours in the kids club but just for 2 x half day sessions. So it didn’t feel like too long for them, but gave us a couple of hours to relax / eat in peace.

We did a speedboat trip to Whitehaven - so nice and quick and easy for young kids (just half day from memory). So again, if your kid got bored, it’s not as if you have to entertain them for the whole day!!

Good luck!

I’m jealous ... we are doing Fiji this year (first overseas trip)... we were torn between going back to Hamilton island as we know we’ll love it, or trying somewhere new!

#21 Jersey Caramel

Posted 29 May 2019 - 09:47 PM

I can't comment on Hamilton Island, but have traveled a lot with our kids since they were babies.  When our kids were that age,  we would generally take turns giving each other a day or half-day off toddler duty to do non-toddler-friendly activities.  My DH scuba dives, so he would generally head out on a dive trip if we were somewhere coastal. I like to sightsee/wander, go to a gallery/museum, or just find a nice spot to relax with a book. It's not quite as fun as doing things together,  but it did cut down the frustration of being in an awesome place and not being able to do the things that really interested us.




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