Wondering where your next family holiday should be? Take a closer look at Hamilton Island. Nestled in the Whitsundays and surrounded by crystal blue waters, it has everything you need for a relaxing break. With Hamilton Island’s Baby’s First Holiday offer, the Island is even more family friendly than ever before, as NSM Founder Rachel Chappell discovered…
Babies come with a lot of stuff. So when it comes to going on holiday, deciding what you need to pack (and what you can do without) becomes a big decision. Every little item needs to be added to the suitcase, and the more items you have to juggle, the more logistics you need to consider.
Well thank goodness Hamilton Island has recognised how challenging it can be to pack to go on a holiday with a baby, and have created an amazing service which ensures that every little item you might need is ready when you arrive – meaning you don’t need pack it and you don’t need to ‘do without’ either!
Baby’s First Holiday Package
Hamilton Island has launched a Baby’s First Holiday offering, which allows you to pre-order baby products to be in room on and arrival and pretty much covers everything you could possibly need for taking baby on holiday – so all you need to worry about is packing their clothes!
Having had three babies over the years (my youngest is now a toddler), I’m all too familiar with the preparation and packing required before even leaving the house to go on holidays. So after booking our Hamilton Island holiday, I was looking forward to not going through that pre-holiday stress! We booked the Reef View Hotel, but Baby’s First Holiday offer is also available to families who stay at Palm Bungalow or Yacht Club Villas on Hamilton Island.
After making your reservation, you’re able to choose what items you’d like to have when you arrive. We booked a cot, jogger pram, highchair, change mat, nappy bucket, handheld vacuum, microwave with bowl and baby spoon. For younger babies, you can also book things like a baby bouncer, bumbo and baby bath. They’ve thought of everything! Even better, there is no additional cost to order these items, so you can freely order whatever you’ll need to make your time there more comfortable. Click here to see the list of By Request Items.
You can also pre-order Convenience Shopping Items – things like nappies, wipes, nappy rash cream and even rubber duckies for the bath! As mums, we all know a week’s worth of nappies and wipes can take up almost half a suitcase – so having them waiting for you in the room, means you still have room in your suitcase for a few pairs of shoes and your hair straightener!
Why Hamilton Island is the perfect family holiday destination
After spending four days on Hamilton Island, I got a real sense of what makes this Whitsunday destination so popular with both Australians and international tourists – and more personally, why it’s the perfect holiday destination for Sydney families.
1. It’s easy to get to!
Hamilton Island is just a 2.5 hour direct flight from Sydney and has its very own airport. One of the really unique (and cute!) features is that the airport is so small, there isn’t even a luggage carousel. All the suitcases come out on trailer and you just grab them direct. Even easier, it’s just a 5-minute shuttle bus to your hotel. You pretty much get off the plane and straight on a shuttle bus to your hotel. It’s super stress-free and easy!
2. Lots of accommodation options
Whether you’re after a hotel experience, a tucked away bungalow or a self-catering house, there’s something for everyone. We stayed at the Reef View Hotel in a huge Family Room made up of two interconnecting rooms – one room had a King Size bed, and the other room had two Queen size beds (and a cot). For a family of five, this was a very comfortable amount of space.
3. No cleaning!
One of the benefits of staying in a hotel rather than a self-catering apartment is that the room gets serviced daily! It’s such a delight to come back to your hotel room after a day out to freshly made beds, new towels and everything clean.
4. Variety of restaurants!
At the Reef View Hotel, a full buffet breakfast is included. For me, nothing quite says “holiday” like being able to browse from a smorgasbord of hot and cold breakfast options, over indulge, and leave the cleaning up to someone else. Such a treat!
There is a huge range of dining options on the island – from take-away (bakery, fish & chips, pizza) to family-friendly restaurants (five where kids eat free!) and more upmarket options – like the stunning Bommie Restaurant (more about that later!). The rooms at Reef View Hotel only have a small kitchen area with a kettle – so you literally couldn’t cook lunch or dinner even if you wanted to!
However, if you would like to be able to cook for yourself during your stay, the Hamilton Island Holiday Homes and Yacht Club Villas have full kitchen facilities and you can purchase your supplied from the General Store or IGA which is due to open later this year!
5. Kids stay and eat free!
There are lots of family-friendly restaurants on Hamilton Island, and many of them kids under 12 years old eat free! We had delicious meals at TAKO (Mexican), Manta Ray (gourmet pizzas) and Pool Terrace (modern Australian). Other restaurants that have this offer include Coca Chu (South-East Asian) and Sails (modern Australian)
6. Lots of fun family activities!
There is so much to do on Hamilton Island with kids! We spent lots of time in the various pools (you’re free to use any of the pools), enjoyed the Kids Fun Zone with bouncy castle, face painting and crafts, and also did a round of miniature golf one afternoon (which was the highlight of our 7-year-olds trip!). My 7-year-old also did a brilliant Art Class at The Art Gallery, run by local artist Trevor Platt. This was all we could manage during our stay, but there’s loads of other things on offer like Go-Kart racing, Quad Bikes for Kids, Bowling Alley, Snorkelling, windsurfing and lots of cruises around the Whitsundays (to name but a few).
7. Time for Mum
As much as I love spending time with my family, I also love having a bit of ‘me time’ to recharge the batteries. So during this trip, I made sure I booked in for a spa treatment at the highly recommended Spa wumurdaylin – a one-hour massage and facial was pure bliss and indulgence! The only negative that it was over so soon. Next time I’m booking more!
8. Time for Dad
To return the favour, it was only fair that hubby got a couple of hours to himself to do something ‘manly’. He chose to go Jet Skiing, and had an absolute ball. There are lots of other options for ‘man time’ on Hamo – fishing tours, golf, windsurfing, SUP and parasailing to name but a few!
9. Child-free time for us as a couple!
Before children, we went out for dinner at least once a week. Now, we’re lucky to go out as a couple twice a year! So on this holiday, we decided to book a babysitter and have a night out, just the two of us. We booked the babysitter through the hotel, so knew that she would be very experienced and accustomed to meeting new children. Plus, all Hamilton Island babysitters hold the Queensland Government’s Blue Card for working with children, and are carefully selected. When our babysitter arrived, our girls instantly warmed to her – so we left the hotel feeling like our precious bundles were in safe hands and would have a good night with her. Meanwhile, we had the most incredible 3-course meal at Bommie Restaurant – which is the Island’s signature fine dining restaurant located at the iconic Hamilton Island Yacht Club. It was honestly such a treat to leave the children at the hotel, happy, and to enjoy a rare night out as a couple. Next time, we’re making more of this amazing service and doing it more than just once!
10. The holiday vibe!
Hamilton Island is ONLY for holiday makers, so it has a very relaxed island vibe. Everyone on the island is either a holiday-maker, or services the holiday-maker. There are no cars on the island… everyone gets around on these cute little golf buggies (which are fitted with child restraints). Plus, the weather is beautiful all year around, ranging from 22°C in June and July to 31°C in January.
BOOK THE BABY’S FIRST HOLIDAY OFFER!
Book your next family holiday to Hamilton Island! If you’d like to find out more, click here.