It’s exactly a year after my last Hamilton Island visit, when I combined sunrise from Passage Peak with a longer walk around the island. This time it’s a quick pre-dinner ascent to the hghest point on the island for a Passage Peak sunset. I set off with a work colleague from the Resort Trail Entrance, which starts climbing immediately on a wide track.
The track quickly narrows to a bushwalking trail as it climbs the ridge, with views to the north-west over the bay and toward Whitsunday Island National Park.
We make a short detour to Flat Top Hill Lookout which overlooks Catseye Bay and the main resort. The sun is already quite low in the sky, so we need to keep moving to hopefully make Passage Peak before the sun sets!
As the trail reaches the top of the ridge below Passage Peak, there’s views over Driftwood Bay and Coral Cove to the south – and directly ahead is the domed Passage Peak.
The trail descends from Flat Top Hill Lookout until it reaches the foot of Passage Peak, where it ascends quite steeply for the last kilometre. As the trail climbs to the summit, there’s occasional views to the north west. The sun has almost set, and we’ve still got the last and steepest section to the top.
We reach the top about ten minutes after the sun set: there’s still a red glow in the sky and great views to the west towards the mainland…
…and to the south-east toward Pentecost Island and Lindeman Island.
With the light fading quickly, we return via the shorter path back to the Scenic Route Entrance, and then along the main Resort Drive to the Reef View Hotel.
0.0km Reef View Hotel 0.4km Resort Trail Entrance (behind Reef View Hotel) 1.6km Flat Top Hill Lookout 3.6km Passage Peak (234m above sea level) 5.4km Scenic Trail Entrance 6.0km Reef View Hotel
Passage Peak sunsrise – or sunset?
Having made the walk up to Passage Peak at sunrise and sunset, which is better? It’s perhaps an unfair comparison since I did miss the actual sunset by a few minutes… But given a choice (and I should add that I’m really not a morning person) I would definitely recommend sunrise for the most stunning views and photos!