Daydream Island Resort, located in the heart of the Whitsundays, provides the perfect place to escape, breathe and restore.
Recently reopened following an extensive redevelopment, the resort offers clean, fresh accommodation and plenty to do - or not - depending on your energy level and reason for escaping the daily grind.
If you're looking for a couples' retreat, this probably isn't the place to be as it caters for families with its family-friendly water activities and kids' club facilities. We visited with two teenagers and managed to keep everyone happy with a mix of reading by the pool, kayaking before breakfast, an easy rainforest walk, snorkelling in the living reef and a couple of trips - to nearby Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach - for a change of scene.
With resident marine biologists overseeing the living reef, there is a focus on educating visitors on marine conservation with various talks and activities taking place during the day and the opportunity to snorkel in the living reef for those who want to swim with a rainbow of rays and tropical fish. Accompanied by a marine biologist, the snorkelling is an opportunity to get up close and personal to the curious fish in their living habitat, reinforcing the importance of protecting the Great Barrier Reef and other marine environments throughout the world. The cost of this activity is not included in the resort fee but well worth the money. What was free, though, was some surprise whale watching from Lovers Cove on the Island, captivating the few of us enjoying the cove that day.
Poolside bar and burger hut is a great place to enjoy a casual lunch
Australian wildlife (more tame than wild) is abundant on the island with kangaroos, wallaroos, cockatoos, curlews and others roaming and flying freely, curiously watching visitors as they go about their holiday.
Poolside cabanas are the perfect spot to read and enjoy a sunset cocktail
There are three restaurants and a bar within the resort, along with a casual burger hut and swim-up bar at the pool. The food and drink bill at the end of the stay reminds you that you're a captive audience at the resort but the food quality is good and the service and staff exceptional. There is a small shop in the resort selling a limited range of snacks and souvenirs so perhaps a broader offering here would be welcome, especially for families looking for economic snacks throughout the day.
There is also a day spa which the writer didn't take advantage of but the spa menu was enticing and, given a couple more days on the Island, I would've indulged in some treatments.
When packing your bags, don't forget to put in some water shoes as the beaches on Daydream Island are bleached coral, not sand.
As a family get-away, Daydream Island is a great place to visit, providing options for visitors of all ages and energy levels. Its location also means you can take advantage of island-hopping day trips (as well as seaplane and helicopter tours) offered to guests through third party tour companies. This is all organised through the resort activity service.
If you feel in need of some Winter sun, then I'd recommend Daydream Island as a destination.