Are you planning the perfect luxury Hayman Island holiday? Managed by The Intercontinental (IHG), Hayman Island Whitsundays Resort is one of the best luxury holiday destinations in Australia.
We recently had the opportunity to spend six glorious nights at Hayman Island Resort. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your trip – including how to get to Hayman Island, what to do on Hayman Island, the best time to visit, plus a rundown of all the Hayman Island restaurants. We’ve also included our full Hayman Island review and additional tips to make the most of your visit!
A Hayman Island holiday is exactly what the doctor ordered after a chaotic 2020!
Not only is it the perfect place from which to visit the Great Barrier Reef, it’s also a top contender on our list of the best luxury holiday destinations in Australia! In close competition with Hamilton Island, Port Douglas and Noosa Heads, of course!
Read on to learn everything you need to know about visiting Hayman Island Australia
Planning a holiday in Australia right now? Here’s what you need to know about Flying in Australia during COVID!
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Where is Hayman Island Resort located?
Hayman Island is located in the Whitsundays region, just off the north-east coast of Queensland, Australia. The Whitsundays is known as one of the most beautiful regions in the world. It’s famed for being the filming location of blockbuster movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, and is a popular place to see the Great Barrier Reef – a must-do on anyone’s travel bucket list!
How to Get to Hayman Island Whitsundays
Getting to Hayman Island
There are no direct flights to Hayman Island – but don’t let that worry you – getting to Hayman Island is actually quite easy.
First you will need to book a flight to either Hamilton Island or Airlie Beach, then book transfers to Hayman Island via boat or helicopter.
Qantas and Virgin Australia both offer regular flights to Hamilton Island or Airlie Beach airports from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and the Gold Coast. We recommend flying into Hamilton Island if possible, as it’s closer to Hayman Island and the transfer process is much quicker and easier.
Boat Transfers from Hamilton Island to Hayman Island
The Intercontinental has a fleet of luxury catamarans used to transfer guests from Hamilton Island to Hayman Island. The boat ride is quite an experience in itself!
After landing at Hamilton Island airport, we proceeded directly to the Intercontinental Hayman Island Transfer Desk, where our host collected our luggage and directed us to board the boat. The boat is moored directly next to the airport, so it is only a short walk to the jetty. The whole experience was very easy and seamless.
As we boarded the boat and settled into the luxurious leather lounges, we were greeted with a glass of sparkling wine, which was regularly topped up throughout the trip to Hayman (approximately 60 minutes). We were offered canapés and there was a happy ‘holiday mode’ vibe amongst all the guests onboard.
The entire experience was the perfect way to start our Hayman Island holiday!
Planning to visit Hamilton Island before or after you go to Hayman? Check out our Guide to Visiting Hamilton Island
Helicopter Flights to Hayman Island
If boats are not your thing, or you simply want to arrive at your accommodation quicker, you can arrange a helicopter transfers to Hayman Island instead. The Intercontinental has their own fleet of helicopters available to collect you from Hamilton island or Airlie Beach (or other nearby islands).
One option is to book a boat transfer one way and a helicopter the other way to experience both!
Transfer Booking & Costs
The Intercontinental Resort handles all bookings for Hayman Island transfers. The boats are scheduled to compliment flight schedules, so once you’ve booked flights, you just need to contact the reservations team to advise your flight details and they will let you know what boat you are scheduled on.
Boat transfers to Hayman Island cost AUD $210 per adult, one way, and $110 per child (4-16 years).
Alternatively, bookings for helicopter transfers are also handled by the resort and start from AUD $700 each way for two guests. Luggage restrictions may apply.
Best Time to Visit Hayman Island
Given its location in tropical Queensland, Hayman island actually experiences beautiful temperatures year-round. However, there are some other factors to take into consideration when determining the best time to visit Hayman Island.
The summer months (December to March) are the hottest and are also the rainy season, with the odd tropical cyclone passing through the Whitsundays. The Aussie winter (June through October) is rarely a problem at Hayman Island, because the average temperature is still around 23 degrees Celsius and the water is still warm.
August through December is the most popular time to visit Hayman island. April through June is also a beautiful time of year.
In our opinion, September is the absolute best month to visit, as the weather is beautiful and its outside stinger season. However, we recommend you avoid school holidays if possible, as the island gets very busy during this time.
Hayman Island Accommodation
Hayman Island Resort is one of the most luxurious island resorts in the Whitsundays and indeed within the whole of Australia!
The resort was devastated by Cyclone Debbie in 2017, which caused extensive damage. It has since undergone a $135 million renovation, and it is looking absolutely stunning! Just check out at the photos of the beautiful resort…
Hayman Island Resort is hands down one of the most luxe holiday destinations we’ve visited in Australia!
