Hamilton Island, Great Barrier Reef

Hamilton Island, Australia

Introduction to Hamilton Island

Located in the middle of the Magnificent Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island is one of Australia's must-visit destinations. Offering a huge range of activities including scuba diving waterskiing, sailing and fishing trips, a trip to Hamilton Island gives you the best opportunity to explore the world-famous, marine life filled reefs.​

One of the 74 Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island is ideally situated right in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef, with crystalline blue water, lovely beaches and magnificent corals. As well as giving the best possible opportunity to explore the reef, the island offers a huge range of activities. Watersports include scuba diving, waterskiing, sailing and fishing trips, and there is a go-kart track, shooting range, mini-golf, driving range and a wildlife sanctuary where visitors can cuddle koalas or stroke baby crocodiles.

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Great Barrier Reef, Australia


Must do tour
  • Enjoy a visit to the spectacular Great Barrier Reef
  • Explore Hardy Reef Lagoon, which boasts Queensland’s largest underwater viewing area
  • Admire breath-taking views of colourful fish and intricate coral gardens
Activity Tour Boat Tour
Price£140.00 - £160.00
DurationApproximately 8 hours
LimitationMinimum of 100 guests required
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Snack includedSnack included
Refreshments includedRefreshments included
Swimming time includedSwimming time included

Experience one of the natural wonders of the world on a journey to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef; a wonderful underwater world filled with colour and variety.


Your tour begins by boarding a catamaran directly from your ship. Travelling to Hardy Reef, an approximate two and a half hour journey, you will drop anchor and transfer to a pontoon, which is designed for your use. Here an underwater world in the world’s richest marine habitat is just waiting to be discovered.

The aquamarine waters are sure to provide a tempting attraction for those of you wishing to swim with a mask or snorkel. Snorkelling equipment is provided, while optional scuba diving and special escorted snorkelling tours are available at an extra charge (to be paid locally). You can also enjoy a semi-submarine ride and a presentation from a marine biologist.

Your pontoon (which may not be exclusive to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines guests) features Queensland’s largest underwater viewing chamber, so that you can admire the coral and the array of fish without getting wet. A buffet lunch of cold meats and salads will also be served during your time at the pontoon.

Following approximately two and a half hours at the pontoon, your catamaran will make the approximate two and a half hour journey back to your ship at Hamilton Island.


Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? For your reference there is an approximate two and a half hour journey each way. This tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests, or individuals prone to motion sickness. Guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their own level of ability, as it is likely that assistance will be necessary. Those taking part in any swimming activities do so at their own risk and responsibility. Swimming ability and capability is the responsibility of each guest. Do not bring valuable items such as jewellery as there are no security lockers available on the catamaran or on the pontoon. Due to the recent cyclone and the damage suffered on the pontoon, all reef tours are currently operating to the one pontoon whilst the second pontoon is under repair, as such we cannot guarantee that the pontoon will be exclusive to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines guests. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are available to purchase locally. It is not

advisable to drink alcoholic beverages if you intend to swim. During the catamaran trip the commentary may possibly be audible inside only. The duration of this tour may vary depending on whether the catamaran is able to load/unload directly from the ship.

The semi-submersible craft can accommodate 30 guests on each trip, which will last for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Do not forget your swimming costume, sunglasses, towel, sun protection and a sun hat. We recommend having dry clothes for the long journey back to the ship, due to the possibility of the air conditioning making you cold. Jellyfish are not normally a problem this far out from the coast but there are stinger suits available free of charge. Guests with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart or lung problems may be prevented in participating in snorkelling activities. A waterproof camera is a must. Guests prone to seasickness may wish to bring medication as you will be travelling to the ‘Outer’ Great Barrier Reef, which means traversing through open sea conditions. Seas may be rough (the journey out to Hardy Reef can be quite tempestuous in adverse weather conditions) and ALL trips are subject to weather/tidal conditions.

A history of certain medical conditions may preclude you from scuba diving unless a current Diving Medical Certificate can be shown to the instructor.

All introductory divers over the age of 55 years must produce a current Diving Medical Certificate. All divers are subject to a medical questionnaire, and their fitness to dive will be assessed by an instructor, also it is a must that all certified divers bring along their dive card. The minimum legal diving age is 12 years old.

Estimated cost of optional extras to hire (to be paid locally. Prices correct at the time of printing)

Guided Snorkel Tour with Reef Expert – AUD $55 per person

Scuba Diving – Introductory dive – AUD $119 (20 minute dive with instructor)

Scuba Diving – Certified dive – AUD $99 (20-30 minute dive)

Whitsunday Passage, Hamilton Island


  • Sit back and relax as you take in a cruise along the Whitsunday Passage
  • Marvel at the impressive scenery
  • Enjoy refreshments as you sail


Boat Tour
Price£65.00 - £75.00
DurationApprox. 2 hours
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

This tour offers a fantastic opportunity to sail along the Whitsunday Passage and admire the stunning surrounding scenery.

