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From Mum and Dad to tiny tots, Australia’s most iconic island promises to impress every member of the family
The Whitsundays has long been a favourite tropical destination for local Australians as well as foreigners flocking to see the Great Barrier Reef. And for those luxury travellers who have been patiently waiting for the Whitsundays’ treasured Hayman Island to open back up to the public, the countdown is now on with Hayman Island by InterContinental taking reservations ahead of its 1st July launch.
The new Hayman Island by InterContinental is set to be a multigenerational magnet, attracting all ages and all interests, from thrilling water sports and treks to tranquil beach walks and sunset boat rides. With some of Australia’s most picturesque surrounds, couples can find secluded coves for romantic picnics or retreat back to their luxurious room for a celebratory glass of Champagne, while the kids will be in heaven in the oversized swimming pools, swimming at family-friendly beaches and taking in the colourful wildlife and greenery.
For the Kids
Surrounded by cerulean waters and tropical wildlife, kids will relish seeing – and even feeding – Hayman Island’s native fish. A 250-kilogram giant Queensland Grouper fish named Jacko has occupied the area for nearly 25 years, while a school of Barramundi, Australia’s most famous fish, swim in a secret grove beyond a rainforest lagoon.
Additional animals can be spotted during a leisurely bird walk where children can tour the heart of the island, catching glimpses of Cockatoos, Rainbow Lorikeets, Stone Curlews, Kingfishers, Kookaburras and more along the way.
The sand flats tour is another kid-friendly activity, offering soft sand and shallow-enough waters suitable for young ones. As the kids wade through the low tide, they can spot a shore scattered with coral, sea urchins and seashells.
For Mum and Dad
If anyone is in need of an idyllic escape, it’s Mum and Dad, and it doesn’t get more relaxing than hustle-bustle-free Hayman Island. While the kids are off exploring, parents can spend an afternoon on a peaceful garden tour, smelling the renowned perfume tree, Michelia, and discovering a myriad of tropical plants native to the area. For something a little more adventurous, leave the kids with the grandparents and take a speedboat trip to spectacular, private Langford Island for a romantic picnic dinner on the sand, or up the luxury factor with a relaxing sail aboard a catamaran, replete with sparkling wine and views of the sun setting across the Whitsunday Islands.
Couples can also take to the skies with a group or private helicopter tour over the jaw-dropping 7-kilometre Whitehaven Beach, the world-famous Heart Reef and beyond. From airborne to underwater, another option is to take a guided tour along the Coral Sea to the beautiful Blue Pearl Bay, ending your small adventure with a cooling swim or snorkel in a secret cove.
For ultimate exclusivity, opt for a private charter — complete with guests’ own dedicated captain and a personalised itinerary.
For the Whole Family
When it’s time for the whole gang to join in, families have plenty of options that don’t even require leaving the resort. The complimentary recreational centre is located opposite formal gardens facilities with a range of activities including tennis courts and lessons, squash courts, basketball, croquet, soccer, bocce, pool and foosball.
Families can also choose to immerse themselves in the neighbouring waters — swimming with green turtles and snorkelling at either Langford Island or Blue Pearl Bay, or perhaps embarking on an exclusive fishing experience in the Whitsundays and watching colourful fish families inside of the island’s all-new fishing vessel.
Those wanting to explore even further can opt for the Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet Tour, where a lookout waits with stunning views. Beginning with a luxury boat tour through the Whitsunday Islands, families will reach Whitehaven Beach, where they can stand-up paddleboard, play beach cricket and more. The onshore kids club, with lessons on marine life and sandcastle-building, will also give parents a break.
For the Soloist
For single travellers or those family members looking for an afternoon escape, the Whitsundays’ pristine reefs and deep blue waters of Blue Pearl Bay are waiting to be explored, while Langford Island and Bali Hai make ideal sites for sea kayaking andgreen sea turtles and stingray-spotting. Those daring enough can even dive the Great Barrier Reef, guided by expert instructors, or waterski and wakeboard the Coral Sea – all activities that are suitable for first-timers. Interested divers can also make the trip an unforgettable learning experience by earning scuba diving certification via the globally-recognised PADI Open Water Diver Course — offered right on the island. Back on land, the rigorous, the sunset peak hike is a must-do, with its elevated position providing the ultimate golden hour.