Guest Rooms & Suites
Hayman Island hotel has 168 luxurious guest rooms, suites and beach villas. The rooms span across three resort wings – the Beach Wing, Pool Wing and Lagoon Wing.
All rooms featured king size beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, open plan bathrooms and stunning tropical décor.
We stayed in the Pool Access Suite during our trip!
The thing we loved about the resort, was the three separate wings. We stayed in the Pool Wing which was ideally suited to couples and honeymooners seeking a more expansive and luxurious space. With stunning views over Hayman Island’s iconic pool (the largest in the southern hemisphere), and direct pool access where you can swim-out right from your own suite!
Pro Tip: Due to legislation, the Pool Access Suites are only available for guests 12 years of age and over.
We found that the Lagoon Wing seemed to appeal more to families, with a kid-friendly infinity pool, daybeds and easy access to the beach.
The Beach Wing on the other hand, is perfect for those looking for ultimate beachside luxury with a little more privacy, direct beach access and private plunge pool.
The island also features a few Hayman Residences – luxurious private open-plan 4-bedroom houses perched on the hill with spectacular views. These start from AUD $8000 per night to rent. They are also available to buy – if you’ve got a cool $12 million to spare!
Hayman Island Restaurants
Below is a quick rundown of all the Hayman Island restaurants. I highly recommend you make bookings for breakfast and dinner prior to arriving. We found that the most popular dining times were already booked out before we arrived.
You can book directly through the resort or use the OpenTable app. We found the app was a very convenient way of keeping track of all our restaurant reservations during our stay.
Restaurants at Hayman Island Overview
Amici Trattoria served traditional Italian cuisine and Mediterranean dishes. This was my favourite restaurant on the island, where we dined three times! Amici is open for dinner only.
Bam Bam is the resorts signature modern Asian restaurant, located near the Infinity Pool. Bam Bam is open for lunch and dinner most days.
The main restaurant on the island has views over the ocean. Pacific is where you’ll find the expansive complimentary breakfast buffet in the morning. Pacific is also open for dinner, serving modern Australia cuisine.
Aqua Café & Pool Bar
Aqua is located at Hayman Island’s impressive main pool and is open for lunch. They have a great menu of signature cocktails and delicious bar snacks (the fish tacos were amazing!). All meals are delivered directly to your poolside lounge. There is no need to book at Aqua.
Grove Boutique & Café
Offering a small selection of refreshments, sandwiches, cakes, and coffee. The Grove Boutique and Café is the local island shop and boutique, with a selection of designer resort wear, pool floaties, beer, wine, and a few other necessities such as milk, supermarket items, and pharmaceuticals, etc.
Located near reception in the resorts game room, with a pool table, and golf simulator. Bar Fifty is a nice place for a cocktail to start the evening or end it with a nightcap.
Private Dining Experiences
There are several locations around the resort where you can arrange a private dining experience. From poolside cabanas, to beachside dining, or on the deck of your own room! We recommend booking this experience in advance.
What to Do on Hayman Island
We were genuinely impressed that there were so many things to do on Hayman Island. Before arriving, we (perhaps naively) thought it would be all about relaxing around the pool and drinking cocktails. But the resort actually offers an extensive range of day trips.
All activities have to be booked through the resort, as there are no other operators on the island. Read our recommendations below or take a look at all options via the Hayman Island Activity Brochure.
Our Pick of the Best Things to Do on Hayman Island
Book a short boat trip to a nearby island or sandbar through the resort. From $90 AUD per person, they will drop you off a few hours before sunset and pick you up just after the sun goes down. You can also arrange a picnic hamper through the resort and pick up a bottle of wine from the Grove Café to take with you. We loved this experience, and highly recommend it.
Hands down one of the BEST things to do on Hayman Island! During our stay we took a helicopter tour to Whitehaven Beach with a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef and I highly recommend it!
There are several different helicopter options available, including a stopover at Whitehaven Beach, scenic flight over the Heart Reef, landing on the Outer Reef pontoon, or a combination of all three. It’s not cheap, but I can say from first-hand experience, it was simply a once in a lifetime experience.
Want to know what it’s really like? Read more about our experience of taking a helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef
Whitehaven Beach Boat Tour
There are a variety of boat tours available, including trips to Whitehaven Beach, diving or snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, sailing excursions, fishing trips and much more. We think Whitehaven Beach is a must-do if you’ve never seen it before. The colour of the sand is out of this world!
The water sports desk is located on the Main Beach, where you can hire stand-up paddle boards, sailing catamarans, sea kayaks, and wind surfers. There is no need to pre-book these experiences.
There are a few hikes around the island from 30 minutes to 2 hours long. The best and shortest hike is Blue Pearl Bay, which has a beautiful secluded beach and takes approximately 30 minutes. You’ll require a reasonable level of fitness as there are a few steep and rocky ascents, but you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views.
