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Great Barrier Reef

Escape to Paradise on Hayman Island

in the Whitsundays


This trip was the true definition of heaven on earth. We combined our visit to Hayman with travel to Sydney and Melbourne...I mean if you are going to travel all the way to Australia you need to maximize the experience. Prior to vacationing in the Maldives, I had never encountered the level of luxury I felt on Hayman Island.

Today there are luxurious resorts popping up all over the world but most aren't this remote. There is something about experiencing the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef that will forever change the way you view the power of the ocean.

If you're still reading this page, I assume you are looking for a truly luxurious and secluded island getaway. Hayman Island, in Australia's Whitsunday Islands, is one place you should strongly consider. We flew about 22 hours to arrive in Sydney and spent a little over a week experiencing the city lifestyles in both Sydney and Melbourne. There was so much to enjoy in both of these places (see my review of both cities) and Sydney had stunning beaches that would definitely fulfill anyone's beach dreams. However, since we were uncertain if we would ever make it back to this continent, we were determined to see the Great Barrier Reef. Little did we know what a powerful and luxurious experience that decision would turn into. Hayman's private island resort is the epitome of laid-back luxury and natural beauty. 


My stay on Hayman Island was an experience I'll never forget. After flying into Hamilton Island, my husband and I were whisked away on a private yacht, sipping champagne and nibbling on canapes as we sailed through the calm, azure waters towards our tropical paradise. It was just us and the crew. I felt like a celebrity and was certainly being treated like one. If this was the start of my Hayman experience, I couldn't wait for what was ahead. ​


Hayman Island is home to just one exclusive resort, ensuring a perfectly private and peaceful stay. The rooms are incredible, perched over the stunning pool and facing directly out towards the endless ocean views. There are also beach villas but our budget put us in the pool view rooms. It's hard to decide which is more breathtaking - the seclusion and beauty of the private island or the panoramic scenery of the Great Barrier Reef right at your doorstep.


The food offerings were pretty good but not the highlight of the experience. My husband surprised me with a private dinner for two facing the beach and that was a fun, romantic evening that I would recommend booking. 


While the resort itself is five-star luxury, the real draw is its unbeatable access to some of the world's best snorkeling and diving in the Great Barrier Reef. One morning, we stepped right off the resort's dock and onto a boat to explore the incredible underwater world. No matter which way you turned, there was nothing but sparkling blue horizon in a full 360-degree view. The marine life was astounding, with vibrantly colored fish and coral as far as the eye could see. I don't dive so I can only speak to the snorkeling however, they did offer options for both divers and snorkelers of all levels. For those who don't do either, they offered an underwater submarine experience so you could witness the sea life through the safety of a window.


After a long and rocky journey to the outer reefs, we anchored at a pontoon. We were the only boat for as far as we could see. I bravely jumped off the boat into the unknown and the visibility was so clear that the fish seemed close enough to swallow you whole! And to be honest, some were big enough to swallow me whole. I was a little terrified but also in complete awe of these creatures. When the shark came into our area, I got back on the boat and stayed there for the remainder of our time on this excursion. ​


It's worth noting that the crew is quite experienced and certainly takes the weather conditions into consideration but our ride out to the reef was still quite choppy that day. A few couples felt seasick and opted to be picked up by helicopter on our pontoon for a smoother return trip to the island. To be clear, this is not included in the price but is offered if you can't handle the return. Once safely back at Hayman we ran into a few of these "helicopter" couples and they told us that, from the air, they saw so many sharks in the area where we were snorkeling. I know for some seeing these creatures in their natural habitat is a dream come true. For me, their acknowledgment made me glad I decided to stay on the boat after seeing the first shark!


While the overwater villas I've experienced in the Maldives are hard to top for luxury, there's something truly special about a stay on Hayman Island. The seclusion, the natural surroundings, the five-star amenities combined with unbeatable reef adventures - it's an experience like no other. If you're looking to splurge on a romantic tropical getaway, Hayman Island should be at the top of your list. If you decide to book it I'd love to hear from you but I will be surprised if you don't feel that it's worth every penny to stay in this paradise on the Great Barrier Reef.


Notes: Check the time you are traveling as Australia's seasons are opposite the seasons of the United States. 


We did depart the island a day early as a cyclone was heading into the area and we didn't want to be stuck there and unable to continue on our travel plans. Though this certainly wouldn't be a bad place to be stuck.


This is remote and it is the tropics so if you don't like tropical bugs and sea life you may want to consider other options. The spiders on Hayman were fluorescent in color and huge but again I admired them (from a distance) ;) 




Great Barrier Reef
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