Family holiday fun on Hamilton Island Posted by Jason Ierace - 5 December 2017 When you’re a busy family of four, things are already considered pretty hectic with the juggle of daycare, school, fulltime work and general life. Imagine throwing in this year’s terrible flu season and not only are you exhausted from being pulled every direction, but you’re also left feeling completely drained and in need of a break. So, a mini-escape to Hamilton Island was just what the doctor ordered for Photographer Jason, wife Alice, 5-year-old daughter Noa and 2-year-old son Arlo. The kids loved swimming in the pool at Reef View Hotel. Photo by Jason Ierace. How did the kids find the travel to Hamilton Island from Sydney? Any tips? The travel time to Hamilton Island was perfect, just long enough to be able to get all the excitement of a flight, but short enough that you are landing just as the novelty is wearing off! Armed with sticker books and snacks, the kids loved it. There was an amazing view from the plane flying over the islands, and the fact that there were no long transfers once we arrived at the Island was priceless with small children! On Catseye Beach the kids took part in a Yoga class. Photo by Jason Ierace Where did you stay and what made it family-friendly? The Reef View Hotel. It’s brilliant as a family hotel. The view was absolutely incredible, every morning you had to pinch yourself waking up in such paradise! The size of the rooms are great, and it has everything a family needs. The highlight for the kids was definitely the glass lift and the amazing pool. Being able to walk down from your room and straight to the pool was fantastic, and so easy. The buffet breakfast was also great, and had something for everyone. Meeting the locals and getting up close. Photo by Jason Ierace. What were everyone’s highlights from the stay? There are so many highlights from our trip. The children still talk about it on a daily basis, so the memories will be with us forever. I think as a parent just the ease of it all was a huge factor in it being such a brilliant holiday. Nowhere is too far, and everything is so family friendly. You have so many pools to choose from, by the end of the trip they all had different names, noodle pool, beach pool, and cool pool (the Main Pool) was the favourite, having a swim up bar for slushies and bridges to swim under! I think hiring golf buggies was a close second favourite for everyone, and my daughter would also say getting your hair braided, as she still has them in to this day! I think people think that you have to travel further afield to experience a tropical island paradise, but Hamilton Island is so accessible, and absolutely beautiful. Pool time was a big hit with the kids during the holiday. Photo by Jason Ierace. What were the top things to do as a family? We took a half day trip to Whitehaven Beach with Cruise Whitsundays which was fantastic, such a beautiful beach and such a fun day out. Having breakfast with the koalas at WILD LIFE Hamilton Island was so special, the kids loved having their photo taken with them, then visiting the dingoes, giant crocodile and other creatures at the wildlife park afterwards was a great experience. Having indoor options like the bowling alley was good as an alternative activity, when the kids were all swam out, plus the kids entertainment in the evening was great to wear them out before bedtime! We especially loved the magician, who blew up so many animal balloons for the kids over our trip that we wanted to bring him back to Sydney with us! There was lots of fun to be had on Whitehaven Beach. Photo by Jason Ierace. Where did the family like to dine? The food was great on the island, and kids eating for free was a huge bonus. Personally, our favourite restaurant was Manta Ray for delicious pizzas and a great view of the marina. Definitely worth getting there early to get a good table. Takeaway was also great if the kids were playing up and it was easier to eat elsewhere. We tended to grab sandwiches from the bakery or pool snacks for lunch, which was a cheaper alternative to eating out all the time. Treats at the Marina Cafe were popular with the kids. Photo by Jason Ierace. You're a photographer - any tips on locations or times of day for getting great family photos on the island? I think one of my favourite times to get great photos is later in the afternoon. You get some great afternoon light around most places on the island. From the pools or at the lookouts (One Tree Hill) or from anywhere near the marina… the afternoons are awesome. Everyone loved the lookout at One Tree Hill. Photo by Jason Ierace. Any insider tips you learnt while on the island that came in handy? One of our favourite things to do was to drive the golf buggy up to One Tree Hill to watch the sunset. There is a great café and bar up there if you are after something lighter, but we learnt on the first night that the trick is to take your own dinner supplies up there, especially with hungry kids at that time of the evening!We took up wine and fish and chips for the perfect evening for everyone. It also helps to get there early to get a good spot. We tended to get snacks from the IGA, which was also handy for all of the essentials such as milk, which we stored in the hotel room mini bar fridge. The app was also brilliant to keep track on activity times for the kids, especially the face painting. Colouring in was a hit when dining out with the kids at coca chu. Photo by Jason Ierace. If friends were going to Hamilton Island what would be the must-do, must-eat and must-see things you’d tell them to do? I think that the great thing about Hamilton Island is that you can do as much or as little as you like. If you are after a nice chilled family holiday then just hanging by the pool is amazing, but I would say the trip to Whitehaven Beach was so fun and just so beautiful, hiring a golf buggy and exploring the island, and of course the delicious ice creams from the ice cream shop. Sunset at One Tree Hill was perfect with the kids. Photo by Jason Ierace. In three words how would you describe a holiday to Hamilton Island: Paradise, fun, easy! Family holiday to always remember. Photo by Jason Ierace. About the Author Jason’s passion for visual aesthetics has been brought to life thanks to a 25-year career in art direction and photography. Taking influences from years spent travelling and living in foreign cultures, he draws upon life experiences to capture that raw and honest, in-between moment to express the true character of his subjects. Jason continues to pursue his personal projects and explore the medium of photography while living on Sydney's northern beaches with his wife and 2 children. You can see more of his work on his instagram account.