If you’re unfamiliar with Australia’s Whitsunday Islands, you’re sure to recognize the destination’s celebrated attractions, like the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach. The collection of 74 islands are just northeast of the mainland, with one hour flights from Queensland or Brisbane to Hamilton Island; the destination’s only airport. Upon landing, a one-hour boat ride from Hamilton Island whisks you to the most northern island of the Whitsundays—the gem of this region and an attraction in itself.
Hayman Island offers 988 acres of private island and national park, perfect for the traveler looking for intimate relaxation combined with outdoor adventure. There are only 350 residents on the island, not including the influx of guests, and they all work at the newly refurbished InterContinental Hayman Island Resort; a 166-room beach mansion tucked into one of the island’s secluded bays overlooking Langford and Hook Islands rising above the fascinating tidal patterns of the Whitsundays—changing as much as four meters within a tide cycle.
This summer, InterContinental reopened the resort after the island and its surroundings were battered by Cyclone Debbie two years ago. Though much of the structure was salvageable, the brand added its twist by redefining modern luxury with elite access and unparalleled privacy. The property improved its guestroom categories with their Lagoon Suites, Pool Suites, Retreat Rooms, Beachfront Villas, as well as the newly built Beach House.
In addition to revamping the interiors, decor and replanting 700,000 species to restore the island’s landscape, InterContinental brought in new activity partners in order for guests to take full advantage of Hayman Island’s backyard, in the midst of the Whitsundays. So whether guests wish to paddleboard on the resort’s beach (where you’ll glide over turtles, stingrays, and a variety of marine life) or cruise out for an afternoon at one of the top rated beaches in the world, or hover above the Great Barrier Reef in a private helicopter, the property ensures satiating opportunities for honey- or baby-mooners, as well as thrill-seeking families.
Here are three ways to enjoy Hayman Island and all it has to offer.
Relax and Recharge
With two main pools, a private beach, along with a number of private bays accessible via a short hike from the hotel, and not to mention the possibility of an ensuite pool if you book the beachfront suite or villa, there are no shortage of spots to enjoy the soothing combination of sun and water. Incase you need a space to cool down, the InterContinental refurbished its spa, offering signature massages, hydrating facials and skin treatments, as well as dedicated relaxation spaces to enjoy before or after treatments. Since even the pro-relaxer may get a case of resort-fever, sign up for a sunset cruise one evening; a leisurely way to see more of the Whitsundays at one of the most magical times of day.
Explore and Adventure
As tempting as it is to plan a vacation centered around wellness and relaxation, this destination will spark your inner-adrenaline junkie. At the heart of the Whitsundays, you’d be remiss to not experience at least one of the ocean-oriented adventures offered by Hayman Island and its partners. If you don’t want to stray far from the comforts of the resort, you can snorkel off the property’s beach at your leisure. Once you wet your adventurous appetite with a snorkel on property, you may just look to InterContinental’s offerings for inner and outer reef snorkeling experiences, or even into a scuba certification—which the hotel offers as a three day course or expedited day course. If you’d prefer to admire the locale from above, hike to new heights on the island (guided or self-guided) for postcard-worthy views. Another way to take-in the Whitsundays from above is via helicopter, as InterContinental partners with HeliReef to provide guests with the exhilarating opportunity to hover 1000 meters over the Pacific Ocean and view the Great Barrier from above.
Romance and Celebrations
With three restaurants on property, and in-room dining via room service or a private dining experience, the InterContinental successfully proves that every night can be date night. Whether you’re celebrating your honeymoon or an anniversary, don’t be afraid to let the resort know upon check-in; they’re equipped for intimate affairs like this! After all, it’s a private island, how much more romantic can you get? You’ll feel as if there’s no one else on the island even when the hotel is at capacity.