Hamilton Island Family Food Diary Posted by Riley Carter - 18 June 2015 We know how important food and wine is when it comes to holidaying, but what you might not realise is how many dining options there are on Hamilton Island. We sent our good friend of the island Riley Carter up to visit with her family, on a mission to find out about the different dining options that are available for families. Here’s her suggested family food diary, to help you plan your next family escape to Hamilton Island. Day 1 After touching down on Hamilton Island following a quick and easy flight up from Sydney, we checked it and headed straight to Catseye Beach. The Queensland sun was shining and it was wonderful to see the big, bright smiles on the kids’ faces. Everyone had worked up such an appetite, and we were craving fish and chips, we always feel like fish and chips when we are by the sea. Hubby took the kids in the buggy to Popeye’s before returning back to the perfect picnic spot on Catseye Beach under the palm trees. The chips were so hot and crunchy and the fish was delicious, golden, just how fish and chips should be! In the early evening we decided to walk along the beach for a South-East-Asian inspired dinner at coca chu. It was such a fun and upbeat restaurant; lively and full of energy. So many great options on the menu we couldn't choose! We decided to order a whole bunch of them and share, which is exactly what coca chu encourage! We ordered the ‘make your own’ fresh BBQ duck spring rolls, grilled lime-cured rib eye with fresh Thai basil, eschalot and peanuts, salt and pepper fried chicken with cucumber and pickled garlic relish and some roti bread. coca chu had our big thumbs up too for the healthy kids meal - honey soy chicken drumettes with steamed jasmine rice, Asian slaw and a cucumber spear – yum! Juice or soft drink and ice cream with their choice of topping, the kids were in heaven. Everything we ordered tasted so fresh and punched such flavour. It all tasted so authentic and really fuelled the hunger after such an energetic and fun day on the beach. coca chu has shared dining and special kids meals perfected. Day 2 After a fantastic start to the holiday yesterday, it was time to make our first breakfast decision. The buffet breakfast at the Reef View Hotel is open from 6am, which suited our early risers perfectly. Breakfast was served next to the pool; a perfect, relaxing way to spend the morning. The kids’ eyes lit up as soon as they saw the pikelets, stacked up high, they couldn’t wait to drizzle the zingy berry compote all over them. Somehow they still managed to fit in a few chocolate pastries too (I must admit, so did we!). We were excited about the chefs ‘cook to order’ omelette station, which was quick and easy to order with a healthy range of fresh produce to select from. The freshly squeezed orange juice at the juice station was a favourite for our family, too. Pikelets and chocolate pastries, plus freshly squeezed orange juice at Pool. The kids and I then headed for the beach while Hubby had the morning off to play a round of golf over at the 18-hole championship Hamilton Island Golf Club on Dent Island. He was so impressed with his stroke he rewarded himself at the end with a nice cold beer and lunch at the Clubhouse. Nothing beats a cold beer and burger on a sunny day! He had the Clubhouse Burger; with beef pattie, bacon, tomato relish, pickled cucumber, cheddar cheese, cos lettuce, all served in a house made bun with thick cut fries! The Golf Club Clubhouse Burger is the perfect hunger cure after a long game. Dinner at Romano’s was fantastic; you can’t go wrong with Italian. The kids enjoyed their favourite - Spaghetti Bolognese. Such an authentic Italian restaurant, right on the water—we all loved it—the perfect easy-going dinner to end such a great day. The Romano’s special kids menu includes favourites like spaghetti bolognese. Day 3 A highlight of our holiday was being able to have a family photo ‘cuddling a koala’ at Wild Life Hamilton Island café. The kids were so excited when they saw that we could have breakfast and watch the koalas at the same time. We had a breakfast table right under one of the pods with a cute sleeping koala. Breakfast was great, a full buffet, though we decided to make the most of the yummy seasonal fruit and yoghurt with fresh juice. We really loved doing this as a family and the koala keepers were really helpful, making the breakfast memorable for us. Continental breakfast with the koalas. For lunch we all made our way in the buggy to the Marina Village, the kids were crazy about the buggy, they just loved it. I popped over to Bob’s Bakery to pick up a few sandwiches and I was so surprised to find such an extensive selection. Gourmet sandwiches, paninis, wraps and rolls all freshly made daily! It was hard to choose, though I picked up a selection of sandwiches for myself and the kids, and a panini for Hubby. I also couldn’t resist one of the famous Bob’s Bakery’s lamingtons! We drove our buggy to ‘One Tree Hill’ to enjoy lunch overlooking the picturesque Whitsunday Islands, the kids proclaiming this was their ‘best holiday ever’! Bob’s Bakery does casual lunch takeaway options just right After lunch we all felt like an afternoon sweet treat, so we walked around to the local Ice Cream Parlour to check out the flavours. It was lovely to sit and eat our yummy ice creams in the sun, quickly licking the sides so it didn’t melt onto our hands. Such old-fashioned fun with bursts of mango, strawberry and vanilla and plenty of laughter! The perfect afternoon treat – old fashioned flavours at the Ice Cream Parlour. The kids felt like pizza for dinner so we went to Manta Ray for their wood-fired pizzas. We could smell them cooking as we eagerly waited for ours to arrive. From our table we could see them going into the large wood fire ovens. We had a selection of a classic Margarita and a Mediterranean, loads of melted gooey cheese, fresh basil and succulent tomatoes, all on thin traditional pizza bases. Casual evening dining and the best gourmet pizzas at Manta Ray. Day 4 We woke up early on our last day and decided to make our way to Sails for the breakfast buffet. As breakfast is a complimentary part of a 4 night stay it was wonderful to have three breakfast options to choose from each morning. We sat outside in the sunshine by the pool and the kids ordered their eggs ‘how they like it’ which was a novelty in itself. Softly boiled eggs with soldiers and crunchy golden hash browns was their favourite. It was so enjoyable and really fun to have breakfast together and watch the beach come to life with the daily watersports, before we said goodbye to paradise and headed home later that day. Even though Sails offers a full buffet selection – the kid’s favourite was boiled egg and soldiers and hash browns – it was good to know we could get a simple favourite for the kids. Another bonus of our holiday was the option to charge back dining or snacks at the grocery store to our room (which also made impulse purchases at the souvenir store a little too easy!). We had such a fun, relaxed family holiday on Hamilton Island. The memories made enjoying swimming in the selection of pools with morning and afternoons spent at the beach. We really enjoyed the variety and choice of restaurant options and the kids friendly dining made it easy for us all to relax and enjoy! Hot tips: Aside from the variety, another great reason to choose Hamilton Island for your next family getaway is the Kids Eat Free program, where kids 12 years and under eat for free (breakfast, lunch and dinner) when dining with Mum and Dad. This is the kind of holiday we like and deserve – the holiday where you don’t have to cook! There are five restaurants on the island that participate, so you can be sure for some variety, and all offer relaxed, kid-friendly dining. Make sure you try to stay on a Friday night and dine at Sails Steak and Seafood Grill – here the kids loved the Twilight Zone at Resort Centre with bouncing castle and many other activities. It starts at 6pm. Pool Terrace, Manta Ray and Romano’s restaurants all have crayons and colouring in books to keep the kids busy! About the Author When Riley Carter isn’t day dreaming about her next family getaway to Hamilton Island you’ll find her enjoying the company of family and friends. A dream day in her life would involve getting outdoors into nature with her three young children for a bike ride, a nature walk or for some fishing. Then an afternoon at home entertaining friends and family with her home cooked baked-goods and delicious wholesome meals. qualia Retreat Package $4,050 Experience four nights in world-class luxury, with one complimentary night of accommodation included.