5 insider tips for exploring Hamilton Island's natural wonders Posted by Andrew Caitens - 11 July 2017 You’re on ‘island time’ now. You have permission to sleep in, lie on the beach, enjoy a cocktail and soak up some sun. You’re also in the middle of a World Heritage listed natural wonder so, as you can probably imagine, it’s pretty beautiful around here. Living on Hamilton Island has given my partner and I the ability to explore and capture moments in some of the lesser-known corners of this gorgeous island. There’s nothing we love more than getting out into nature, leaving the modern world behind and becoming absorbed in the unique adventures our island home has to offer. LACE UP THOSE HIKING SHOES – Passage Peak Hamilton Island’s flagship vista has got to be Passage Peak – a rocky outcrop which looks down into the island’s bushland and out across the sea to the Lindeman Group of islands. At any time of day this lookout will produce the goods, but if you’re feeling keen and a little inspired, the peak is in the perfect place to watch a sunrise. Watching sunrise at Passage Peak. Photo by Andrew Caitens. Whether or not you want to set that early alarm, the effort of bouncing up all those stairs is completely worth it no matter the time of day that you go. Endless blue looking out over Whitsundays from Passage Peak. Photo by Andrew Caitens. This is one of my favourite ways to spend down time on the island. It’s a beautiful way to get out into nature and enjoy some together time, away from the distractions of modern life (although the summit does have strangely good phone coverage). DISCOVER THE HIDDEN GEMS OF HAMILTON ISLAND- Beaches If you’ve travelled to Hamilton Island, chances are you’re familiar with the ridiculously gorgeous beaches we are so lucky to have in our backyard. Off to find the hidden treasures of Hamilton Island. Photo by Andrew Caitens. Catseye Beach is the most well-known strip of sand on the island. It’s extremely accessible from the main resort, and offers plenty of activities and fun for the family. If, however, you’re more inclined to hit the trails again, there are a few more hidden gems worth walking for. Coral Cove: is where to go when you’re looking for your own private oasis. Each time we’ve made the trek to the Cove; there has been nary a soul in sight. After a 20 minute walk from the Palm Valley trailhead you’ll be greeted by warm turquoise waters and a secluded stretch of sand screaming for you to lay down your towels. You, me and the sea at Coral Cove. Photo by Andrew Caitens. Escape Beach: another secluded slice of paradise. Warm up your legs for this one, it’s more than twice the length of the Coral Cove walk – but that just means you’re even more likely to have the place to yourselves. Whoever named this scenic site knew exactly what people would come here looking for. Get relaxing and unplug from the world. The reward at the end of the hike is the secluded beach. Photo by Andrew Caitens. South East Head: probably the place furthest away from any form of civilization on the island. Here is where you really start to feel alone. On approach to the coast, trees are replaced with low-lying bushes and breathtaking views of the Lindeman Group. The colour of the water here is what really steals the spotlight. Taking it slow and enjoying the views. Photo by Andrew Caitens. There are many kilometres of trails winding their way around the island and each destination is stunning in its own right. Putting in a bit of effort to get to these hidden gems makes the views just that much sweeter! GET WET – Snorkelling and Scuba Diving Possibly the biggest drawcard of the Whitsundays is the opportunity and privilege to dive in the world’s largest coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef. Fortunately, Hamilton Island is located right in the middle of it. There are many options on offer depending on what sort of encounter you seek. Charters and tours to the Great Barrier Reef are available from Hamilton Island for those wanting to get the full dive/snorkel experience. However, if you just want to sample snorkelling you can stay close to Hamilton Island and explore the fringing reefs straight off Catseye Beach. As an added bonus turtles can be spotted straight off Hamilton Island, as they love to hang out around the salty shallows of Catseye. Exploring the natural world is one of our favourite and most rewarding things to do. Exploring the underwater world of the Whitsundays. Photo by Andrew Caitens. STAY UP LATE – Stargazing on the Island Being located on an offshore island has some serious advantages. The air is clean, the seafood is fresh and the people friendly. One thing that’s often overlooked though is the stunning night sky. Take away the man-made light pollution, all too familiar in larger cities and towns, and Hamilton Island’s celestial roof becomes littered with bright stars. The Milky Way lighting up the night's sky. Photo by Andrew Caitens. We’ve spent hours up at One Tree Hill taking photos and staring into the Milky Way. It’s a beautiful spot to sit and unwind after a “hard day” of drinking cocktails by the pool. Pro Tip: There are dozens of free smartphone apps which provide real-time information on the stars, planets and constellations visible in the night sky. It’s a fascinating way to understand more of what you’re looking at. CHASE THE LIGHT – Island Sunsets If you’re feeling the need to break up all the blue hues on your Insta-feed, it might just be time to snap a sunset. Although the afternoon light can be enjoyed from numerous vantage points around the island nowhere beats the outlook and convenience of One Tree Hill. With a panoramic viewpoint stretching over the passage to Dent Island, One Tree Hill is the perfect place to throw down your picnic rug, enjoy the sunset and maybe even another cheeky cocktail. Getting ready for the sunset to put on a show. Photo by Andrew Caitens. So when packing your suitcase for your Hamilton Island holiday make sure you throw in some walking shoes, a swimsuit, a camera and a sense of adventure! Useful links to help you with these experiences: Bushwalking Great Barrier Reef One Tree Hill About the Author Hailing from Brisbane, Andrew has taken his love of the great outdoors and turned this passion in to a budding photographic career, capturing adventure and landscape photography across the globe. Seeking out unique wildlife and scenery is all part of the fun for Andrew and his portfolio ranges from images shot on the snowy peaks of Canada to the tropical depths of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Most recently, he finds himself on Hamilton Island, where he and his partner have set up camp during an extended stay, as they make their way around Australia.