Living Reef: Daydream Island Resort

Daydream Island Resort and Spa is continuing its impressive Living Reef redevelopment program with a series of recent upgrades offering visitors even more opportunities to interact with its resident marine life.

Following substantial upgrades to the southern lagoon, Daydream has installed a number of new tanks – including a seahorse tank – in the Living Reef Centre, as well as a spectacular 1,100 litre aquarium of corals, tropical fish and invertebrates in the transit lounge to greet visitors.

A new reef section that is home to over 200 new fish and 100 pieces of coral has been added, as well as a baby shovelnose ray named Ruby, a Blue spot ray and two baby leopard rays. Five baby banded bamboo sharks have also been hatched.

In addition, the fish bowl for the southern lagoon has been enhanced with a new lighting system, the northern lagoon has had over 50% of its sand siphoned and replaced as part of Daydream’s ongoing water management process, and more educational and recreational programs have been launched.

“The new aquarium in the transit lounge is sure to amaze our guests as they step off the ferry while the Living Reef Centre has come to life with an ever-growing number of fish, rays, sharks and coral,” Daydream Living Reef coordinator James Astley said.

“We are running a new ecological presentation every Saturday at 4:30pm that discusses the management of the Great Barrier Reef, and the activities department has launched a new half day cruise on ‘Banana Winds’ that includes snorkelling with a marine biologist guide and a bush walk on South Molle Island.

“The redevelopment project is an on-going process but we are confident that the improvements will enhance the environment for our incredible marine life and create an even more interactive and memorable experience for our visitors.”

Mr Astley said the Living Reef team had also installed a third coral propagation system to breed and grow coral specimens.

“Special shallow tanks accelerate growth of coral without fear of disease and interference by marine animals,” he said.

“Along with our improved filtration and water uptake technology, this allows us to keep the lagoon in pristine condition as well as continuing to introduce new and exciting marine life.”

The 2,650sqm Living Reef is one of the world’s largest man-made living lagoons.  The system contains more than 1.5 million litres of water and is home to more than 115 species of fish and 70 coral species native to the Great Barrier Reef.

Guided by Living Reef biologists, visitors can take part in fish and shark feeding shows or programs like the Stingray Splash, where guests walk knee-deep into the Living Reef and hand-feed and pat stingrays.

The upgrade is part of a number of improvements and initiatives being implemented across Daydream Island on an ongoing basis.

Mr Astley, who has more than 10 years’ experience with husbandry, breeding and nutrition of aquatic animals, said the team would also focus on attracting more school groups to the island.

“Daydream offers tailored packages which are the perfect combination of education and entertainment,” he said. “Students learn a vast amount about marine life – from why reef fish are so colourful to how to set up and care for their very own marine aquarium – and enjoy activities like rainforest walks, pool sports and outdoor movies in their free time.

“The emphasis is on education while at the same time allowing for plenty of fun.”

Mr Astley said Daydream Island was also building relationships with universities to extend its work experience program.

“Daydream is committed to giving uni students hands-on experience that will assist their individual career development, whether it’s working alongside our marine biologists caring for the Living Reef’s animals or learning the mechanics of operating a successful resort,” he said.


Daydream Island Living Reef Facts

• Is home to over 150 species of fish and 70 species of coral

• Totals a massive 2650 sqm in size and contains over 1.5 million litres of water through its North and South lagoons

• Has an average width of around 12m and a depth of more than a metre in some areas

• Has sea water pumping into  the lagoon system at a rate of 80 litres per second

• Has 7 million litres of sea water pumped through it every 24 hours

• Contains about eight tonnes of living coral rock

• Operates ‘’Actinic’’ or blue lighting (near UV) in the North Lagoon making  the coral literally glow at night for a spectacular nocturnal underwater exhibit


Daydream Island Resort & Spa Daydream Island, Whitsundays QLD 4802 : Whitsundays & QLD Islands. The whole family will absolutely love this tropical island paradise!


