Protecting the magic Environmental responsibility

Hamilton Island is located in one of the world’s most pristine and remarkable natural settings.

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Environmental responsibility 

Hamilton Island is located in the heart of the Whitsundays and surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park - the largest marine protected area in the world, and a world heritage area.  

A few things you might not know about Hamilton Island’s environment:

  • As well as being surrounded by spectacular waterways, the island also boasts some incredible natural bushland. In fact, there are over a dozen walking trails that weave around the island (open 6.30am until 5.30pm).
  • Below the high tide mark, Hamilton Island is surrounded by fringing coral reef and mangrove communities and is home to plentiful marine life. The area is often visited by turtles, and between July and September, humpback whales and their calves are often spotted.
  • Only a third of the island is developed, and the rest remains preserved as natural bushland - home to an array of beautiful flora and fauna including gumtrees, paperbarks, palms, pines and ancient cycads.
  • Three types of eucalyptus grow naturally on Hamilton Island and the koalas at WILD LIFE Hamilton Island live off these leaves.
  • The island is home to a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and butterflies – many of which have adapted well to living around the resort.

Protecting the environment

As the largest inhabited island of the Whitsunday Islands, located at the gateway to the world heritage listed, Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island is committed to ensuring the destination is continually reducing our impact on the environment.

Hamilton Island Enterprises has several important environmental measures in place, and we’re continually looking for ways to improve these initiatives and reduce our impact on our natural surroundings. These include:

Sewerage treatment facilities

Hamilton Island prides itself on having state of the art sewerage treatment facilities that have been upgraded to cope with growing demand. We have a dedicated team of skilled staff working full time at the plant to ensure that the day to day operations run smoothly.
This sewerage treatment plant takes in on average 1,000,000 litres of Influent (Raw Sewerage) every single day! The solid and liquid waste is then treated through this tertiary treatment plant producing ‘A’ class treated effluent. Over 95% of this is re-used for irrigation on the islands many gardens and parks.

Self-managed recycling program

Hamilton Island has a cutting edge, self-managed recycling program and facilities, the only fully operational recycling centre in the Whitsundays region. 
Working in conjunction with the National Packaging Covenant we have recently expanded our baling facility and installed a mini MRF, essentially a large conveyor belt sorting system.
Cardboard, plastic, paper, aluminium cans and steel cans are compacted and sold along with scrap steel, aluminium and copper on the mainland. Clay-based building products are used as landfill at the Hamilton Island quarry. Green waste and timber are ground to produce mulch, reducing the need for additional soil conditioning products to be delivered to the island.
Glass is crushed on the island and is then used by the gardening department on garden beds and for drainage projects.
Hamilton Island constantly aims to reduce and minimise contamination in recycled bins, to reduce waste taken to landfill, to keep our waterways around Hamilton Island clean and to be environmental responsibility while operating and holidaying in the marine park.

Environmentally friendly island developments + living

Many island developments are visually appealing and preserve the natural scenic qualities of the surrounding reef, islands and world heritage area. qualia has been built to harmoniously blend into the natural environment. Extensive use of natural light and cross ventilation have been central to design themes, the gardens have been carefully designed using predominantly indigenous species with garden waste being mulched and recycled to ensure water use is kept to a minimum.
Power-tags in rooms shut off electricity supply when guests leave their rooms to assist in saving energy. Where possible, energy efficient lighting is used to reduce power consumption
Many buildings, such as the boutique hotel Beach Club, have been designed with ceiling fans to maximise the cooling effects of island breezes rather than rely solely on air conditioning, while the style of the building and sheltered porches retain heat in the winter months.


A major benefit and attraction to living on Hamilton Island is its large variety of native wild animals and birds. Hamilton Island recognises them as a precious resource which must be conserved and takes on this responsibility very seriously.
Hamilton Island staff members are well educated on the impact of hand feeding native animals and birds. We build special purpose bin enclosures to ensure that rubbish is not accessible to any wildlife and we pride ourselves on keeping the island clean and free of litter. We participate in events such as clean up Australia Day. Staff clear tables and dining areas quickly at all times to ensure that the temptation for birds to swoop in and feed is removed.
Guests are also educated upon their arrival to island about the impact of feeding the wildlife and reminded during their stay via the various signage placed around the island. 

What can you do to help Hamilton Island’s Environment?

During your stay on Hamilton Island we encourage you to make a conscious effort in helping us protect the magic of the Whitsundays. With your help, we can preserve the natural beauty of the Whitsundays, so future generations can enjoy it just as we do.