A pretty island in Queensland, Australia. Think "Disney". One of 74 Whitsunday Islands, in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. The entire island is owned by a corporation & is a base for Great Barrier Reef excursions & snorkeling trips. Those who work on the island are employees of the corporation. We enjoyed walking Front Street with its little shops and cafes. We took free shuttle buses around the island, with its many hotels, resorts and golf courses.
Hamilton Island is a really polar place. On one hand, no one can ignore the amazing beauty of its waters, forests, and beaches. There's an excellent selection of tours from the island, and at reasonable rates. A great gateway to the Reef, for sure. Even getting to the island from Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane can be done fairly cheaply. Unfortunately, that's where the frugality ends. The hotel rates on the island are very pricey, and the food is just as expensive. Three days with just the two of us eating was bank account nightmare... we got smart and ate apples and fruit+nut bars purchased from the shop for a few meals. All in all, a nice trip if you're going for a special occasion. Otherwise, save your money and instead hit any of Queensland many other beautiful beaches for a lot cheaper.
Hamilton Island is really nice, and a solid launch pad for exploring the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef.