In the past, Hayman Island was synonymous with adult excess – but after a recent $80-million revamp it’s now one of the best places to holiday with babies and toddlers on the Great Barrier Reef.
When corporate legend Sir Reginald Ansett built a luxury resort on a 294-hectare idyll in The Whitsundays in 1950, he probably didn’t have children in mind as guests. But, with its recent $80-million renovation by Dubai-based luxury resort group One&Only, it has been deliberately reimagined to appeal to families, too. There’s the new infinity-edge pool, called “Aquazure”, with a gently sloping entry and an artificial beach that’s perfect for babies and toddlers. There’s also a new kids’ club for children aged four to 11 with a picture-perfect cubbyhouse. (Under-fours are permitted to attend with an adult or babysitter.)
All the resort’s guestrooms have been doubled in size and there are plenty of options for families, including beach villas with an adjacent retreat room that would suit those travelling with a nanny. There are also one- and two-bedroom suites with interconnecting rooms, along with penthouses that sleep up to six people.
Take small kids on a tour of the sand flats directly in front of the resort, where they’ll find crabs, turtles and sea worms. Or just admire the luminous blue tiger butterflies that linger in the gardens. Harried parents, meanwhile, might escape for an hour to enjoy a massage on a bed that is literally floating in the greenblue sea or under the shade of a thick rainforest canopy.
SEE ALSO: Explore our full guide to the Great Barrier Reef