If you’re in need of a relaxing and fun holiday the whole family will love, Daydream Island Resort & Spa offers this and so much more!  Get the family away with this unbelievable offer and experience this unique multi award-winning resort, located in the heart of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef, in The Whitsundays.


Located just a short ferry ride from the Great Barrier Reef Airport on Hamilton Island, or just minutes by boat from Airlie Beach, Daydream Island Resort and Spa is the jewel of The Whitsundays.


Explore island activities including snorkelling, jet skiing, parasailing, coral viewing and reef fishing – or stay dry and play tennis, volleyball, badminton or Putt Your Way Around Australia on the themed mini-golf course.


Immerse yourself in the magic of The Living Reef which is the largest open air aquarium in the Southern Hemisphere and is located within the resort and comprises two lagoons with over 50 varieties of coral and over 80 species of fish including sharks, stingrays, giant barramundi and many tropical marine fish including the much loved clownfish.


Guests can indulge and pamper at the world-class Rejuvenation Spa. The refined elegance of this spectacular facility is reflected in its 16 private rooms offering the latest in naturopathy, hydrotherapy, aromatherapy or reflexology to stimulate the senses and bring harmony to mind, body and soul.


Whether it’s a pampering short break, family holiday or a private rendezvous just for two, Daydream Island Resort and Spa is an oasis of endless possibilities  - where daydreams come true.


Room Information


Garden Balcony – enjoy views over a sparkling pool, tropical garden or a lush rainforest when you step outside to your balcony or patio area.


Ocean Balcony - delightful views of the tropical surrounds including the picturesque marina or beautiful Mermaids Beach. Located in the Marina or Rainforest wing.


Coral Ocean Balcony – located in the Coral Wing, boasting uninterrupted ocean views and either a balcony or patio area for guests to enjoy the magical Whitsunday view while relaxing outdoors.


Family Rooms – consist of two Garden Balcony, Ocean Balcony or Coral Ocean Balcony rooms with an interconnecting door.


Reef Suite – with a sitting area and a balcony overlooking picture-perfect island views the contemporary-styled Reef suites are comfortable and practical for families.


Daydreamer Suite - wake up and look straight out to a stunning ocean view without having to even move out of bed. Located in the Daydreamer Wing overlooking Lovers Cove, these suites feature a spacious ensuite with spa bath.


Panoramic Suite – featuring panoramic views of stunning Mermaid Beach, a private balcony and a spacious open-plan design this is the perfect retreat for an indulgent tropical island getaway.


Ocean Paradise Suite - this exclusive suite exudes pure luxury, boasting ocean views from two balconies, spacious dual shower, spa bath, two flat screen televisions as well as a separate living room and dining area.


Resort Activities


Complimentary – Catamarans, Resort Kayaks, Giant Chess, Aqua Aerobics, Coconut Bowls, Badminton, Croquet, Public Fish Feeding, Daily Activities Program, Yoga Classes, Educational Marine Talks, Guided Rainforest Walk, Water Polo, Tennis, Kite Flying, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Bocce, Open Air Cinema, Live Musical Entertainment nightly, Quoits, Paddle Boards, Archery, Snorkel Lessons.


Small Cost Activities – Paddle Board Tours, Casino Nights, Bingo, Make-Up Workshops, Trivia, Kayak Adventures, Golf Driving Nets, Super Arcade Sessions, Gold Class Cinema Experience, Mini Golf, Snorkel/Mask/Fins Hire.


Watersports (charges apply) – Parasailing, Jetski Hire, Jetski Adventures, Sensation Hire Boats, Glass Bottom Boat Fishing, Dayream Discovery Cruise, Waterskiing, Wakeboarding, Banana Boat Rides, Sea Kayak Hire.


Living Reef


Daydream Island’s amazing Living Reef is a must see on the island. Located at the entrance to the resort, it is one of the world’s largest man-made living coral reef lagoons and features more than 115 species of marine fish and 80 species of coral. This microcosm of the Great Barrier Reef continues to capture the imagination of tourists young and old; with guests having the opportunity to hand feed resident stingrays, sharks and barramundi.


