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Cheep Cheep!

Melbourne
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37 posts
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Cheep Cheep!

In 15 minutes we made the decision to purchase half-priced air tickets to Hamilton Island; now I don't know if it was a "penny-wise, pound-foolish" case.

Accommodation seems really expensive! Is it unrealistic to look for accommodation for Around $150 per night?? Everything seems to be around if not above the $300-mark. Anyone has good recommendations for "BEST VALUE" accom? Again, steering well under $300 will be great!!!!

We're only going for 3 nights, so I suppose it's not worth taking a ferry to Airlie Beach from HI (accom seemed cheaper there).

I've read some "travel websites" that advertise ferry trips "out to the Great Barrier Reef" from HI. Isn't HI on GBR? Can I snorkel out from the beach, expecting to see fishies and all?

I'm clearly clueless about this!

Melbourne
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23 reviews
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1. Re: Cheep Cheep!

By the way, we're heading up Labour Day weekend! (march 2010)

Melbourne, Australia
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for Melbourne
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2. Re: Cheep Cheep!

Hi v3r4, sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I think you won't find anything on Hamilton Island under $300 per night as that is the 'budget' end of the island! You might be able to negotiate with private owners for a better rate or keep an eye out for specials.

But I wouldn't worry too much it's an opportunity of a lifetime and the money you save on the airfare can be put towards your accommodation. Perhaps you can look at the overall amount you were willing to pay rather than the per night cost?

If you can, I would definitely forge ahead with your trip. Life's too short!

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Cheep Cheep!

Forgot to mention: it is not worth taking the ferry to Airlie Beach as it will blow your budget. It costs $43 ONE WAY to Shute Harbour & then you have to take a 10 minute bus trip to get to Airlie Beach. You can check out the prices on the ferry at www.fantasea.com.au.

RE: Accommodation.

If you're really desperate, you could try the Reef View Hotel. It IS currently out of your budget but you can buy the 'Entertainment Book'(book of vouchers) In this book, there is a voucher for Up to 40% off the rack rate of some of their rooms. Conditions apply but it may be worth spending money ($69) to save a lot more!

Either way, you'll have a ball as it's SOOOO beautiful on HI. I actually thought it was even nicer than in the brochures. Believe it or not!

Melbourne
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4. Re: Cheep Cheep!

thanks beryl_be! I DO have the entertainment book (Melbourne version though) and will have a look through it when hubby gets home (with the book tt is in my car!)

yeah i did check the prices to ferry to airlie beach - way too expensive! May be worth it if we were going to stay for a week or so!

Sydney, Australia
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2,662 posts
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5. Re: Cheep Cheep!

Hi v3r4

Yes I agree with the above .. you wont find accommodation for $150.00 a night

check out www.stays.com.au ... there are over 280 properties listed and majority have prices and calendars

you will also find it difficult to negotiate a cheaper price for 3 nights .. for longer bookings there are discounts as obviously the cleaning costs are kept lower if people stay longer ... 3 night bookings incur the same costs as a 7 or 10 night booking

also do a google search on apartments as there are a few companies which manager a number of properties

The cheapest serviced accommodation would be the palm bungalows or the palm terraces and these usually have breakfast included

however with an apartment you do get a golf buggy included which is worth $80.00 a day to rent but then it isn't a necessity as there are free shuttle buses which constantly circle the island

The trip to the Reef is about $210.00 each but you can snorkel off catseye at low tide .. you need to walk out a fair way but then it drops to deep water and you can see fish ... take your own flippers and snorkel to save money

Usually I always advise people to check out accommodation first rather than book airfares but I know I have also jumped on and booked the really cheap fares only to find I have booked the wrong date and need to re-negotiate with Jetstar for an alternative

Unfortunately HI isn't a cheap destination but then most of the islands aren't due to transport issues, services, garbage etc all the mundane things which land based business's take for granted

good luck

Abbey

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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6. Re: Cheep Cheep!

Hi V3r4

I think the advice that life is too short is absolutely spot on - just go and enjoy yourself. Seeing tho you're not going for some time, you've got plenty of time to save those pennies and make it more of a second honeymoon !! Who knows? You might even decide on one of those more expensive places?

I'd recommend you check out the prices of food too and see if you can at least get breakfast included in the price of your stay. (Do a search of the restaurants at the hotels and check out their menus/prices).

Also, I agree that a google search on apartments would be a good idea. I just googled Hamilton Island accommodation and found that this site had last minute rooms from $105 o/n. I have no idea what they are like, but it may be worthwhile contacting them and asking about early bird rates. See - globenettravel.com.au/Queensland/Whitsundays…

The other thing I would recommend is travel insurance as you've booked quite a way ahead and you want to be sure that you can get your money back if for instance the airline decides to pull the plug on flights. If you've paid for your airfares on a gold mastercard, you may already have travel insurance. Either way, it should cost a lot if you need to buy it.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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7. Re: Cheep Cheep!

Sorry, this should read - "Either way, it should NOT cost a lot if you need to buy it".

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Cheep Cheep!

Good link doug, lots of useful information but those prices quoted are per person so not as cheap as it looks at first

Abbey

Brisbane, Australia
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9. Re: Cheep Cheep!

v3r4,

Almost did exactly the same thing the other day, but luckily DID check accommodation first. It is almost peak season and double-wammy with the long weekend so, yep the prices are high.

Abbey's suggestion to look at Stayz is a good one. You may pick up some a last minute cancellation with some private accom.

Given the success of the lastest 'Worlds Best Job' campaign I think you will be glad you got up there before it is overrun with tourists again. (although I know the locals will be very happy to have that problem, lol)

Good luck with it & have fun :)

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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10. Re: Cheep Cheep!

Thanks for picking up the pp which I should have clearly stated - oops. But even with if the OP can get accom on HI for all up 210 per night, she'd be doing well. Let's face it, not many places are available these days for that price, esp on an island.

DE, is the food on HI as expensive as I've heard that it is or am I getting confused with another island? Any cheap options there?

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