As you descend the stairs from the plane on the Hamilton Island runway, you instantly feel like you’ve landed in paradise. Nothing beats leaving air plane air conditioning and having warm, salty ocean air wash over you. The small airport is open to the outdoors and baggage claim has views of the ocean.
We spent our last week in Australia on Hamilton Island and it was amazing. The island which is part of the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland is truly a paradise with beautiful scenery at every turn, and although Scott and I weren’t alive at the time we imagine it to be somewhat like Waikiki Beach in the 1950’s. There’s plenty to do on the island, yet somehow it seems untouched and undeveloped which is a rarity and so very peaceful. There are no cars on the island aside from those of the maintenance and service crews, so you get around by “buggie” or as we Americans know them – golf carts.
The Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Australia was a fun detour out of Sydney. If you missed my Guide to Sydney, make sure to check it out. To get to Hunter Valley we rented a car, which for us Americans was an adventure in itself with driving on the opposite side of the road and the driver sitting on the right side of the car. Scott and I did end up on the wrong side of the road more than once, but we made it safe and sound to Lovedale, which is situated in the Hunter Valley – a region renowned for it’s wine. So we knew we had to visit when we booked our flight to Sydney!
We recently went on an Australian adventure and our first stop was Sydney. After the longest flight of my life (15 hours from LAX), we arrived in Sydney two days after our departure from Denver and at 6:30 am local time. We threw jet lag to the wind and were ready to explore!
We stayed at the Pier One Marriott which is just under the Sydney Harbor Bridge and in a great location to explore all of the city’s major landmarks. On our first morning, we walked along the water with Luna Park across the harbor, headed to see the Opera House and in search of caffeine!