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Hamilton versus Dunk Island for Family in June

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Hamilton versus Dunk Island for Family in June

With 3-4 days to enjoy the Queensland coast on a visit in early June, we are trying to decide on Dunk vs Hamilton Island. One child loves to ride horses which is pro-Dunk, but we also want to enjoy the beach, have a low key easy snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef and relax a little as a family and Hamilton seems to have more options.

Anyone been to both or willing to give advice?


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1. Re: Hamilton versus Dunk Island for Family in June

Hi Intrluke

Decisions, decisions!!

I will focus on Hamilton Island, and that is only because I have not been to Dunk Island.

For a family holiday, Hamilton Island is sure to please every member of your family. They have a lot of activities (free and chargeable) ranging from day trips to the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach to putt putt / go karts. You will also be able to snorkel off Catseye Beach, but I would still recommend to do a trip to the Great Barrier Reef (have a look at www.fantasea.com.au).

Hamilton Island will also give you a huge range of accommodation. I am not sure how many people are in your family, but you the standard hotel rooms (Reef View Hotel) and the Whitsunday Apartments (1 bedroom apartments) which are the two high rises that overlook Catesye Beach. Some rooms on the lower levels are garden views and you usually have to pay to have a Coral Sea view room (definately worth it though!).

The island also has a lot of privately owned 1 - 4 bedroom villa's located all over the island. Each complex of villa's also have their own pool. Plus you also have the main resort pools. You will also get a golf buggy included with these villa's (they will fit maximum of 4) and it is a great way to get around and discover the island. Your kids will love it! Accommodation ranges from 3 to 5 star in these villa's. The only ones that I have been inside of are the Anchorage and Blue Water Views ones. The advantage of these villa's (especially for a family) is that they are self contained, so you can go to the supermarket (on the island) and pick up some bit and pieces. Of course, it is a holiday after all, and I would hope that you would not be stuck cooking the whole time !! We just found it good because we would sit around on the balcony mid afternoon and have some snacks and drinks before going out to dinner later that night. Example of a 2 bedroom villa starts at $275/night (and inc the golf buggy worth $85/day).

Have a look at:



And the general Hamilton Island website, www.hamiltonisland.com.au

If you are looking at self contained villa's I would recommend to book through the first two websites above, as my friends booked their villa direct with hamiltonisland.com.au and they paid more than my other friends who booked in the same complex and they also got an outdoor spa!

Hamilton Island also has a range of restaurants - Italian, Pizzeria, Seafood, buffets etc. There also is a cafe, fish and chips shop and bakery. Kids under 12 years also get to eat free in some of the restuarants.

Access to Hamilton Island is simple! There are direct flights operating daily from most Capital cities on our two airlines - Jetstar and Virgin Blue. Have a look at their websites for flight costs. Alternatively, you can fly into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast Airport) and then ferry across to the island, but with the direct flights, there would be no real reason to do this unless you are driving up or down the coast.

With regards to Dunk Island, you will need to fly into Cairns and then get the coach down to Mission Beach (about an hour and a half) and then a ferry to the island (about 20 minutes). You could also take a small plane direct from Cairns Airport to Dunk Island (about 45 minutes). From what I can see, they have family garden rooms which will accommodate a max of 5. Rates for a Garden Room (they dont have the family garden room rates on the website) are $348 per room per night (based on 2 adults). Meal packages are also available at $69/day for lunch and dinner and kids under 12 years free.

I hope this helps you.....good luck and make sure to let us know which island you have decided on!

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Hamilton versus Dunk Island for Family in June

Two very different options - there is one resort on Dunk vs the many different resorts on Hamilton. Dunk is a lot quieter overall. The nice sand beach on Dunk is a little walk from the resort and we had to hire a dinghy to find some snorkelling on the other side of the island. Horseriding was good but expensive - if you can demonstrate that you can ride (need to be at least intermediate level) the canter along the beach is lovely. Recent reviews of Dunk haven't been great but it has new owners (I think?). Hamilton is probably a safer option.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Hamilton versus Dunk Island for Family in June


I've been to both islands and both are totally different. I think Dunk has a nicer beach and its certainly more secluded and laid back than HI.

It really depends on what you want from your holiday. HI has more on offer regarding shops, cafes and restaurants. It also offers more attractions and tours than Dunk.

However, Dunk has the option of being close to the mainland (Mission Beach ) if you want more options regarding dining etc.etc/ ..a quick ferry or water taxi/

Dunk Island has recently been sold previously it was owned by Voyages.

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for Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island
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4. Re: Hamilton versus Dunk Island for Family in June

I stayed at Dunk when it was owned by Voyages, immediately after it was rebuilt following cyclone damage. I, too, am a horse rider and was very disappointed to find that this option was not available when we were there so I'd definitely confirm that it will be when you are likely to travel. I think that children will find more to do on Hamilton than Dunk but as EM says the beach at dunk was lovely and we really enjoyed our time there (apart from no horses!) I also think that If I were to go there again and could afford it, I'd take the helicopter arrival option. With Hamilton Island you can do more day trips via boat and see other islands... another bonus

5. Re: Hamilton versus Dunk Island for Family in June

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