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Queensland Destinations

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Whitsundays Tourism News

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

qualia was named Best Australian Island Resort and Spa qualia was named Best Spa for the third year running, adding to the multi-award winning resort's array of national and international accolades.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

qualia has promoted Alastair Waddell to the position of executive chef following his 3 year tenure as sous chef  under the tutelage of former executive chef, Jane-Therese Mulry. Prior to qualia, Waddell was chef de partie at the 2 hatted Bistro Guillaume in Melbourne.  Preceding his move to Australia, Waddell worked in his home town in  Glasgow, Scotland with renowned chef, Paul Tamburrini.  He held the position of sous chef at The Bistro, at One Devonshire Gardens hotel and the Georgian room in  Cameron House, Loch Lomond. Both hotels were awarded the prestigious 3 AA Rosette rating.
At qualia, Waddell’s cuisine is inspired by the resort’s stunning island vistas, creating menus that are light, fresh and healthy. However, as a proud Scotsman, he has introduced black pudding to the menu which is now one of the resort’s most popular main courses.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Now in its sixth year, the Hamilton Island Hilly Half Marathon is an exhilarating experience with a variety of terrains from marina outlooks, to fire trails and walking tracks up the rugged Passage Peak which rewards competitors with breath taking ocean views of the stunning Coral Sea and surrounding Whitsunday Islands.
Comprising of two participant options, the Hamilton Island Hilly Half Marathon includes the challenging individual 21km half-marathon for experienced competitors, but also popular relay teams of three people running 7km each. Later that morning, will be the popular Junior Fun Run providing children aged 15 years and under with a choice of three distances to compete in from 3000 metres, 1500 metres or 750 metres.
Following the event, Hamilton Island will host a medal presentation ceremony on the Marina’s Front Street next to Manta Ray cafe, with a complimentary barbeque, lucky draw prizes and live entertainment.
Entries for the 2012 Stamford Financial Hilly Half Marathon have opened online. For further entry, or registration information please visit

Thursday, April 07, 2011









Formula 1 Grand Prix Fernando Alonso takes a holiday to beauitful Hamilton Island staying at the luxurious Qualia.
There was a couple of buggies that were painted his racing colours for his stay. Fernando enjoyed the recently opened Golf Course on Dent Island only a 10 minute ferry across from Hamilton Island.

Fernando Alonso will be back to competition in Kuala Lumpar at the Sepang International Circuit on April 8th.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Meet the newest member of the Hamilton Island Wildlife Park, Baby O! Named after Oprah who recently visited.

She is just over 1kg at 10 months old and eating 80% leaf and 20% milk. Her Mum is Gretchen.

Hamilton Island Wildlife Park is open for Breakfast (7:30am - 9:30am) and Lunch. This dining option is very popular for the families as you can cuddle a koala after your beautiful meal.

Monday, March 28, 2011

NEWS Dive in to the Heron Island Dive Festival 2011 Heron Island is celebrating its status as one of Australia's top dive destinations with the launch of the Heron Island Dive Festival 2011, from September 5th to 11th. The Heron Island Dive Festival 2011 will kick off with a gala BBQ and drinks on the Wistari Terrace, followed by an introduction of the week's stellar line up of acclaimed speakers and diving industry leaders, including: • Award-winning nature and wildlife photographer Gary Bell • Renowned marine scientist and underwater photographer Dave Harasti • Author and diver rescue specialist John Lippmann • Celebrated underwater photographer Bob Halstead

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bowling is now open on Hamilton Island!
Kegal 9 pin Bowling is a new and exciting family friendly activity now available at Hamilton Island's Activity Center.
Cost: $39 per lane for $30 minutes and $69 for an hour, with a maximum of 6 people per lane.

Day & Night Bowling available.
Open from 2pm- 10pm daily

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Waterslide on FantaSea Reefworld is now open! Offers fun for the whole family!

