Australia is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations, with the ‘Land Down Under’ commonly associated with high temperatures, lots of sunshine, beautiful beaches, lovely scenery, and friendly people. It’s a great place to spend some time on vacation, with cities like Sydney and Melbourne having so much to offer and unique natural landmarks like Uluru also providing unparalleled experiences to travelers of all ages.

More ideas: Best Weekend Getaways, Best Day Trips

Hamilton Island is another amazing destination in Australia. One of the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Hamilton Island is home to a little over a thousand people but draws in many more each year and has been ranked as one of the best island getaway locations in the world by multiple major travel publications.

The biggest inhabited island in the Whitsunday group, Hamilton Island has its own airport and is easy to access, with direct flights connecting it to several major Australian cities including Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. The island itself features less than two square miles of land in total, but still has a lot to offer. Read on to learn about just some of the fun things to do on Hamilton Island, Australia.

- A Day Trip to the Great Barrier Reef - Since Hamilton Island is one of the only islands around the Great Barrier Reef to have its own airport, it's a perfect location to do a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Several tour operators run day trips out to the reef, giving passengers up-close experiences of the reef. You can choose to fly over the reef and see the islands from above, or head out on a cruise and can actually take a guided snorkeling adventure beneath the waves.

- Attend Hamilton Island Race Week - Hamilton Island Race Week is one of the most exciting and popular events to be held in the Whitsunday Islands. It's been going since the 1980s and attracts many Australians, as well as lots of visitors from other countries too. Hamilton Island Race Week typically features a lot of both on-water and off-water events, including sailing races, a beach party, various lunches and dinners, fashion shows, cocktail parties, food markets, and more.

- Play a Game of Golf - Hamilton Island has its own driving range and a mini golf course, which offers a lot of fun for the whole family. If you're ready to take on something a little bigger, you can take a short ferry ride over to neighboring Dent Island, home of the Hamilton Island Golf Club and an 18-hole course, with truly spectacular views in every direction. You’ve never played on a course quite like this one before.

- Head to Catseye Beach - Hamilton Island is home to several beaches, with Catseye Beach standing out as one of the best. A beautiful stretch of sand looking out over turquoise waters and backing onto mountains and forests, Catseye Beach is the sort of beach you see on postcards. It runs for about half a mile and offers great conditions for swimming, kayaking, sunbathing, and snorkeling. Those looking for something more intense can consider heading out further for some windsurfing.

- Or Try Whitehaven Beach - If you've seen Crescent Beach and are looking for something a little different, you can take a trip from Hamilton Island over to Whitehaven Beach. This beach is actually right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, so it's totally protected and pristine. It's been ranked as the best beach in all of Australia in the past and is known for its exceptionally soft, white sands.

- Go Fishing - The waters around Hamilton Island are teeming with life, and all sorts of prize fish are just waiting to be caught. Fishing charters like Renegade Fishing Charters operate on Hamilton Island. They'll be happy to take you out for a fun fishing expedition, where you've got a great chance of landing a big one. You can also rent your own boat and head off solo or with some friends for a more private fishing experience.

- Relax - Hamilton Island has its own spa, Spa Wumurdaylin, where trained and friendly therapists are standing by to help you slip into a state of pure calm and absolute relaxation. Whether you're looking for massages, facials, body treatments, or something else altogether, the staff at the spa will be happy to help.

- Family Activities - If you're looking for some family fun on Hamilton Island, there are several options to check out. We've already spoken of the mini golf course and beaches, and you'll also find a bowling alley on the island, as well as a go-kart racing circuit that kids always adore. You can also choose to rent some buggies or even an ATV and head off on a family island adventure you'll never forget.

- Hiking - You'll find several walking and hiking trails all around Hamilton Island, and even though the island is quite small, you can discover all sorts of little hidden gems and secluded areas by choosing a direction and setting off for a fun hike. Several kinds of trails are available, ranging in difficulty from simple to challenging, and you'll often find great picnic areas along the way.