There are certain things that you'll get to do only once in your life. If you're lucky they will be incredibly special things, shared with wonderful people, and they'll be over the top fun. Let me introduce you to the One & Only Resort Hayman Island.
Hayman Island is the farthest north of the Whitsundays in the Great Barrier Reef. The island is tiny with a small marina, a resort, and a few very high end vacation homes for sale. It is only accessible by helicopter or the resort's private yacht. Oh yea!
Rachel and I left The Gold Coast and met Gail and Denise at the Brisbane airport where we boarded a tiny prop plane for Hamilton Island. Those little guys make me so nervous so I was ready with my wine order when the flight attendant came by. She informed me that Quantas doesn't serve wine on flights before 4pm (and it was noon). Grrr... luckily the amazing scenery kept my mind occupied.
|Those dark patches are reefs under the water!|
We landed on Hamilton Island, checked in at the One & Only desk, and were led to the yacht that would take us to the resort. There were just us four girls on board and a guy from Chicago who was being flown out to DJ and take photos at a company party. The rosé champagne started flowing and we all had a fantastic time cruising through the Whitsundays on the 1-hour trip to our island!
The next morning Rachel, Claudette, and I hiked up to Whitsunday View Point. Although we got up there around 9am the sun was already incredibly hot. But the views were worth the near heat exhaustion!
We spent the entire day lounging; going between the ocean and the pool for swims. It was heavenly.
Late in the afternoon, we got cleaned up and the golf carts were waiting to whisk us back down to the marina for a sunset champagne sail. The six of us girls had a blast drinking bubbles and chatting/giggling away. The other two couples, who were there for a romantic sail, didn't quite feel the same!
Rachel, Claudette and I were off again the next morning on an Outer Great Barrier Reef snorkel trip! I was CRAZY excited for this bucket list adventure! There were just 12 people on the boat, 5 of us snorkeling, the others diving. The day couldn't have been more beautiful as we cruised an hour out to the reefs.
That night, after a late afternoon spent having spritzes by the pool, we brought some bottles of champagne down to the beach and enjoyed the sunset. Then we had a fabulous dinner at the restaurant that overlooks the pool and the beach. A few of the girls went to crash the corporate dance party while Denise, Gail, and I hung out on the beach star gazing at the incredible southern hemisphere sky.
Every morning the resort had an amazing buffet breakfast set up with anything you could want; freshly made donuts, omelets, waffles, dumplings, yogurts, fruits, etc. We all chose to sit outside each morning, taking in the beautiful view, but we did have to share with the locals...
As it was Sunday night, all the restaurants were closed (which was really dumb seeing that they are the only ones on the island!), so after our champagne we orderd room service and had it delivered to the beach. These girls... they aren't just pretty and fun, they are smart!
And all too soon it was check out day. Denise and I grabbed stand up paddleboards after breakfast and were the only ones out in the bay. In the Great Barrier Reef. Ridiculous! We saw a stingray, a turtle, and lots of fish while standing looking down!
Willie had the first yacht and flight out so we said our goodbyes and the rest of us hit the pool beds. We got word that our flight out was delayed so we ordered up some rosé and took advantage of the extra hour!
Rachel and Claudette were on the next yacht so more goodbyes were said.
As Gail, Denise, and I got cleaned up the island was hit with a violent rain storm, coming seemingly out of the blue! Luckily it cleared up by the time we were taken to our yacht.
Cyclone Debbie just a month after our visit and The One & Only had to close. I feel incredibly lucky to have experienced it with these fabulous women and looking back at my travel notes and photos have brought back so many sweet memories. Thank you ladies!
All Hayman Island/Great Barrier Reef photos here.
Other posts from this trip:
The Longest Way to Oz
An American Down Under
Meet Up in Melbourne
Yarra Valley Wine Tasting
48-Hours Gold Coast