Our baby’s first holiday to Hamilton Island Posted by Jen Bishop - 22 February 2017 Let me start by saying we are not beach people or indeed resort holiday types. But oh my goodness, did we love our family holiday on Hamilton Island! A couple of years ago, Damian and I spent six months travelling around Europe and America. That trip involved lots of travel and big cities… we’re city break people. However, these days, with a toddler in tow, things are a little different and what we want out of travel has changed! Not to say we don’t intend to have these kinds of trips again (and with Sebastian), but this is probably not the right time. Enjoying a family stroll along Catseye Beach. Once you have a child, you realise that packing will never be the same again. Children require so much stuff. You’ll barely have any luggage allowance for yourself! When you factor in nap times and jetlag, suddenly planning a domestic trip becomes really appealing. As does the idea of switching off and relaxing, when you’re suddenly a slightly frazzled working parent. I had always heard great things about Hamilton Island and wanted to visit. When you look at how beautiful it is you start to wonder why would you go all that way for an international trip when a beautiful, relaxing mini break is so close at hand? The 2.5 hour plane trip from Sydney was a breeze and was easily organised around Seb’s nap. We got on the plane, gave him a bottle and he pretty much slept for the entire journey! The island did not disappoint and proved the perfect backdrop to enjoy some wonderful quality time as a family. It was also an incredibly easy place to be and you just can’t put a price on that! We stayed at the family friendly Reef View Hotel, where the rooms are huge and the views spectacular. Staying at the Reef View Hotel meant packing was much less of a chore than usual as they are happy to arrange so many baby essentials for you. Cooling down and learning to swim at the Reef View Hotel pool. Their Baby’s First Holiday package is so amazing. You can request a number of things in advance, free of charge, such as a portacot, high chair, Bumbo, microwave, change mat and baby bath. And to save you packing all those bulky nappies and wipes, you can also pre-purchase these items (and others, like a rubber bath duck!) and they’ll be waiting for you in your room. No need for packing a zillion nappies, just in case. More suitcase space reclaimed for Mum and Dad, hoorah! Everyone will have heard that you get around Hamilton Island by golf buggy (you can request car seats for under fives) and there are no cars (except service vehicles). This definitely adds to the relaxing ambience, as it’s pretty peaceful everywhere. We never actually rented one as everything was so close by and we were able to either walk with the pram or take the regular free shuttle bus. Too easy! One of things I love about Hamilton Island from a convenience perspective is that you can charge everything to your room, whether it’s eating out at any of the restaurants or buying groceries, not just things in your actual hotel. Meeting the locals at the Hamilton Island WILDLIFE park. For the majority of our time we chilled out by one of the three pools, went for walks, took Seb paddling at Catseye Beach and ate. Restaurants are very child friendly and most of them have a kids eat free deal. Seeing my toddler gleefully tuck in to his kids meal was a definite highlight. Guacamole for one! One of our favorite days was when we caught the ferry over to Hamilton Island Golf Club on Dent Island. We went there not to play golf but have lunch at the Clubhouse restaurant. The food was first class and the whole experience was lovely, even for non-golfers like ourselves. From the boat rides there and back, to the Clubhouse setting, with its lovely water views. It was the absolute best. Family fun and selfie time on the ferry ride to lunch at Dent Island. Overall, Hamilton Island gave us the most relaxing, easy and family-friendly break. The island definitely welcomes children and makes it convenient to holiday with them. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff and we genuinely felt like we had got away from it all. Four nights proved enough to recharge our batteries and we returned to Sydney feeling relaxed. About the Author Jen Bishop is the founder and publisher of popular design blogs Interiors Addict and Reno Addict. When she isn’t chasing the latest interiors news she can be found spending time with the other great loves of her life, husband Damian and their toddler, Sebastian.