This is post 4 out of a series of 8 posts (the full list is at the end of this post).
A walk and view from the lookout
The morning after the wedding, Jac and I went to the lookout at One Tree Hill so I could take some photos – we looked for the “one tree” the hill was named after, but I don’t think we found it. We did take note of the sign telling us that there would be cocktails here at sunset, with a bar available from 4:30pm.
Apparently, this gazebo is a very popular spot for weddings and other special events.
So here are a few views from the lookout, at about 7:20am.
Breakfast – buffet at the Reef Hotel
After our walk and all that fresh air (and Jac’s late night of celebratory boozing), we were ready for a big breakfast. We decided to try the buffet at the Reef Hotel. The large dining room overlooks the pool, with ceiling fans spinning away to keep the air moving. We paid upfront and were quickly shown to a table. As I took in my surroundings, Jac went to get us each a glass of fruit juice.
This was Jac’s plate – mushrooms, scrambled eggs, bacon, bread, spaghetti, and chipolatas with barbecue sauce.
My plate – hash browns, bacon, pancake (maple syrup on bacon and pancake), mushrooms, chipolata, scrambled egg, baked tomato, fried egg (topped with white pepper), and a toasted ham and tomato croissant. Yes – I had scrambled eggs AND a fried egg.
Jac also had a sweet course, with stewed fruit (plums and berries), a piece of watermelon and bircher muesli.
I went back for a second round of hot food – this time I got myself baked beans, more scrambled eggs, mushrooms and another hash brown.
I finished my meal off with a little fruit – watermelon, rockmelon and pear.
The buffet at the Reef Hotel was great – for $32 or $34 (sorry, I didn’t write it down), you get all the usual hot items, cereals, breads and pastries, a selection of fresh and stewed fruit, and there is even a little station set up with steamed rice (if it had been rice porridge I would’ve been even more impressed), and hard-boiled eggs that can be eaten with soy sauce. The 100% fruit juices (orange, apple, pineapple) were all on tap, and so were the tea and coffee. Jac was stoked you could select the strength of your tea – strong or regular.
After breakfast, we went for a walk around the hotel complex. This was the water feature in the hotel lobby, complete with goldfish swimming in the water.
In one of the tourist shops in the hotel complex, I found these – abalone flavoured macadamia nuts. I’d eat honey flavoured macadamias, and while I don’t like wasabi, I can see how wasabi macadamias would work (you can get wasabi peas, after all). But abalone? A flavour to appeal to Asian tourists, perhaps? I’d have liked bacon flavoured macadamias!
This is the Main Pool at the Reef Hotel. We came back here for a swim a couple of times, and Jac joined in the free aqua aerobics classes here. That was one of the cool things about our holiday – we could use the pool in our apartment complex, but we were also allowed to use the hotel pools and take part in any of the free activities.
There’s a bar in the middle of the Main Pool – just like in the movies!
The Reef Hotel viewed from the beach.
Cocktails at sunset
We decided to return to the lookout for cocktails at sunset that afternoon. There was a small bar set up with two bartenders working hard to mix drinks for the small crowd. Jac had a Summer Love cocktail – vodka, strawberry liqueuer, orange juice and champagne – and I had a Diet Coke.
I didn’t know what these buildings were when I took this photo, but later we found out they are the holiday chalets of Qualia Resort (be warned – their website loads up with an annoying sound like running water), the exclusive (and expensive) adults-only resort on the island. One night at Qualia probably costs more than (or at least almost as much as) what we paid for our apartment for the whole week!
EDIT: Okay, let me make a correction: we paid around AU$2100 for a week at our apartment; two nights at the cheapest option available at Qualia would total around AU$2400.
As you can see from the photo below, there were quite a few people taking photos of the sunset and scenery.
Dinner at the Steakhouse
After our sunset drinks, we went back to the apartment, freshened up and then returned to the marina in search of somewhere to have dinner. We hoped to try Mariner’s restaurant, but it was closed – a wedding reception. We decided to eat at the Steakhouse instead, which looked pretty busy. Presumably, the people who would’ve eaten at Mariners did the same thing we did – went next door to the Steakhouse. Our timing was good – we got one of the only two free tables. The other free table was snapped up not long after, and from where we sat, we saw the host suggesting to new arrivals that they have a drink in the bar and wait for a table to become available.
I had a lemon, lime and bitters. Jac had a cranberry juice, and ordered a glass of red wine to go with her steak.
We skipped starters and went straight to mains. Jac ordered the 250 g eye fillet (AU$38.00) with dianne sauce. The steak came with a jacket potato topped with sour cream and bacon. All red meat main courses come with your choice of sauce: bearnaise, cafe de Paris butter, Dianne, garlic butter, green peppercorn, red win jus, Steakhouse tomato relish, and mushroom.
When you place your order, your desired steak, temperature and sauce are scribbled on a wooden paddle that is stuck into your assigned piece of meat. It’s cooked on the grill with the paddle still stuck into it. When the time comes to flip the steak, the paddle is pulled out, the steak flipped and the paddle re-stuck into the steak – I watched the chef doing this. I wondered though – does the steak lose some of its juices through the tiny hole made by the paddle when it’s flipped? Jac enjoyed her steak, but so far nothing has beaten the wagyu beef she ate at Friends Restaurant in East Perth a few years ago.
We ordered a serve of seasonal vegetables (AU$7.50) to share. The dish consisted of broccoli, carrot, cauliflower and my least favourite vegetable of all time (equal least with okra) – yellow squash. The carrot and cauliflower were lovely – firm but not hard, and sweet – but I didn’t have any of the squash. :)
I had the garlic and rosemary rubbed lamb rump (AU$33.00), which was served with mashed potatoes and a sauce of my choice – I chose mushroom sauce, and asked for my lamb to be cooked medium.
The lamb came in two pieces served one on top of the other, with a sprinkling of finely chopped fresh chives. The piece on top was closer to medium rare than medium, and the one on the bottom was closer to medium well. Not too impressive. The chef who served this up would’ve had to have noticed the uneven cooking of the lamb but decided to serve it up anyway – don’t chefs realise you can’t hide your mistakes on a plate? The person eating the meal will discover what’s there eventually!
I was too hungry to bother sending it back – I would’ve if the meat was blue or cooked to charcoal, but I can enjoy meat cooked to different levels of done-ness (though I must admit I didn’t expect a restaurant to serve up a piece of meat cooked to two levels of done-ness!).
Thankfully, once I’d poured the mushroom sauce over the lamb, it tasted pretty good. We liked that the sauce was served in a little jug on the side, so you could decide how much you wanted to pour over the meat, or in my case, over the meat and mashed potato. The mushroom sauce was pleasingly dark with a syrupy consistency and real pieces of mushroom.
You know what made me laugh? According to the menu, the lamb rump was from Gingin, Western Australia! We took two planes to get to Hamilton Island so I could eat lamb from WA for dinner! Heheheheh.
The full list of Hamilton Island holiday posts, in reading order
- Hamilton Island holiday Day 1
- Hamilton Island holiday Day 2
- Hamilton Island holiday Day 3 – the wedding
- Hamilton Island holiday Day 4 – this post
- Hamilton Island holiday Day 5
- Hamilton Island holiday Day 6 – dinner cruise
- Hamilton Island holiday Day 7
- Hamilton Island holiday – last day, portraits of doughnuts