Activities (charges apply) – Guided Fish Feeding, Stingray Splash (walk amongst baby stingrays and sharks), Reef Ranger Program.


Skippers Kids Club (charges apply)


Catering for children 6 weeks to 12 years, Skippers Club is open daily for morning (8:00am-12:00pm) and afternoon (1:00pm-4:30pm) sessions plus an evening (6.30pm-9.00pm) session in school holidays. Evening babysitting services are also available.


0-5 years program – features fun, age appropriate activities including art and craft, construction, imaginative play and plenty more. There is also a fantastic outdoor playground exclusively for Skippers Club guests.


6-12 years program – involves lots of fun outdoor games and activities around the island as well as helping children meet friends their own age. Fun activities include treasure hunts, fish feeding, basketball, coconut bowls, tennis, nature walks, mini golf, group games and much more.


Restaurants & Bars


Mermaids – Daydream’s signature a-la-carte restaurant offers a unique culinary experience where guests can feast on the freshest fish of the day caught straight from the sea to your plate. Open daily for lunch 12:00pm – 2:00pm and dinner from 5:30pm on selected evenings.


Waterfalls Restaurant - situated on one of the banks of the Living Reef Lagoon in the main atrium. Open for breakfast daily 6:30am – 10:00am and buffet-style dinner from 5:30pm on selected evenings.


Fishbowl Tavern – casual bistro a-la-carte dining. A great escape for a game of pool, or a night of dancing. Open from 5:30pm on selected evenings.


Boathouse Bakery – the island bakery features a wide range of sandwiches, homemade cakes and pastries plus a selection of hot beverages and a limted beer and wine list. Open daily from 9.30am.


Gilligans Bar & Health Hut – provides a range of snacks including ice creams and smoothies. Open on selected days.


Coffee Bean Cafe – located in the main atrium of the resort is a popular meeting spot where you can relax with a coffee or utilise the free Wi-Fi. Open daily from 8:00am.




Lagoons Bar - just the place to enjoy a pre-dinner drink and featuring an array of live music nightly with guest artists and the popular in-house band – The Bali Boys. Open from 4:30pm daily.


Splashes – enjoy an exotic cocktail at this swim-up pool bar. Snacks, light lunch and tapas menu available from 12:00pm to 3:00pm daily.


Rejuvenation Spa


Located at the northern end of Daydream Island, the Rejuvenation Spa is an award winning facility that combines an extensive array of health and beauty treatments with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and pool to pamper and reinvigorate the mind, body and soul. Facilities include 16 individual treatment rooms, Vichy showers, thermal tables, hydrotherapy tubs, steam effusion showers, dual treatment rooms, dual spa baths and private relaxation areas. Also available are a variety of signature stress busting massages including relaxation, therapeutic, aromatherapy, reflexology, reiki, kahuna and Indian head massage.


Transfer Information


Ferry transfers are available from Abel Point Marina at Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island Airport. The ferry departure/arrival times are timed to give the best possible connection with most flights. Priority is given to arriving guests and getting you to your Resort as quickly as possible. There will be a Cruise Whitsundays ‘Resort Connections’ service to meet arriving flights and whisk you away to Daydream Island. Similarly ferry departures and coach connections (for Whitsunday Coast Airport) are operated for most departing flights. Prior to booking your flight, it is important to check with Reservations to ensure your chosen flight is serviced by a connecting ferry.

Prices One Way to / from Daydream Island

operated by Cruise Whitsundays

Hamilton Island Airport (HTI)      Adult     $45         Child      $45

Whitsunday Coast Airport (PPP    Adult     $52         Child      $31

Abel Point Marina (APM)              Adult     $32         Child      $21

Child prices based on 4-14 years inclusive. Infants under 4 years no charge. Prices correct as at Dec 2012 and are subject to change without notice.

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