If you’re looking for something a little less strenuous, you can also wander out onto the sand flats during low tide.
Pro Tip: We suggest an early start to avoid the blistering midday sun or opt for a sunset hike to one of the islands viewpoints for a spectacular view over the resort.
On the island you’ll find tennis courts, squash courts, air hockey tables, fuseball, pool tables, yoga and fitness classes, a golf simulator, and so much more. Trust me, you won’t be bored! Fitness classes and tennis lessons should be pre-booked.
Hayman Island Beaches
Hayman Island is relatively small with only four beaches on the island. The main beach located on the southern side of the island is where the resort and watersports areas is located.
All other beaches on the island require a steep uphill hike to reach, or you can take a boat there. The closest beach, Blue Pearl Bay, is around 30 minutes’ walk and offers some great snorkelling. Be sure to arrange snorkelling equipment through the activities desk before you go.
The other two beaches are located on the north side of the island, which is largely uninhabited. They are much harder to reach on foot and you’ll need to allow at least 2-3 hours return from the resort.
Reviews & Tips
Overall, we absolutely loved our stay at Hayman Island Resort! We’ve stayed at some amazing luxury resorts in countries around the world – such as The Maldives, Jordan and Bali. Prior to arriving at Hayman Island, we didn’t realise this kind of luxury existed in Australia!
What to Expect
Here are a few additional notes on what to expect during your stay at Hayman Island:
- Hayman Island Resort had a shortage of staff while we were there (due to COVID), so the service was a little slow on occasion. Our coffees took around 15-20 minutes to arrive at breakfast. However, the staff were all extremely friendly and we were on holiday, so we didn’t let this bother us. We found that we got served quicker when if had an earlier dinner booking.
- In-room dining took a while to be delivered, but then we learnt that it was quicker to order take-away and collect it ourselves and we were more than happy to do that.
- Avoid school holidays! Especially if you’re a couple looking for a relaxing vacation. I cannot stress this enough.
- Be sure to close your balcony doors when you leave the room, the cockatoos are ruthless! They got into our room one day and ripped apart the sugar sachets while we were out.
- We stayed 6 nights and it was the perfect amount of time. We had friends who stayed 3 nights and said it wasn’t long enough.
Our Hayman Island Review
Location: The Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia
Highlight: The totally Instagrammable Pool!
Lowlight: It was quite windy during our visit
Accommodation Type: Luxury Island Resort
Price Range: AUD $550 per night (*based on our research at the time of writing)
Luxe Rating: *****
You can read more Hayman Island reviews and see photos from previous guests on TripAdvisor.
More Photos from Hayman Island Australia
We posted a ton of photos and videos from our Hayman Island holiday on Instagram. Check them out here and follow us for more inspo and luxury holiday destinations around the world!
Hayman Island Wrap Up
Don’t forget to pre-book Hayman Island restaurants before you go using OpenTable, to ensure you don’t miss out on your preferred dining spot!
If you’re looking for more luxury travel guides and getaways in Australia, be sure to check out our other Australia travel blog articles.
Last, but not least… We hope you have a wonderful trip to Hayman Island!
Feeling Inspired? Here are 10 amazing places to add to your travel Bucket List!
Planning a Queensland adventure? Read on for more inspiration:
- A Guide to Visiting Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays
- 20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit the Great Barrier Reef
- The Ultimate LUXE Guide to Hayman Island, Australia
- Noosa Heads: Where to Stay, What to Do + Where to Eat & Drink
- The Ultimate Travel Guide to Port Douglas, Australia
- How to See Tangalooma Wrecks on Moreton Island, Australia
- 50+ Famous Landmarks in Australia to add to your Bucket List
- 10 Best Airbnbs in Cairns, Australia
Shop Our Hayman Island resort Essentials
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Planning a trip soon? Here is a list of the websites and resources we use for booking everything from flights, to accommodation, tours, and more:
- Skyscanner for booking the best flight deals
- Booking.com | Agoda | Hotels.com for the best rates on hotels
- Airbnb | HomeAway to find the best apartment and home rentals
- Rentalcars.com for quick and easy car rentals
- Luxury Escapes for luxury package holiday deals and tours
- Get Your Guide for a great range of day tours
- Tourradar | Intrepid for multi-day experiential and adventure tours
- Priority Pass for airport lounge access in hundreds of locations around the world
- Skyroam to stay connected to WiFi everywhere I go
- iVisa to apply for entry visas for most countries in the world
- World Nomads for the most comprehensive worldwide travel insurance
About the Author:
Amanda Twine is the founder and creator of Fly Stay Luxe – a luxury travel blog sharing informative travel guides, food guides, hotel reviews, itineraries and tips about how to make luxury travel more affordable.