THINGS TO DO
Get out on the water
More than 2500 sailors and supporters descend on Hamilton Island during race week. More than 250 yachts, from Australia and around the world, have six days to weave their way around the island courses and make their mark on the final score sheet. The racing itself includes a grand prix class for top-class racers, an IRC passage class for modern, cruising yachts, and performance racing and sports boat classes. There's also the Prix d’Elegance, in which two yachts receive the best presented yacht and best themed yacht awards.
Take part in the social activities
Hamilton Island’s partnership with Audi Australia has transformed what was once a sailing regatta into a lifestyle and holiday event in which culture, sport, and food and wine collide. One of the hottest tickets during the race week is the glamorous Paspaley Luncheon, which takes place on the sands of Pebble Beach, qualia, and celebrates the beauty of Australian South Sea pearls. There are also plenty of non-ticketed events that take place over the course of the week, including the Audi Outdoor Cinema staged on the barge jetty, a beachside pool party at Main Pool and early morning yoga overlooking Catseye Beach.
Stay in luxury accommodation
Accommodation on Hamilton Island is designed to suit all taste and budgets. For the ultimate in Australian luxury stay at qualia, on the secluded northern tip of the island, or the boutique Beach Club, with its absolute waterfront position. The four-star Reef View Hotel has spacious, comfortable rooms, ideal if you're travelling with kids, while the fully equipped Palm Bungalows offer a tranquil escape for couples. For large groups, book the four-bedroom Yacht Club Villas or choose from more than 100 apartments and holiday homes scattered across the island.
Enjoy a delicious spread of food and wine
Race week is never short of amazing food and unique dining experiences created by some of Australia's best-known chefs. In previous years members of Australia's culinary elite, including Matt Moran, Shannon Bennett and Guillaume Brahimi, have delighted guests with specially created menus. When the day's racing comes to an end, enjoy sunset drinks and live DJs at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club. Then have a relaxed dinner at the Eat Street food market along the Marina. Choose from a great variety of cuisines and soak up the carnival-style atmosphere, with live performances and entertainment for the whole family.
Download the Hamilton Island App to see a full calendar of events, make restaurant bookings and view transport timetables and live weather updates. All the on-water and onshore action will be screened daily near the Marina Tavern, or tune in to Race Week Radio on 96.9 FM.
HOW TO GET THERE
Hamilton Island Airport offers direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns. Regional charter flights can be arranged from Mackay, Proserpine and Airlie Beach. From Airlie Beach it's an hour by ferry to Hamilton Island, with ferries departing from two locations, Port of Airlie Marina and Shute Harbour.