Pack the kids (and your snorkel) for an awesome Aussie adventure! Daydream Island’s just your ticket for family fun, relaxation and a GREAT Great Barrier Reef experience.
And it’s just a hop, skip and ferry ride away for Aussies. No passports required. No 16 hour flights via Bangkok or Whoop Whoop. And no lawless taxi drivers, tut tuts or traffic jams in sight.
Instead, a tropical paradise for families awaits, set on the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. Daydream Island Resort and Spa is the only resort on Daydream Island, and lucky for us, it’s the ultimate holiday destination for families. Here’s 14 reasons to take the family…
1. It’s located in the heart of paradise…
Daydream Island Resort and Spa is, you guessed it, an island paradise located in The Whitsundays, which is a part of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland and, coincidentally, one of the most beautiful regions on earth. It ticks all the ‘tropical island holiday’ boxes – sun, beautiful beaches, snorkelling, tropical fish, relaxation and adventure.
And it’s easy to get to. Daydream Island is just a short ferry ride from the Great Barrier Reef Airport, located on neighbouring Hamilton Island, or just 30 minutes by boat from Airlie Beach (fly in to Whitsunday Airport).
2. The Living Reef is educational and fun!
Daydream Island Resort and Spa’s star attraction for both kids and parents is the Living Reef, which is one of the world’s largest man-made living coral reef lagoons. It’s an aquatic wonderland and home to more than 140 species of marine fish, 82 species of coral and 15 species of invertebrates such as starfish, sea cucumbers and crabs. Oh, and Nemo and his mates! Here, youngsters and grown-ups can learn about the fascinating inhabitants of the Great Barrier Reef.
You’ll discover how the Parrot fish chomp their way through coral to produce the lovely white sand the Whitsundays is famous for, the real story behind Dory and all about the Living Reef’s newest resident corals – soft corals, brain corals, sponges and staghorn corals. Perhaps the most aww-inspiring of all though is the nursery – home to baby bamboo sharks and if you’re lucky, you might see a baby epaulette shark!
3. You can feed the sharks!
Bruce the shark may be ferocious in Finding Nemo, but he is a big wimp in the Living Reef lagoon, as visitors discover during the free daily shark and fish feeding talks. Insider tip: Be super nice to the marine educators and you may get to feed them yourself! Young and old will have a much greater appreciation for these amazing creatures, who, let’s face it, have a pretty bad rap sheet. In fact, the sharks at Daydream Island are pretty fussy when it comes to meal time (fussy kids will be in good company!).
4. Take a splash at The Stingray Splash
Walk knee-deep in the Living Reef while you hand-feed and touch the stingrays. Really, this is an experience you and the younglings will never forget. Children will have a much greater understanding and appreciation of these beautiful butterflies of the sea.
5. Rock on with the rock wallabies!
The little ones will be hopping out of their skin when they spy the rock wallabies roaming freely around the island! Catch them on Lover’s Cove beach soaking up the rays, hiding along the bush walk trail and catching zzzz’s in the shade on the north side of the island. If you wait patiently, you may even see a few joeys peek out from mum’s pouch or having a nibble on the grassy knolls.
6. There’s adventures awaiting on the Rainforest Adventure Trail
Summon your inner Indiana Jones (and your mini Diego and Dora!) for a trek through the rainforest trail. Depending on how fast, or slow, or curious those little adventurer’s feet are, it’s around 20 minutes to walk and stretches the length of the island. There’s a load of wildlife and spectacular scenic cliff side views of the reef and sunset, so take your time and just observe nature at its best. Keep your eyes peeled for lace monitor lizards, sea eagles and other coastal sea birds and the melomy – a native Australian tree dwelling rodent. If you’re a botanist at heart, there’s stunning trees and plants to spy like hoop pines, Moreton Bay ash, lilly pilly, flame trees, white cedar and a variety of native ferns, colourful orchids and hibiscus.
7. