Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island

Sep 18th, 2006, 09:19 PM
  #1  
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Posts: 37
Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island

Hi all. We will be in the Whitsundays in November for a week. We must decide between staying on the mainland at Airlie Beach or at the Beach Club on Hamilton Island. We are both in our 40's, no kids. This is our first and probably our only trip to Australia. We want to see the outer reef, and Whitehaven Beach for sure. Airlie Beach is cheaper and I figure I can probably arrange any outing from there that I could arrange at the resort. I guess my bigger concern is that I hear Airlie Beach caters to a much younger crowd. I am sure I would have loved it when I was 25, but am not so sure about now that I am 40. So, I was wondering if any of you had stayed at both Airlie Beach and on an island resort, and which you preferred and why.

Thanks
murphey is offline  
Sep 19th, 2006, 04:35 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi Murphy,

by all means, go to Hamilton Island.

There are all sorts of accommodations there; for any budget.

You can toodle around in a golf cart, which is lots of fun, see alot of the island, plus have easy access to sailing to other areas/islands, and include Whitehaven.

It will be a whole other feeling than staying on the mainland.

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
Sep 19th, 2006, 09:59 PM
  #3  
 
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We have stayed in this area several times. Airlie is a backpackers hub, but is also a good 'jumping off' point for the Whitsundays. I suppose at least there you have a choice of operators to take you to Whitehaven etc, whereas that may not occur on Hamilton Island. Others may have information on that.
We are going again in December and chartering a bare boat, but we will be staying at the Portside in Airlie after the charter. I have not stayed there before, but it has good reviews and the management seem very good.
Hamilton Island has high rise buildings (incongruous I always think!)but the Beach Club is the 'high end' of the accomodation available on Hamilton.
Lizzy101 is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 10:30 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi,

just to be clear, Libby mentions "high rise buildings" and I think she must be referring to the Reef Hotel, which is the only high rise (at least to my way of thinking) and very visible; it's the tallest thing on the island!

I agree, it does seem a bit weird to have a high rise hotel on an island, but that said, I've stayed there and you'd be hard pressed to find a bigger room that wasn't a suite!

The Beach Club is a 5-star accommodation, but there are other options as well, including self catering apartments.

Hope this is helpful!

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 11:28 AM
  #5  
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Thanks for your suggestions. Hamilton Island it is!
murphey is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 06:08 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Before you book you should read this thread. http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...3&tid=34773036 it seems several people have had bad experiences recently at Hamilton Island.
ozgal is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 01:03 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 18
Hi Murphey

We are in our 50's and stayed in Airlie Beach last year, and like you had read that it caters for a younger crowd. Yes, there were lots of younger people there but we didn't find this a problem and really enjoyed our stay. There are loads of day trips and we had a real problem deciding which to do. The Raggamuffin boat trip (snorkelling) was a really great day out. Another day we did a seaplane trip, flying over various islands including Hamilton (looked quite built up), then landed somewhere near Heart reef for snorkelling, and then onto Whitehaven Beach for an hour+. Again really great trip and worth every penny.

Hope this helps.
evostick is offline  
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