After my extended circuit of Hamilton Island a year ago, the only bushwalk I hadn’t manage to fit in was the track down to Coral Cove, on the opposite side of the island to the main resort. So with a couple of hours free before dinner, I set out from the main resort. Starting at the Scenic Trail entrance, the well-marked service trail heads up the hill – the same route as the popular walk to Passage Peak.
The nice thing about a late start – as well as the nice afternoon light – is that it’s starting to get cooler which makes for pleasant walking. And less people!
At Saddle Junction, the trail down to Coral Cove is clearly marked.
It’s a well-maintained track that descends through light forest, so there would be some shade in the middle of the day. I take a few photos of some vivid red flowers, although I’m not sure what they are.
The secluded Coral Cove beach is nice – but would be best visited at high tide. At low tide there’s a vast expanse of sand, but it’s a very shallow beach and not ideal for swimming.
Coral Cove would be a great spot for a picnic: there’s a giant swing and a few picnic tables on the beach. In the distance is Lindeman Island, to the south.
Rather than returning the same way, I take the service management trail that ascends from the opposite end of the beach to the walking trail. As the wide trail gains altitude, there’s some great views over the surrounding islands.
Shortly after the junction with the trail to Resort Lookout there’s a view of Passage Peak, the highest point on Hamilton Island.
The junction with the Resort Lookout trail is the highest point on our circuit; the only disadvantage of doing a loop rather than returning the same way is that it’s a bit steeper coming back via the service trails. Still, it’s s nice loop especially early or late in the day – and best at high tide. You could also combine this circuit with an ascent of Passage Peak.
0.0km Scenic Trail Entrance 1.0km Saddle Junction 2.4km Coral Cove 3.7km Junction with service trail down to Palm Valley 4.3km Junction with trail to Resort Lookout 5.4km Resort Trail Entrance (behind Reef View Hotel)
More information on Coral Cove
High tide is best for swimming or photographing the beach. This walk can also be combined with Passage Peak.