Hamilton Island - The Whitsundays Top Resort - Birthday Time !!
20 20.846 S 148 57.029 E
The sun decided to treat us to a blue-sky day to celebrate birthdays together. Saturday, May 26th, was Marian’s (S/V Kilkea), today, May 28th is John’s (S/V Sea Mist), tomorrow, May 29th is David’s (S/V Leucat)….and Cheryl’s (s/v Sea Mist) was May 17th, so she just snuck in under the wire, to make it a quartet of birthdays.
The Birthday Kids: David Leu, Marion Paul, John
And we had all agreed to sail to Hamilton Island Marina and celebrate here….and the marvellous bonus was the sun came out and we enjoyed something we haven’t seen or felt in weeks….glorious sunshine!!!
We arrived at the marina about 1 pm and it was most unusual to have our feet on terra firma…..not even having our dinghy down in over 2 weeks (not since Middle Percy Island) ….and not having touched our feet to land since our couple of days in Mackay Marina….so “strange” experiences on 2 facets.
As soon as we quickly handled the check-in/ paper work, we began our Island experience with a walk around the marina waterfront to reach THE BAKERY and enjoy a nice sandwich lunch sitting by the water with many Cockatoos and brilliantly coloured Lorikeets and Rosellas stealing portions of our sandwiches as they climbed on our arms, shoulders, heads.
We then boarded a resort bus to take in a full, complementary, tour of Hamilton Island…..it is quite large (6 km by 6 km), irregularly shaped, and very hilly island with many resort facilities….high rise and low rise hotels, apartment complexes, single/multi-unit private homes, lots of swimming pools, restaurants, beaches ( full array of water sports), golf course….and airport handling jets and turbo-props at frequent intervals. This is the ritzy resort complex in the Whitsundays and a very famous Australian resort frequented by the country’s rich and famous. Other than the complementary buses moving people around the island, the primary personal transportation is via golf courts that are everywhere. Too hilly to try to walk any distance to get from place to place so the golf carts are important.
A sample of the Resort’s Accommodations
The owner of the island resort complex is a self-made, extremely wealthy Australian; apparently he started building his fortune in coffee and went on to vineyards (Rosemount and his own label, WILD OATS ….as well as resorts and other tourist facilities. The staff say that Bob, who is now 85 years old, can occasionally be seen making his way around Hamilton Island with the help of his cane….his mind ever-sharp, but like so many of us, his limbs are letting him down in his later years.
After a change for the evening (and the cool temps we knew would be there once the sun went down), the group of us walked to the Hamilton Island Yacht Club for sundowners. None of us have ever seen such a remarkable facility as a “yacht club”; it is really one of the island restaurants but its design is totally nautical and remarkably eye catching.
The Yacht Club (View 1)
The Yacht Club (View 2)
The Yacht Club From Inside This Marvelous Structure (View 3)
The Yacht Club Outdoors Bar (View 4)
Time to catch those last rays of that “recently rare” heavenly body, THE SUN
The Way it is supposed to be……
The Way it has been….and will continue tomorrow according to the weatherman.
We finished our celebration day with dinner at an Italian Restaurant on the waterfront…..everyone was pleased/impressed with the food…AND THE DESSERTS!! Another of our sailing friends, Frank (S/V Tahina), joined us to make it 7 for dinner; his wife Karen had just arrived during the day after a long flight from the USA >>>> so Karen was missing > fast asleep on-board Tahina. The evening pushed us past our normal “Cruiser’s midnight” of 9 pm as we were close to 10 pm by the time we got back to our boats.
Clockwise: Cheryl, Mary-Margaret, David Leu, Frank, John, Marian, David Paul
Great day had by all….tomorrow we get back to the cruising reality as we depart this luxurious resort island and its expensive marina and head for an anchorage to drop our hook and relax in the lee of one of the close-by Whitsunday Islands.