Stayed in room until checkout time at 10am, packing, watching tv and reading. A mis-communication between Pauline and I (I thought because she packed so early we would leave early, but she planned to read when finished) resulted in two phone calls to Drew and Chris basically ending up telling them the what they knew already about leaving times. I went out on the deck to read and enjoy the view and breeze to kill time. Pauline read for a while, then popped her head in to ask if I wanted to get coffee, I said no, we’d be getting breakfast in 15 minutes. She went back inside and I resumed reading. A short while later I got a call on my mobile from Chris asking if we were ready to go. Getting up I said yes, but when I tried to open the balcony I couldn’t get back in. Pauline, in her habitual way of locking doors, had locked me out while she had disappeared. I sat there for about 5 minutes silently annoyed but thinking it was likely that she had gone to get the coffee herself. Next minute Pauline comes in with coffee frantically trying to open the door to let me in, all apologetic. I had been freed! The appalled look she had as she unlocked it was enough for me to forgive her. 😛
Down in the lobby we checked out, a $600 food and drink bill for 2 people for 4 days. More than I usually spend, but hey, when you pay for drinks using a room key, it’s easy to forget how much you are spending. And I have to say, it was a lot of cocktails!
We walked to Toucans to get breakfast but they only had buffet or continental for the same price as the pool terrace. None of us was up for a buffet – travel day and all, so we decided to go to marina deli instead. Waited about 15 minutes for the green bus to marina, we must have missed the last one since they come every 15. At the marina we spent some fun time in Trader Petes’ air conditioned comfort looking at all the trinkets. You can even buy mini golf buggy key rings there!
At the deli we all had bacon and egg muffins except for Drew who had a turkey wrap. I had a chai choc smoothy that was unique but yummy. Sitting outside meant Pauline and Chris were on testicle watch but pickings were slim and they came up empty. Noticing a purple bus coming up the road we jumped on to take a final tour around the top of the hill. Once at the Resort Centre we got off and checked out the Koala Centre where you can have breakfast with the koalas and then visited another tourist shop. At this store they sold kangaroo scrotum lighters and back scratchers made from the paws of kangaroos. Obviously they are still pests apparently. Chris bought a hat like Drews that he had been searching for for years and we hung about indulging in the rare air con.
Back at the hotel we waited in the Reef Lounge for the call of the bus then managed to get on the first one to the airport. Unfortunately we would have been better off waiting since the airport had absolutely no air conditioning. This made the staff extremely grumpy and not very helpful. This resulted in the lady getting a bit annoyed with us when I tried to completely unpack Pauline’s bag just so she could carry it on just to save $10. Turns out it wouldn’t cost any money so we checked it in sheepishly. This made me forget worrying about where our seats were. Chris and Drew managed to get 1st row seats and again got no one between them. She wasn’t going to give it to them until they pointed out that it wasn’t for them, it was for whoever had to sit between them! Whoever manages the Hamilton Island airport, give the staff coldness! Chris got checked for explosives this time, which meant that Pauline was the only one who got through unharassed.
In the terminal we all sweated and stood near the grates that was thankfully bringing in a breeze, although in no way was it enough. This is the only part of the island that doesn’t give off a luxury feel, so they should do something about it. The place has 3G for god sakes but can’t keep their airport cool!
Our Jetstar plane arrived on time so we all boarded quickly just to get out of the heat. We were unfortunately seated in a row next to a family, but they were kind enough to put the mother on our side. Pauline and I have noise cancelling headphones so we were completely oblivious to any noise they made except on the take offs and landing. We both had wine and cheese on the way home, which took up the last of our cash, but damn it tasted good. Meeting up with Chris and Drew at the gate the four of us headed for the car and home.
In summary, these are my thoughts on Hamilton Island:
- Will definitely do it again. The flights and accommodation was good value for money and the facilities were first class
- Next time I will visit Whitehaven beach and go catamaraning. This trip was all about the unwind
- Best food item – probably my panna cotta
- Best cocktail – Cockatoo, closely followed by Isla De Flores
- Funniest moment – seeing Chris and Drew’s sunburn (even though I felt as sorry as hell for them)
- Angriest moment – being told by staff that I couldn’t hire scuba equipment because the tide was in for the next three days. WTF???
- Best moment of relaxation – my first dip in the coral sea
- Hottest moment – probably breakfast at the Pool terrace on the third day
- Travelling with Chris and Drew – really fun