Departing from Hamilton Island, your approximate two-hour cruise aboard the 29 metre M.V Hamilton Star will cross the Whitsunday Passage, passing Cid Harbour and Whitsunday Island. During your journey, your crew will provide you with an informative commentary of the history of the Whitsunday Islands and other landmarks, from the days of Captain Cook right through to the current day.

As you sit back and enjoy your cruise, you can enjoy refreshments comprising freshly-brewed coffee and a selection of teas and a variety of pastries, cakes and scones.


Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a minimal amount of compulsory walking, however there may  be a moderate incline of approximately 20 metres (65 feet) to negotiate to board the catamaran depending upon the tide, which is not wheelchair accessible. There will be steps to negotiate to access the upper decks. The top deck is only partially shaded and the lower decks are air-conditioned. As with all tours in the Whitsundays, this tour is dependent upon favourable weather conditions.



  • Tour the island in the only mode of transport permitted on the island
  • Have your cameras to hand
  • Keep your eyes peeled for the native wildlife around the island
Price£95.00 - £105.00
DurationApproximately 1 ½ Hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

Jump aboard a four seater buggy and follow your island guide to view the sights of this spectacular tropical island paradise.

You will stop at interesting places with incredible vantage points for an opportunity to snap a few holiday selfies. It is fun and a great way to get around.

Head off from the Marina and pass by the resort to complete a full Island loop as you find some great photo spots and hear about the islands history.


Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Each buggy can seat up to four guests – two guests in the front and two guests in the rear facing backwards. One guest will be required to drive, the driver must present a valid driver’s license on the day and sign an insurance waiver form. Unfortunately drivers are not permitted to change during the tour. The buggies are similar to golf carts and will require guests to both step in and out. Guests should wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Adequate sun protection, a camera, local currency for souvenirs and a bottle of water would all be handy additions to your bag.


Stretching for 2,012 kilometres (1,250 miles) along the coast of North Queensland, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the most massive structure on earth created by living organisms. Formed over 10,000 years by tiny, limestone-secreting coral polyps, the Great Barrier Reef is actually a vast coral complex composed of more than 2,000 individual reefs and 71 coral islands.

Bordered by the Great Barrier Reef and one of Australia’s most desirable holiday destinations lay the Whitsundays, boasting 74 tropical islands, which rise from the pristine turquoise waters. The Whitsundays are continental islands, many surrounded by fringing reef, and with 70% of the region protected by national and Marine Parks, this is a truly unique and beautiful destination.

James Cook named the islands when he sailed through it aboard the Endeavour on what his log indicated as Whit Sunday – the seventh Sunday after Easter – in 1770. In fact, the usually meticulous Cook hadn’t allowed for his crossing, earlier in the voyage, of the international dateline, and was thus a day late with his name! The Whitsundays are an ideal place to explore the wonders, colours and unusual creatures that make up Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

For reference, we shall tender into Hamilton Island. Although unlikely, there is a chance that there may be jellyfish around the islands, if they are in the area there will be signs on the beach indicating this. If you wish to swim, ‘stinger suits’ are recommended (full Lycra bodysuits – they do not cover the head or neck and are thinner than wetsuits – also good for sun protection). They are available for hire from the beach sports office at a cost of AUD$20 (correct at time of going to print; you may be required to leave a deposit (such as a driver’s licence).

It is important to note that all tours in the Whitsundays are weather dependent, due to the tendering involved.

The official currency of Hamilton Island is the Australian Dollar.


  • Meet some true Aussie characters
  • Follow in the footsteps of a Wildlife Keeper & learn more about the animals
Price£20.00 - £30.00
DurationApproximately 1 Hour & 20 Minutes
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Just a short walk from the pier, takes you to Wild Life Hamilton Island, where you can get up close and personal to native Australian animals.

Enjoy a guided tour with one of the wildlife Park Keepers which will allow you to become acquainted with some of the animals that call this park home. You will be able to meet Hippo the Wombat and learn about the wallabies, Potaroos and Bettongs, you might even get the opportunity to meet one of the Koalas and you certainly won’t be able to miss Freddie the talking Cockatoo.

Once your guided tour has concluded, you are free to venture around the park independently or even enjoy a refreshment at the parks café (this will be at your own expense).


Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that the walk to and from the park is approximately five to ten minutes however guests will need to negotiate a steep hill. It is possible to visit independently however the guided wildlife keepers are subject to availability and may not be possible to book on the day. Your guided tour will last approximately one hour in which you will be required to walk/stand for the full duration. Should you wish to remain in the park after our tour has concluded you may do so, however it is your responsibility to return to the ship in time for sailing.

