— words by Fiona Harper

Shrugging off its 'drinking town with a sailing problem' reputation, Airlie Beach is all grown up and showing off a new-found maturity.

But don't worry, the tropical Whitsundays town hasn't lost its propensity for fun nor its sense of humour. It's still a good time town that knows how to kick up its heels. Which the area has been doing nicely since Lindeman Island leaseholders lured paying guests to the island in the 1920's.

By the mid 1930's island 'resorts' started popping up all over the place. As holiday makers took home tales of paradise amongst Robinson Crusoe-like islands, the region's 'sailing problem' became one of its biggest attractions.

The Whitsundays can be logically divided into mainland and islands with the best holidays dabbling their toes in both camps. Island resorts range from laid back and eco-friendly, to family pads and some of the most telling examples of modern Australian luxury, with Hamilton Island in particular covering most bases. 


hamilton marina

Located just off the Queensland coast, Hamilton Island is nestled in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

Hamilton Island aerial

French author and poet Jules Renard once said, "On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it."  Whether Renard ever made it to Queensland's Pacific coast in his 19th century lifetime is doubtful, but he certainly would have appreciated the appropriateness of his quote being applied to

Beach Club Pool HR

The beauty of Hamilton Island is revealed in a million ways. With its top notch resorts, lush tropical settings and stimulating assortment of outdoor activities, Hamilton Island never goes out of fashion.

hayman island resort pool beach accommodation

Captain Cook first sailed the waters around Hayman Island in 1770, only to return years later for another look.

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