Passage Peak Mission

Spectacular Whitsunday views from Passage Peak (Photo: JennI Shah)

Spectacular Whitsunday views from Passage Peak (Photo: JennI Shah)

It has been a week now and I think I have finally recovered from our trek up to Passage Peak. Obviously paddling in a canoe is insufficient preparation for hiking the hills. All jesting aside the kids and I had a lovely morning on our 5.3km walk to Passage Peak and back (plus the extra 250m for the detour my daughter insisted upon).

Spontaneous plans can often turn out to be the best ones with families, and so it happened that after an early morning wake up I turned around an announced our trekking plans. Truth be told, it is a terrible shame on my name that we have been here on Hamilton Island for a year now and I haven’t done it. My husband has run up during boot camp, the kids have walked up with aunties and grand-parents… I have packed the snacks and waved them on their way.

The first climb from behind the Reef View Hotel up to the Scenic Trail Junction was OK – the kids were jogging ahead – but the walk along the ridge it my favourite. There are fantastic views and dappled shade along the track. Then we reached Saddle Junction and the 950m climb up to the peak. Stairs. Lots of them. We received encouragement from walkers coming down (all well and good for them, I thought, they’ve put this part behind them!) and the kids were alternately running ahead and then stopping for a huff-and-puff.

The Stairway to Heaven. The final stretch of the walk to Passage Peak is steep, but worth it! (Photo: JennI Shah)

The Stairway to Heaven. The final stretch of the walk to Passage Peak is steep, but worth it! (Photo: JennI Shah)

Ultimately we were rewarded with a stunning view over the Whitsunday Islands and morning tea with a view. And what a view! We could see over the top of Whitsunday Island to Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet right around to Pentecost Island and beyond. It was glorious.

On our trip down from the peak we played cheerleader to those coming up (feeling a little smug while doing it) and stopped to take in an overview of the Hamilton Island resort centre. We could even see the marina. We also saw the new audio tour signs.

There are several walking routes on the southern part of the island, taking you to Coral Cove, Escape Beach and South East Head. The Resort Lookout is another one not to be missed – and would be a great spot to watch the sailing in the upcoming Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. Trail maps can be found at several of the activities around the island as well as at the resort centre.

Catseye Bay as seen from the Passage Peak walk (Photo: Jenni Shah)

Catseye Bay and Hamilton Island Resort as seen from the Passage Peak walk (Photo: Jenni Shah)