It all started with Cathy’s idea – why not take Mum to Hamilton Island for her birthday this year and we’ll have a week of fun in the sun, snorkelling and sailing and dining and wining and generally chilling out! And this would help the sad Lake girls deal with their grief at losing a son and brother, father and husband in one year, so we can all move on.
And so on Saturday, May 29, two days before my birthday, we all flew off to “Hamo” – myself, Cathy, Amanda, Sue (who had flown over from WA) and Cathy’s partner Nettie.
Hamilton Island is lovely and has many good things about it. But by the far the best, as far as we are concerned, is my grandson Richard. He seemed to actually enjoy the company of his mother, grandmother and aunts. What’s more he owns a boat business so was able to take us out sailing and snorkelling and to lovely Whitehaven Beach and this just made for the most perfect week.
The accommodation was large and roomy and with splendid views. Service was good everywhere and so was the food. The weather was generally kind, especially when we most needed it to be.
And of course we had each other for company.
I am just so grateful to ALL my four girls – and grandson Richard – for giving me such a wonderful time and some memories I shall never forget.
And, for those who would like to know more, here is the trip in pictures:
JOURNEY AND ARRIVAL
We flew from Brisbane and arrived on the island just after 3pm. Sunshine and blue seas. Our accommodation turned out to be perfect for five women who like a bit of space from each other. Large, comfortable, gorgeous views.
Nettie and Cathy checking us in at Brisbane airport.
Below from top left: Cathy wondering how to drink a glass of bubbly through her mask. Me celebrating take off with a large beer (an unwise choice before flying!). Boarding the plane, which was full of screaming children. The little Hamilton Island airport. Cathy tells us to hurry up and get on the buggy, which awaited us at the airport for our use during our stay. Most of us on board – golf buggies are the only guest transport on Hamilton Island, apart from the free bus that goes around regularly. Our first glimpse of the scenery. Nettie in her favourite pose – “we’re here!! And then there’s The Peak, which she intends us to climb. Arrival at our villa. Our villa from the front – my bedroom at top left, Cathy and Nettie’s top right, Sue and Amanda at the back. Spectacular views.
I had forgotten how beautiful the Whitsunday Islands are. Most of the scenes below were taken on Hamilton but some are of other islands, including Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island itself which has been rated one of the 10 best in the world. I’ve included a pic of the Hamilton Island resort (where we didn’t stay, but were able to use all the facilities, which are excellent), the bakery (Amanda and Sue outside) which we patronised a lot, and the Hamilton Island Marina.
What did we do all the time? Apart from eat and drink? Well here are some of our activities…. we visited Dent Island where there is a golf course with splendid views from just about every hole. It’s a 10 minute ferry ride from Hamilton and you can have a buggy ride around Dent, followed by a truly delicious lunch at the Golf Club (see food section of story). Best food I’ve had in years. Pics show us arriving on the ferry, on the Dent Island jetty, the golf buggy caravanserai, distracting views from the greens, Cathy and Nettie and I, a cool reward after the tour, having lunch.
Amanda thought she might like to go to church…because who could resist this sweet little chapel, the scene of many a wedding.
But often we just chose to loaf around the pool….
Of course, the best activity of all was snorkelling…courtesy of grandson Richard who owns a boat business on Hamilton Island and kindly took us to some beautiful spots around the other islands in the Whitsundays, including famed Whitehaven Beach. The pics showing first picking up our gear from Richard’s shop and office, Cap’n Richard getting stuff ready and then welcoming us all aboard, leaving harbour and then picking up speed, Sue’s feet, getting suited up (with some difficulty in my case, reminding me of why my old diving suit only came to my thighs!), then approaching our first stop.
Another wonderful experience was the sunset sail on the big catamaran owned by Richard’s friend Rob (pics above). We were out for a couple of hours, sipping drinks and nibbling and chatting and watching for dolphin. Bliss! Nearly forgot to include this pic of Richard’s pretty housemates, below.
For the five of us, it was a week of bonding. We did things alone, in pairs, in threesomes and all together. Here we all are, as couples and individuals. Plus Richard of course.
Cathy…and Richard below her…then Sue. We seem to have rather a lot of Sue, but then she IS very photogenic. Mostly! Finally, Nettie, then me.
And now for some couples and threesomes….no need to put names to them as this is mostly for family
We did some very fine dining. The golf club on Dent Island was the stand-out meal but Tako’s offered Mexican-influenced share platters with a difference at a very reasonable price. Romano’s was pricier but the food was good. And Cathy and Nettie, our two cooks for the trip, turned out a couple of tasty meals plus my lovely seafood smorgasbord (Richard got the crabs and prawns). We patronised the bakery a fair bit too – good sandwiches! And cakes, especially the Tiramisu cake.
DRINKING THE SUN DOWN
And now we come to our last night. Richard and his sister, granddaughter Sarah, in London (!) took the initiative here and organised something rather special. It’s the custom on Hamilton Island for visitors to go up to One Tree Hill, where you have 360 degree views, and drink the sun down. There’s a little bar that opens from 3 until 7pm. From London Sarah organised the purchase of cocktails for us all. and Richard, who is handy in the kitchen, prepared trays of cheese and biscuits and nibblies. All a big surprise to me, when I arrived and was handed a mojito! What a wonderful thing to do, and what a wonderful way to end our trip.