Hamilton Island Golf Club & Oyster Pairing at qualia

Good day,

I’m writing this from the 16th floor of the Reef View Hotel enjoying the view on this fine morning. Yesterday I had the extreme pleasure of playing Hamilton Island Golf Club on Dent Island which is a short 10 minute ferry ride from the marina on Hamilton Island. This course was exquisite and is literally carved into the sides of the island. It offers incredible views and a playing experience like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Afterward I made my way to qualia for something a little different, an oyster and champagne pairing.


The Hamilton Island Golf Club was opened in 2009 and designed by Peter Thomson who is a five time British Open winner. I got insanely lucky as it was basically a perfect day for golf considering we’re in the tropics and the weather can be unpredictable. There is usually quite a bit of wind making this already difficult course a real challenge. The course record is a 68, only three under par…


Everyone told me the back nine was the most beautiful section and I found that hard to believe until I got there. There is this one hole where you’re standing on the fairway and you have a 360 degree view of the surrounding area, a surreal experience I won’t soon forget. Seriously, every hole is picturesque and I wasn’t sure if I was there for a photo tour or a round of golf, it was a real hybrid of the two.


The course is very difficult if you don’t hit the fairways. Most of the holes have tall grass that starts right off the edge of fairways and if you hit your ball in there, it’s considered out of bounds. Not only is out of bounds but you’ll never find it so just take a penalty and play on. Once the neatly manicured fairways end it becomes rugged terrain to give you an idea of what the whole island was like before the course.


I started the round out well hitting the fairway and missing a par putt by a few inches. This went on for a few holes and I started thinking this course wasn’t so difficult. It’s always important to have a decent tee shot but it was somewhat paramount here. If you messed up your tee shot, it often lead to big and scary numbers as this course is firm and fair but definitely not forgiving.


I managed to shoot four pars, eight bogeys and 6 absolutely gruesome others. That said, it was a sunny day with a slight wind; can only imagine this course on a windy one. I think that clever club selection is the secret to scoring low(ish) here. It’s not an aggressive play for the pin but a real lesson in the benefits of risk management and leaving that three-wood in the bag.


I told someone this yesterday and I’ll mention it now, this course isn’t so much a round of golf but an experience. I’ve played countless courses around the world and I’ve yet to see anything like this. The novelty of an island dedicated to a golf course, the ferry ride over and the absolutely incredible views of the Whitsunday islands make it a very unique experience.


After the round I joined a gent from the golf course for lunch and noticed it was quite packed. The clubhouse also has great views of the surrounding area and it’s a popular spot to enjoy a special lunch with a spectacular view. Many people who come for the lunch also take a tour of the golf course as it has sights that can be appreciated by anyone whether they play golf or not.


After lunch I returned back to the hotel before heading off to qualia for a champagne and oyster pairing. qualia is the luxury resort which is located on the northern end of the island and completely separate from the rest. When you make your way through the main gates, feels like you’re entering another world. It’s also 18+ so as you can imagine, it’s mainly couples.


I found the pairing quite informative and now know considerably more about both champagne and oysters as well as the pairing of them. I’m not a big oyster fan to be honest but I did enjoy the experience thoroughly. It also piqued my interest in other such courses as I’m quite curious how I could better pair what’s in my glass with lobster as it’s quite often on my plate.


This concludes my coverage here from Hamilton Island, what an trip its been… In a few hours I’m catching a flight to Brisbane and driving up the Sunshine Coast for much more of the same. In closing, I’d like to thank Hamilton Island and Tourism and Events Queensland for their hospitality; these last few days have been incredible!

























Tips hat,

P.S: I don’t want to leave but the show must go on.


  1. Chris

    January 25, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    The Dent Island course is a thing of beauty. I am not ashamed to admit I needed to stop in at the pro shop after nine holes to re-stock on golf balls for the second nine. I didn’t need them, but things were looking grim for a few holes there!

    Beautiful course, glad you got to experience it.

    • Rob

      January 27, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      It was incredible and one of the highlights of my trip so far.

      I can’t imagine it on a windy day though; must be tough!

  2. Andrea

    January 26, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Ahhh – I see you had gorgeous weather! We got married on Hamilton Island and I would love to go back

    • Rob

      January 27, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      What a place to tie the knot and I’d love to go back too; I think everyone who leaves wishes they could stay longer. One of those magical places on this planet.

  3. Fran

    February 9, 2014 at 4:34 am

    Absolutely spectacular. I’m not much of a golfer, but it looks like just walking the course would make for a beautiful day. Happy to see you’re making the most of another great adventure. Making my first trip home in almost 2 years. Going to sell the place and buy down here. Crazy, I know, but it’s feeling right.

  4. Amanda C.

    June 10, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Rob –
    I saw this post before I traveled to Hamilton Island. In the back of my head, I kept thinking “Yes! I will eat oysters and drink champagne at qualia!” Upon arriving on the island, I was told that you can’t just GO to qualia… you need a special invite (lucky you!).

    So I suppose I saved some money and instead got oysters and champagne at Mariner’s Restaurant. And good lord, I’m right with you… NOT a fan of oysters! They were… well, gag-worthy. 😉

    Anyway, thanks for inspiring me to try oysters and champagne on HI. Cheers!

    • Rob

      June 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      LOL! Glad you did save some cash then and have them elsewhere.

      I’m just not a fan of oysters in general; had some incredible ones in Texas though; BBQ style.

      I’m glad this site inspired you to try something and thanks for reading! 😀

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