The Whitsundays is an archipelago in Northern Queensland that consists of 74 tropical islands. It is famed for its proximity to one of the worlds seven natural wonders- the Great Barrier Reef, which is the largest coral reef in the world.
Each year travellers from around the globe flock to these islands to see the reef for themselves and to enjoy a holiday in paradise. Many of these tourists choose to stay on Daydream Island.
Daydream Island is the closest island to the mainland with a short ferry ride to Airlie Beach. It is easily accessible with a flight to Hamilton Island airport and a ferry transfer to Daydream. Or you could start your holiday on the mainland by flying to Proserpine airport followed by a bus transfer to the backpackers paradise that is Airlie Beach.
Once on Daydream Island, you'll discover it is home to a 4.5 star resort and spa. Some popular and unique features on the island is the world's largest constructed open air aquarium and an enormous outdoor cinema.
Daydream Island Resort & Spa prides itself on affordable luxury; it is family friendly and makes a romantic holiday for couples. Should the mood strike, you can get married in the beautiful little chapel but you should probably book this in ahead of time with one of the stunning wedding packages the resort offers.
Generally, you can expect a pleasant climate all year round in the Whitsundays with an average temperature of 25 degrees celsius. This will peak to around 30 degrees in summer and drop to low 20s in winter.
Helpful Hint: Avoid wet season if you can. It occurs at the start of the year- January to March. The climate becomes unbearably humid and it can rain heavily for weeks on end. Daydream Island Resort & Spa caters for this with indoor activities but that is hardly the intention of your tropical holiday.
Accommodation There are several types of rooms available on Daydream Island which are named after their location or views: Coral Ocean Balcony, Ocean Balcony, Garden Balcony, Garden Room, Daydreamer Suite, Reef Suite, Panoramic Suite and the Ocean Paradise Suite.
The rooms are spacious, simple and sunny. Depending on the location you will have garden or ocean views. They are serviced daily, have a well-stocked mini bar and standard features include ensuite, air conditioning, television with pay per view movies and video games, safety deposit box, complementary tea and coffee, iron, hair dryer and alarm clock.
Helpful Hint: The native wildlife is especially friendly. If you do not want Sulphur-crested Cockatoos on your coffee table, shut your door.
Activities It may be a small island but there is plenty to do on Daydream. Here are some of the highlights that will make your holiday unique and memorable.
Living Reef: Running throughout the resort is a lagoon constructed especially for Daydream Island so travellers can learn more about the Great Barrier Reef. It is a wonderful sight with coral collected from the deep sea, sting rays that will greet you with glee, fascinating sharks and numerous tropical fish. There are daily fish feedings and educational talks or you can get up close and personal with the creatures and book a guided tour.
Rainforest walk: The resort is set amongst a beautiful tropical rainforest. You can traipse through rainforest and scale the peaks of Daydream Island to witness glorious sea vistas. You can do this at your own pace, when you please or book a guided walk to learn more about the island flora and fauna.
Outdoor Cinema: If the scenery isn't entertaining enough for you, there is a giant open air cinema that screens movies a couple of nights a week. Movie night makes a great evening with the islands as your backdrop, a balmy sea breeze and Finding Nemo (or similar) showing on the big screen.
Mini golf: If putt putt is your game then there is a 19 hole mini golf course with an Australiana theme. You can have a putt through Sydney Harbour Bridge or Kakadu National Park. For $10 per person it is a fun and challenging course.
Some free activities include: swimming pools, catamarans, kayaks, gym, giant chess, aqua aerobics, coconut bowls, badminton, croquet, board games, tennis, beach volleyball and more.
You can pay for: kayak adventures, jet ski hire, parasailing, boat hire, bingo, water skiing, tube rides and more.
Helpful Hint: While you may not have to pay to hire a kayak, you will incur a cost to use a snorkelling set. If you've got your own, you might as well bring it and snorkel as much as you like.
There are 7 food and beverage outlets on Daydream which is a lot for one little island. In most cases though only a few are open at any one time. After a while this can make your dining choices seem limited. However, in general you will find the food to be delicious, the atmosphere and presentation enthralling and receive service with a smile.
Your choices are:
-Waterfalls for buffet breakfast and dinner
-Mermaids provides an a la carte lunch and dinner
-Fishbowl is a cheaper bistro style option
-The Boat House is a bakery perfect for lunch and snacks
-Gilligan's has drinks and ice cream
-Splashes is a swim up pool bar
-Lagoon Bar for refreshments
Helpful Hint: You're on a resort island so you will probably find eating to be a somewhat expensive exercise. A good idea is to bring some of your own snacks to eat during the day (or take an apple for later from the breakfast buffet).
The Rejuvenation Spa is a world class, award-winning spa. It is on the 2nd floor and has many treatment rooms that showcase panoramic ocean views.
Pevonia Botanica is the product of choice. Your skin will be left feeling vibrant and refreshed with marine and organic botanicals. Just some of the treatments on offer include massage, beauty, naturopathy, vichy and steam treatments.
The signature and most popular treatment is the 'Daydream Delight' in which you'll receive a body scrub, wrap of your choice, shower which is designed for couples and with all sort of contraptions is the shower of your dreams, and finally a massage... simply devine.
After your treatment you'll be allowed to bliss out on the spa balcony. You can even order your lunch or snacks from here.
Be aware that as this is a destination spa, treatments are expensive but well worth saving your pennies for. For a sample of what the spa has to offer you can join in on the daily champagne spa tour.
More Things to Keep in Mind
Kids Club: The Skippers Club is a child minding service that caters to children from aged 6 weeks- 12 years of age. It will keep the kids entertained and give them a chance to socialise with people their own age while you relax by the pool bar.
Lovers Cove: If you're after a shady area to read and relax, sunbathe and snuggle then Lovers Cove is it. It is a beautiful little hideaway, fully decked and surrounded by palm trees. It is one of the better snorkelling spots of the island. As it is generally quiet and peaceful, it is the preferred hang out of the islands wallaby population who are often found here lazing on the deck.
The Mermaids: The 3 statuesque mermaids that bathe themselves in the sun just off Daydream Island have become as much apart of the Whitsundays as the Great Barrier Reef itself.
Legend has it that in 1770 the siren call of a mermaid lead Captain Cook's ship astray. The mermaid promised to lead him to safety in exchange for his discretion. Today, the mermaids mark the spot where the incident occurred.
When the tide is out tourists love to climb the rocky outcrop they rest upon to have a photo taken with these Whitsunday icons.
Helpful hint: With a few exceptions, the beaches of the Whitsundays are coral beaches so don't plan on lying or walking on soft, white sand.If this is what you are after then you must take a trip to Whitehaven Beach - "Queensland's Most Beautiful Beach". If you go swimming on trips like this you will usually be required to wear a stinger suit as marine stingers such as Irukandji and Box Jellyfish can be present in the waters. The higher risk season is October to May. For this reason, you will see bottles of vinegar located around the island.
Day Trips: There are many day trips you can partake in from Daydream. A visit to the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach are musts. You can also do some island hopping or enjoy a day sailing on a catamaran. Don't forget to make a trip to Airlie Beach for some shopping, have a dip in the lagoon and indulge in the endless options of food and drink.
A holiday to Daydream Island is like making a trip to paradise. It is a charming resort set on an island rich in history. You'll find the accomodation to be clean and comfortable, there are delicious options for dining and the staff pleasant and welcoming. There is much to do on and off Daydream and you can design your holiday however you prefer- a fast paced adventure ride or kick back and relax by the pool. You'll be left daydreaming about your holiday long after the trip is over.