Cruises to Hamilton Island, Australia


  • Embark on a walking tour of Hamilton Island
  • Admire panoramas from the lookout points
  • Have your cameras to hand to capture impressive views
DurationApproximately 1.5 hours
LimitationLimited to 10 per departure
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking

Discovering the island by foot is a great way to experience all the aspects of Hamilton Island life; the resort itself, Island history, the tropical bushland and the spectacular vistas.

Join your guide on a walking tour through the resort, along the beach and up to the numerous lookouts to capture breathtaking photographs. Learn about the tropical island habitat and wildlife along the way.

This approximate one and half hour return walk gives you the opportunity to stretch your legs whilst enjoying the peacefulness of this island environment.


Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? For your reference, you will be walking/standing for the full duration of this tour. Walking will be over varying terrain including uneven and inclined ground, which can be slippery and muddy when wet, and there are approximately 20 steps to negotiate. This tour is therefore not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended, and don’t forget a hat, sunscreen and a bottle of water. For reference, there are no toilet facilities available on this tour. We cannot guarantee what flora or fauna may be seen.

Whitsundays, Australia


  • Enjoy a cruise aboard a sailing yacht
  • Sit back and relax as you admire the magnificent Whitsunday Islands
Boat Tour
Price£55.00 - £65.00
DurationApproximately 2 hours
LimitationLimited to 50
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

The sheltered waters of the Whitsunday Passage are one of Australia’s most popular and scenic sailing destinations. On this tour you can soak up the peace and tranquillity of the Whitsundays aboard a 20-metre (65-foot) sailing yacht.

Board your large sailing catamaran On the Edge at Hamilton Island Marina; you can then enjoy a relaxing two-hour cruise among the islands of this tropical paradise. Sit back and enjoy the passing scenery of tropical islands, dazzling beaches, secluded coves and emerald waters. Your crew will provide you with an entertaining commentary along the way, and highlight the history of the Whitsundays as you sail through the sheltered waters surrounding Hamilton Island. Enjoy tea as the world passes you by and the wind rushes through your hair. Later you return to Hamilton Island, wind-kissed and relaxed after your sailing experience.


Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a minimal amount of walking, however all guests must be able to board the yacht unaided, therefore it is not considered suitable for wheelchair users. The vessel is open to the elements and is not covered. Toilet facilities are available onboard. To ensure the safety of all guests, the captain of the vessel reserves the right to deny boarding to any individuals whose comfort and safety may be at risk due to their low mobility levels. If there is a lack of wind, the yacht may use its motor, and the route taken will depend on the weather conditions. Guests are advised to wear lightweight clothing and comfortable shoes. Don’t forget sun protection, a hat, camera and sunglasses. A bottle of water may also be a handy addition to your bag.

Whitehaven Beach, Australia


  • Soak up the sun at spectacular Whitehaven Beach
  • Experience the beautiful white sands of one of the world’s best beaches
  • Savour time to take a dip in the crystal clear waters, or wander at leisure
Beach Tour
DurationApproximately 4.5 hours
LimitationMinimum of 70 required
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Snack includedSnack included
Free time includedFree time included
Swimming time includedSwimming time included

See nature at its unspoilt, spectacular best on the eastern side of the uninhabited Whitsunday Beach! Stunning Whitehaven Beach is considered to be one of the world’s top beaches, and is one of the must-see spots of the Whitsundays, with seven kilometres (four miles) of white natural silica sand.

Boarding your high-speed catamaran, enjoy morning tea as you travel past the scenic Whitsunday Islands to Whitehaven Beach. Upon arrival, savour approximately two hours of time at leisure, during which can you take a leisurely stroll and explore your surroundings, swim in the crystal clear waters or simply relax and enjoy the sunshine!

At the end of your tour, enjoy a tropical buffet lunch onboard the catamaran as you sail back towards Hamilton Island and your awaiting ship.


Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that Whitehaven is not part of the Great Barrier Reef and there will be no coral viewing on this tour. There will be a walk of approximately 100 metres (328 feet) from the tender point to the catamaran and vice versa. Guests must be able to board a small tender vessel to disembark in the shallower water (ankle to knee depth). Unfortunately this tour is not suitable for wheelchair users. Please note that anyone caught taking sand from Whitehaven Beach could be fined up to a maximum of AUD $10,000. Come wearing your swimming costume underneath casual clothes, and don’t forget a towel and sun protection. A bottle of water may be a handy addition to your bag. For reference, there are no changing facilities available at Whitehaven Beach, and restrooms here are basic, eco facilities; there are toilets available onboard the catamaran. You will spend approximately two hours at the beach. Please note there is limited shade available on the beach. The island is uninhabited; therefore no shops or other facilities are available here.

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