Despite its rainy beginning, yesterday turned out to be a pretty nice day.Â The downpour settled down at about 11:00 a.m., so we rented a golf cart (a buggy, as it’s called here in Australia) to go out and explore the island.Â We opted for a full day’s rental, but we pretty much saw everything in less than two hours.Â We had lunch at the local chippy which was the best fish and chips I’ve had since New Zealand.Â It was still cold and overcast, but at least fairly dry.Â
We returned the buggy, cleaned up, and went to dinner at the fine-dining restaurant in the yacht club called Bommie.Â It was okay, but like many fine dining restaurants in Queensland, it seems like the abstract idea of what someone who hasn’t eaten in many true fine dining restaurants imagines a fine dining restaurant to be like.Â The yacht club is a beautiful building with fantastic views, I like the design aesthetic of the restaurant, and the service was excellent (if a bit obsequious).Â Not much else to report however, except a quite hefty tariff.
If the Whitsundays are the Bahamas of Australia, Hamilton Island is supposed to be the Hamptons.Â I guess I could see it.Â It’s definitely expensive here.Â There’s a variety of resorts and restaurants and water-based activities to suit any taste in the higher end budgets, but there’s just not much to it.
All in all, Hamilton Island feels very sterile and master-planned in a kind of Potemkin-like way.
It’s 9:00 a.m. now.Â Hamilton Island Marina has a “check out” time like a hotel – 11:00 a.m.Â Luckily this vaguely corresponds with the tidal chart, but the first hour or so of our 3-hour jaunt to Airlie Beach will be against the current.Â Abel Point Marina suggested that we arrive around 2:00 p.m. to be safe on depth.Â I’m headed out to the bakery for a couple of pies and sandwiches for the afternoon.