Tropical Island Luxury: The Whitsundays, Australia

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As the world's largest single living structure, the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland, Australia, can be seen from space, but we encourage you to take a closer look. 
The Whitsundays are a collection of 74 islands on the Great Barrier Reef. Famous for their stunning natural setting and coupled with luxury resorts available for exclusive use and a variety of indoor, outdoor and beachside event spaces, meet two of the islands ideal for incentive trips: Hamilton and Hayman Islands. 

Hamilton Island has its own airport, with direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns, while Hayman Island is reached by an hour's scenic boat tour through the Whitsundays from Hamilton Island or a 15-minute helicopter or scenic plane flight. Private yachts can also be chartered to reach the island. 

On Hamilton Island, qualia, set within 30 acres of tropical gardens, offers the height of luxury across its 60 private rooms or "pavilions," each with water views and either a private plunge pool or private sun deck. 

Venues within the resort include restaurants Long Pavilion and Pebble Beach with menus featuring seasonal, sustainable and ethical Australian produce. To delve deeper into qualia's food philosophy, "talk and taste" sessions with the resort's chefs are a must. For an additional Australian twist, cocktail events can include wildlife encounters with specialist koala handlers from Hamilton Island's wildlife park bringing some furry friends for a cuddle. 

The resort also has its own spa with a range of treatments and wellbeing therapies.

Activities for groups on and around the island include sailing, kayaking, snorkelling and diving, walking trails, golf on the only championship island golf course in Australia, scenic flights over the reef and the iconic Whitehaven Beach, and boat trips to Heart Reef and Whitehaven Beach.  

Venues across the wider island highlight the extraordinary setting, with opportunities for cocktails or dinner on the beach, the jetty and the dock as well as in various indoor spaces. Dining experiences for groups can include waiters emerging from the water, festival-style themes or poolside evenings. Options can be further tailored to create unique experiences.

On Hayman Island, the whole-of-island, five-star InterContinental Resort Hayman Island can cater for larger groups, with 168 rooms, villas and suites. Like Hamilton Island, there is also a spa on the island.

The resort reopened in 2019, after an $89 million refurbishment and includes 15 indoor and outdoor event spaces catering for up to 330 guests seated, including beaches, lawns and gardens. Incentive groups can also enjoy sunset cocktails on Langford Island, an 875-yard sand spit available as tides permit and accessible by a seven-minute boat ride.


Alongside scenic flights, sailing, snorkelling and diving, group activities include environmentally friendly sea scooters, allowing groups to glide effortlessly to a depth of eight feet to explore the Great Barrier Reef. 

InterContinental Resort Hayman Island has also curated several experiences to connect delegates to the surrounding environment, including coral rejuvenation classes, sessions with local marine biologists and culinary masterclasses which deepen understanding of cuisine and cocktails, including hands-on creation. 

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