Inspiration Destinations Australia Why Hayman Island Needs to Be on Every Aussie Bucket List

Why Hayman Island Needs to Be on Every Aussie Bucket List

An aerial view of the swimming pool at InterContinental Hayman Island - Luxury Escapes

Australia’s most iconic private island resort delivers everything (and more) when it comes to the epitome of paradise: beachfront pools overlooking the Great Barrier Reef, immersive island experiences and standout drinks and dining.

You’ll find the renowned InterContinental Hayman Island Resort located at the furthest northern tip of the Whitsundays. This acclaimed destination (with a history that stretches back over 70 years) underwent a $135 million renovation in 2019, transforming into the five-star haven it is today. Here’s why this private island paradise should be on every Aussie bucket list.

Arrive in style

The VIP experience begins the moment you land at Hamilton Island Airport and make your way towards the marina for an unforgettable water transfer. Step aboard the catamaran for Hayman’s Luxury Launch, where you'll be greeted with a glass of sparkling wine and light snacks, before settling in for a scenic one-hour cruise through the Whitsundays. Friendly staff kick start your check-in process, ensuring you’re ready to relax as soon as you arrive. Once you dock, you'll hop onto a buggy and make your way to the resort where you’re met with a dedicated team member to escort you to your rooms. Helicopter transfers and private yacht charters are also available from Hamilton Island and the mainland.

InterContinental Hayman Island Resort Luxury Launch Transfer
There is no better way to arrive than with the signature Luxury Launch Transfer

Luxury, by design

InterContinental Hayman Island Resort is designed to showcase the natural beauty of the surrounding Whitsunday Islands. This includes using local materials, incorporating sustainable practices, and preserving the island's flora and fauna. Every guest receives a reusable water bottle during their stay, and there are complimentary filtered water stations located throughout the resort.

Open spaces maximise views of the ocean, beaches and surrounds, and the collection of 182 guest rooms are spacious with open-plan layouts and coastal colours that evoke a sense of calm, space and tranquillity. In-room Suite Control systems allow guests to optimise their climate while minimising energy usage.

InterContinental Hayman Island Resort One Bedroom Suite Pool View
The One Bedroom Suite Pool View offers unbeatable views across the pool and Coral Sea

Most of the rooms can be found across three key wings, the Beach, Pool and Lagoon; each centred around spectacular swimming pools and fringed by landscaped gardens and lush tropical rainforest. There are 12 Beachfront Suites and recently added Hayman Residences: the latter being breathtaking clifftop houses with unbeatable views over the Coral Sea.

Activities for all ages (and budgets)

The resort offers a range of activities that change weekly pending the weather, tides and sunset, with complimentary activities available most days. On-island activities include nature walks (including a two-hour walking trail), a Sunset Peak Hike and a Nocturnal Tour - keep your eyes peeled for wallabies, cockatoos, kookaburras and more as you explore.

Try your hand at the beachfront watersports (non-motorised are complimentary), or sign up for snorkelling, diving or jet-skiing adventures in the surrounding islands. Be sure to head out on the water at least once for an Island Escapade: your chance to explore one of the stunning neighbouring islands. Open-water dive tours, helicopter rides and trips to Whitehaven Beach are also on offer.

The Planet Trekkers Kid’s Club doubles as the daycare for families who live on the island. Children aged between 4-12 can explore the island by connecting with nature through building sandcastles, fish feeding and more.

Flavours of paradise

The resort offers a diverse range of dining experiences. Sun-drenched mornings start with buffet breakfast at the oceanfront Pacific Restaurant, where you can choose lighter options like fresh fruit, yoghurt and pastries, or fuel up for the day with hot dishes such as hash browns, wood-fired bacon and made-to-order eggs. All accompanied by barista-made coffee and fresh daily juices. Pacific's a la carte lunch and dinner menu focuses on produce-driven dishes, with the once-a-week Seafood Buffet a standout dining experience.

Mediterranean-influenced Amici is open nightly for dinner, offering sharing plates and tapas-style bites, alongside wood-fired pizzas and house-made pasta. The decadent seafood linguine is abundant with fresh prawns, squid, mussels, depending on what’s available each day. Those looking for a special pairing can peruse the Cellar Wine list, selecting a bottle from the resort’s cellar.  

Bam Bam at InterContinental Hayman Island Resort
The only thing better than Bam Bam's stunning views is the irresistible Pan Asian menu

Bam Bam is not to be missed. This vibrant Pan Asian restaurant (open for lunch, dinner and drinks daily) offers tasty Asian-inspired share plates and drinks with a side of stunning ocean views. For lunch, opt for a prawn panko sando with wasabi kewpie, iceberg, pickle and lime, or crispy chicken bowls with garlic soy, pickle, rice and salad. After sunset, the tuna tartare with house-made kimchi and Waygu beef yakitori skewers are solid starters, while rich, flavoursome curries and wok-tossed noodles are perfect for sharing.  

Poolside Aqua is a more casual affair, open daily with moreish snacks, light meals and refreshing cocktails on offer. Or head to Bar 50, a casual lounge overlooking the golf simulator for an afternoon tipple.

Everything you could want, and more  

A five-star island resort wouldn’t be complete without a world-class spa, and Hayman Spa & Salon does not disappoint. Relax and rejuvenate at the Spa Oasis, where you’ll enjoy private access to a sauna, plunge pool and steam room, or book in for an indulgent full body treatment: The Signature Hayman Massage will leave you feeling nurtured and reenergised.

Spend your days lounging in style with spacious open-air cabanas overlooking the infinity pool or find tranquillity by the poolside or ocean lounges. Join yoga and meditation classes, access a state-of-the-art gym, and enjoy complimentary water sports like paddleboarding, kayaking, and sailing. Explore the recreation centre for tennis, squash, basketball, bocce and more.

The resort’s one-stop-shop, Grove Boutique & Café, has everything you could need throughout your stay. Drop in for a barista-made coffee, grab and go snacks and light lunches, beauty and skincare products and holiday essentials.

Island life at its finest

You’ll quickly spot the sense of community and camaraderie among those that work here, with the 300-plus staff living in ‘the village’ – some here for a season or two, and others who have been here much longer (including Billy, who has been on the island for 54 years!). There’s a primary school (with a total of 2 students), and a Hotel School for university students to learn the ropes.

Looking for more Queensland travel inspiration? Explore The Best Beachfront Resorts in Queensland.

About Penny Cordner-Maas
As a self-confessed foodie and word nerd, there’s nothing I love more than a good debate about whether wine styles need to be capitalised or where you can find the best coffee in Melbourne.

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