Today we’re living vicariously through Haylee & Danny, whose stunning wedding we featured on the pages of Polka Dot You here, as Haylee tells us about their dreamy Hamilton Island honeymoon! Accompanied by images the couple took on their trip, it honestly feels like we were along for the romantic ride! Enjoy as Haylee recounts the relaxation after their perfect wedding…

We went on our honeymoon to Hamilton Island for 2 weeks in May 2021. Our wedding was postponed and originally meant to be April 2020, and our honeymoon was meant to be to Hawaii in May 2020. So when we were able to get married in April 2021, we decided on our honeymoon to Hamilton Island as we wanted to go somewhere similar to Hawaii. Warm, tropical & an island as we LOVE the beach. We wanted to go somewhere we had both never been before and that was luxurious. So Hamilton Island was an easy choice as we had always wanted to go, and had heard such amazing things about that area.

The first week we stayed at the Palm Bungalows! The cutest accommodation with everything you could need! Love that it had a kitchenette so we could buy groceries and cook our own meals as we were staying there for 5 nights. Also LOVED the hammock out front, so nice to get back after a day out and just relax in it, overlooking the tropical rainforest. Very modern but still felt very cosy. So much wildlife too, loved hearing the sounds of birds 24/7 & seeing wallabies everyday! A short walk to the shops, main pool & beach, spa, restaurants, other hotels, bus stops etc. Everything was so close by! The staff were all so friendly, whenever we would call for something, they were lovely to deal with & we would be attended to immediately. And they even gave us a lovely card & wine to congratulate us on our wedding! The most perfect place to stay on our honeymoon.

The second week we stayed at The Reef View Hotel. We were on one of the higher levels so we had the MOST AMAZING view of the whole of Catseye Beach. The bed faced the doors so you could see the beach from our bed! Loved our balcony as you could sit out there, eat, have a drink or just sit or stand out there looking at the views. One of our favourite things about this hotel was obviously the views but also we would have cockatoos sit on our balcony every single day, they were everywhere. We just loved listening to them & having them as little friends visit us. There were weddings on nearly every day we were there so we also could see weddings on the beach from our balcony, which was so lovely. And one night they had fireworks so we had a free fireworks display from our balcony. Just magic! Also very close to everything & regular free shuttle buses would stop here.

We did so many fun activities and tours! On the second day it drizzled for about an hour so we went and played mini golf. Mini golf was our first ever date so we thought it would be very fitting playing mini golf on our honeymoon. It was like no other mini golf, it was surrounded by so many beautiful trees & plants. Was like being in a mini rainforest, just stunning.

We visited One Tree Hill multiple times. The sunset cocktails between 3-7pm was one of the highlights of our trip & well worth visiting! We went 3 times! We walked up the hill the first time, which was a bit of a hike haha. So would recommend getting the free shuttle bus up there or do it on the day that you have hired a buggy. The views from the bar up there & the whole surrounding areas are absolutely breathtaking. The first time we sat at the bar area, the second time we sat in our buggy overlooking the views & the third time we had a little picnic for most of the afternoon until sunset. The views are stunning during daylight but even more so when the sun goes down. It gets extremely busy so recommend going as early as possible if you want to sit at the bar part or a good spot to sit on the grass or park your buggy. It was good because each time we went was a different experience. I liked being right down the bottom of the hill on the grass in front of everyone so it seemed like we were there on our own & could still still the sunset & views. You can bring the drinks down there from the bar too which is great & we went to IGA & bought chocolates & cheese & biscuits, was so cute! The cocktails are only $12 during this time & they are premixed but they taste amazing! The berries one & passionfruit were our favourite! Each time we went, the sunset was different & different colours. The best sunsets ive seen in my life!

On Day 3, we went on our first day trip tour. First stop was Hill Inlet. This turned out to definitely be a highlight of our trip! A short hike to the most stunning, breathtaking views of Whitehaven beach. What an absolute dream! Then snorkelling at Chalkie’s beach, lunch at Honeymoon beach, finished with the famous Whitehaven beach! At Whitehaven we saw the local goannas too, which was pretty cool. They just walk around in the entrance to the walking tracks.

On Day 5, we took the ferry to Airlie Beach. We walked along the beach, shops & the lagoon. And had lunch & cocktails at the Airlie Beach Hotel overlooking the beach. They had SO many drinks to choose from & was a different experience, when you purchase certain meals you receive a free plate of salads & desserts!

On Day 6 we went on a jetski tour around Hamilton Island, stopping along the way to sightsee & our tour guide would tell us about the landmarks & history. Was the most perfect weather & such an amazing experience. We used to own a jetski so have jetskiied alot but this was definitely our favourite place to jetski. They even took photos of us at each stop & we were able to purchase a usb with all the photos at the end, which we did.

