A picturesque tropical paradise, Daydream Island is a part of the famed Whitsunday archipelago sprawled across one of the world’s seven natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef. The island is a short trip from both Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island– the main locations lending themselves to Daydream.
The promise of an island wonderland is instantly gratified as your eyes meet the white sand encircled luscious tropical rainforest that is Daydream Island. The striking waters surrounding the island in unique shades of turquoise and sapphire cast a mesmerising spell on guests. Pictures and videos simply cannot capture the magic of the island but have the camera at the ready anyway.
You are immediately welcomed by friendly hotel staff (and local wildlife) on the pier, who guide you into the resort. We speculate this is to stop kids from a serious case of wanderlust and parents from running straight for the spectacular pool bar – but this is just conjecture.
Daydream Island doesn’t waste space with sprawling mountain ranges or kilometres of beaches to get lost along, it packs its charm into a neat 1 kilometre long, 500 metre wide package that can be explored safely and comfortably by foot.
One of the most amazing features of Daydream Island is the resort’s Living Reef. This is where adults become children again, and children become wide-eyed with wonder and excitement. The largest man-made reef in the world hosts 83 specimens of coral, 140 breeds of fish, and 1.5 million litres of water. Guests can get up close and personal to the lagoon favourites such as Pancake and Pikelet the resident stingrays, Brutus the giant barramundi, and Bruce the sickle fin lemon shark.
Free educational sessions are available twice a day teaching children invaluable lessons about the marine ecosystem while conserving the environment. Cue the Jaws theme music: these sessions also include complimentary feedings allowing all guests to feed the fish, stingrays and sharks (which is 100% safe for adults and children).
After the fun and excitement of the Daydream Island Living Reef, one would imagine it would be hard to impress the kids further… yet Daydream manages! A haven for kids, Daydream Island has an abundance of activities for the little nippers such as the Jungle Jumble playground, giant chess, rainforest walks, beach volleyball, sailing, water polo, bocce and more, which are all complimentary.
For kids (and adults) who are more adventure inclined, there is jet skiing, kayaking, reef fishing, tennis, scuba diving, stand-up paddle boarding and the latest addition to the island – glass bottom kayaks! These bad boys allow you to get up close and personal with the beautiful reef, fish, and turtles without having to get in the water!
Helicopter rides as well as boat transfers can be organised to Daydream’s sister island, Whitehaven. There is no sibling rivalry here, as Whitehaven takes a different approach to the Whitsundays and sports just its birthday suit! Meaning it is an untouched slice of tropical heaven completely free from commercial activity. Once you arrive you will be met by the purest white sand beach you’ve ever seen, stretching famously for five kilometres, crystal clear water, and dense rainforest.
Fun Fact: Whitehaven is world-renowned as one of the most photographed beaches in the world.
Another family favourite activity is to challenge the kids on the 19-hole Australian themed mini golf course by day, and enjoy a relaxing new release movie played at the enormous 44ft Outdoor Cinema by night.
After a day of moving giant chess pieces, exploring untouched beaches, or snorkelling, the Rejuvenation Spa is likely to be your next stop! They offer a range of relaxation treatments including aromatherapy, massage, and hydrotherapy. Parents need not miss out, as the island has a popular kids club, Skippers, which offer 1 to 4 hour sessions for children between 6 weeks and 12 years of age.
Once you are relaxed and rejuvenated your appetite is likely to have kicked in! Luckily there are several dining options to appease your tastebuds during your Daydream Island getaway; it may be small, but Daydream Island offers amazing variety. Treat yourself to dinner at Daydream’s signature restaurant Mermaids that overlooks just that: three enormous, yet beautifully ornate bronze mermaid statues. Haven’t had enough of the rainforest views? Enjoy buffet style dining? Waterfalls is the place for you. For a more casual experience, or a quick bite The Fishbowl Tavern, Boathouse Bakery, and Gilligan’s Health Hut offers this and more. You can even drop by for a game of pool, or pop the kids in an evening kid’s club session and dance the night away!
Coffee Bean Café is conveniently located in the resort’s main atrium, pop over for your morning java, or settle in for a nice cuppa in the evening and enjoy the free WiFi while you’re there. For liquid refreshments look no further than Lagoons Bar or if you’ve already bomb dived into the pool with the kids, swim over to Splashes pool bar for a cocktail (or two).
Discover Queensland recommends a mix of dining experiences. Enjoy a beautiful meal at Mermaids, a sandwich at the café, and definitely make the most of the pool bar and sip a cocktail in the sun! But don’t forget to have some relaxed fun too, the kids will love it if you grab a pizza and enjoy dinner over a movie at the outdoor cinema. Holidays are all about the memories you make together.
To ensure you get the best value from your holiday, look for packages that include buffet breakfasts and perhaps pack some snacks for the kids. Most of the hotel rooms do not have food storage options and hence you will be eating out for meals, so a pre-paid or complimentary meal a day will make a big difference to your budget!
The dollars you save with your buffet debauchery you can then invest in some of the retail outlets including Starfish Boutique, Gingers Hut and the Lobby shop which are open daily and feature swim wear, clothing, souvenirs, amenities and fun mementos. Let’s face it, who wants to come home without a wine glass or six?
If your idea of therapy involves fitness rather than retail you will rejoice at the news of the island gym that includes a pilates and yoga timetable. You can (safely) release all your iron pumping, muscle stretching desires if you aren’t ruined from a day of water activities.
Many of our Discover Queensland customers have said they found their Daydream Island holiday invaluable as the family time they experienced was like no other. It was the small things that made the difference, such as the kids watching the sharks and fish in the live reef on the way to breakfast every morning and pointing out and naming the different species of fish. Being able to walk to any of the three beaches on the island or along rainforest walks and not having to worry about traffic or transport to attractions was another favourite. Finally, simply taking the kids away to a destination that is entirely unique creates a memorable holiday that stays with them for a lifetime.
Daydream Island Resort is a fun vortex that sucks you into a dizzying whirlpool of relaxation, adventure, and exploration and spits you out refreshed, with a sun-kissed glow, and children with stories for a lifetime. Speak to the experts at Discover Queensland to organise your Daydream Island Resort accommodation on 1300 788 553.
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Daydream Island Resort
From $345 per night