FantaSea Reef World offers;

ReefWorld Cruise Includes:

  • Semi-submersible tours
  • Underwater viewing chamber
  • All snorkelling equipment and floatation aids
  • A large shaded observation deck
  • Queensland Groper viewing station
  • 'Club Seahorse' child minding service (30 minute)
  • Reef appreciation talk
  • Extensive shaded areas
  • Fresh water showers
  • Children's swimming enclosures
  • Full length lycra swimsuits
  • Wetsuits (winter months)
  • Breakfast on Board
  • BBQ Buffet lunch
  • Morning & afternoon tea
  • Unlimited tea & coffee
  • Return coach transfers to Shute Harbour from mainland resorts

Optional Extras:

  • Massage Hut
  • Guided Snorkel Tours
  • Scuba Diving (Introductory & Certified. Subject to medical questionnaire. If guest suffers from asthma, has a heart condition or any health concern a medical prior to departure is recommended).
  • Heli Scenic Flights over world-famous Heart Reef

Thursday, December 09, 2010

For talk show queen Oprah Winfrey soaking up the surrounds of the Whitsundays was better than any picture in a magazine.

Oprah began her Ultimate Australian Adventure yesterday, flying into Hamilton Island at 1.25pm.

“I will be telling everybody that it is better than anything in a book or a magazine,” she said.

“It is a really long trip but it is worth it.

“The people here are really friendly.

“Oh my God, it is so beautiful,” she said.

Once her private jet had landed, Oprah made a quick dash from the airport to her luxury resort, qualia, for a costume change from her Akubra to a yellow beaded top and pants, more suited to the heat of the tropics.

Once she was refreshed from her plane ride, Oprah, with best friend Gayle King, drove a golf buggy from the resort to the Wildlife Sanctuary Animal Zoo, where she got up close and personal with a koala.

On her way to the sanctuary she stopped and spoke with tourists and fans who swamped her buggy as she tried to drive.

However, Oprah was not overwhelmed by the tourist and media frenzy. Instead she took the time to speak and say hello to those she met along the way.

Oprah was definitely in holiday mode as many people who got a rare glimpse of her said she seemed relaxed and laidback.

Along with greeting fellow tourists and fans, Oprah met with Queensland Premier Anna Bligh before checking out the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.

Joining Oprah on Hamilton are some of the 300 audience members who got the surprise of their lives during her show's 25th season premiere in September, when she announced they would join her on a trip to Australia.

One of those lucky audience members is Gillian Muir, of Alberta, Canada.

“Everyone in Australia is very friendly,” she said.

“I think (Oprah) has changed people's lives through what she does on her shows.”

Ms Muir said the experience has made her realise people are all the same the world over.

Sydney woman Vesna Stojanovska, who is holidaying with her two sisters on Hamilton Island, said it was wonderful to be sharing a holiday destination with Oprah Winfrey.

“It was really great to see her driving her own buggy and that she stopped and spoke to people – it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she said.

It's believed Oprah held a private party for 93 guests on Whitehaven Beach last night. She was expected to check out of qualia this morning.

The Australian Adventure programs are scheduled to air in the US in syndication in January 2011 and in Australia on Network Ten in prime time January 2011.

Oprah will hold a public appearance at a civic reception in Melbourne's Federation Square tomorrow.

Monday, May 03, 2010

We now have Movies on Hamilton Island! Our new 80 seat theatre style auditorium at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club is offering our guests the opportunity to enjoy a cinema experience during their stay in comfortable cinema leather seats on Tuesday & Saturday evenings at 7.30pm (start)! At a cost of $10 per person (paid on entry @ Yacht Club Desk) guests can enjoy some of the latest movies whilst enjoying a drink, chips of chocolates from the snack bar (additional cost)! Watch this space for pics! Upcoming movies include Invictus, Avatar, It’s Complicated, Sherlock Holmes, Old Dogs!
Tickets can be purchased at 12 noon on the day from the Yacht Club Concierge Desk.

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