We managed to hire a buggy finally, as they were always sold out due to the high demand. We hired a buggy twice as we didn’t really need one. To get to the hotels, shops, pool, restaurants, IGA & marina was always a short walk plus free shuttle buses circling every 5 minutes, plus it was nice to walk around. So we only hired the buggy just for fun & to explore a little more. We hired them for 24 hours every time as it worked out the best price to do that. We drove around the whole island, to the yacht club, through all the streets & found the wedding venue locations. Highly recommend hiring a buggy, but just for a couple of days. if you’re staying at a hotel. When you stay at a villa or apartment within the hills & streets they all come with a buggy so you don’t need to hire one. They are $100 including insurance a day, so can add up to be quite pricy & I don’t think it’s necessary for every day. Save your money so you can do fun activities & tours.

On Day 7, we did an off road buggy tour. This was something we had both never done before & it was even better than i expected. It was mainly focused on us driving around to lookout spots & seeing amazing views. It was such great value because we went to Resort lookout, flat top hill lookout & Coral Cove beach which all take hours to hike to each. And we saw all of these in 1 hour, such a fun way to see these spots & we even got history lesson at each spot by the tour guides. It’s very dusty & we got very dirty so wearing a white singlet wouldn’t be something I recommend! They also took photos for us at each stop on our phones which was great! Our tour guides were so much fun, very funny & very knowledgeable. Highly recommend this tour!

Another tour we did, that we had never done before was a sunset sail on a catamaran. Was so romantic, a perfect tour to do on a honeymoon. The price included unlimited drinks & a cheese & nibbles platter. The staff were so friendly & lovely & again took some stunning photos of us. The sunset wasn’t the best one we had seen all honeymoon but was still amazing. Another favourite tour that I would highly recommend.

When we were walking back to our hotel we noticed a tree out the front of our hotel covered with lights. We decided to get takeaway pizza & eat dinner under the tree. Was so beautiful & romantic & something we had never experienced before.

The last day trip that we went on was to Daydream Island. This was no doubt the highlight of our honeymoon. Just the most stunning, little island. They have a living reef pool that you can snorkel in, an underwater aquarium, stingray feeding sessions that you can watch for free, a manmade waterfall, rainforest walk, swim-up bar, outdoor cinema & our favourite, Lovers Cove beach made from coral. We had lunch here at Inkstone, this what the best meal we have had our whole honeymoon.

Although it sounds like we did so much, which we did, we also relaxed so much. We had days by the pool, the beach, walked around, relaxed in our hammock, on our balcony, watched movies, watched the football (our teams happened to play each other so we had to watch), went shopping, had a massage & facial. And even though we booked so many tours & day trips, none of them was planned. We would just walk around exploring & would walk past a tour place, we would go in & enquire & just book it in. We were never rushing around, it was just the perfect pace for a honeymoon.

Our favourite restaurant & food in Hamilton Island was definitely the Mexican restaurant Tako. We went here twice & both times the food was amazing particularly the churros & the passionfruit cheesecake cocktail was probably the best cocktail I’ve ever had! Again the staff were so lovely, friendly & so interested in our wedding & honeymoon. The views overlooked the marina which was beautiful.

Another food highlight was the two restaurants that we got to eat at every morning for a complimentary buffet breakfast. Sails & The Pool Terrace. We would alternate & we ate at Sails for breakfast 4 times & had lunch there once also & also went another time just for a cocktail. We ate at The Pool Terrace 6 times. Sails have such a beautiful view of Catseye beach & also the pools. The Pool Terrace was a beautiful view of the pool & palm trees. At both there were a lot of spaces to sit, we always got a table & always a pretty good one – nice & close to the pool or beach. The staff were ALWAYS so friendly & attentive. Food was made freshly & would arrive so quickly after we ordered! We could choose absolutely anything & as much as we wanted. They would even customise things too. Was a wide range of savoury & sweet options & also vegetarian. Couldn’t ask for anything better! My favourite meal from Sails was definitely the smashed avo! And we loved the omelettes, croissants & fruit too.  My favourite meal at The Pool Terrace was definitely the breakfast potato! And we loved the omelettes & fruit too. Would highly recommend both restaurants. 

As cliche as it may sound, we don’t have one favourite memory from our honeymoon. We honestly loved EVERYTHING! But what was the best part of our honeymoon was just being able to be together on our honeymoon! In another state, travelling & seeing the beauty that our amazing country & the world has to offer, as husband & wife, on a holiday with no work, no COVID, no wedding planning, no housework. Just quality time together in a tropical paradise. After everything we had been through since we got engaged, the countless losses, my grandpa, nanna, my dad’s uncle, Danny’s aunty & brother. The global pandemic hitting & cancelling our wedding & both our 30ths. We just truly could not believe that we were on our perfect, dream honeymoon after just getting married & having our fairytale wedding! Doesn’t get much better than that!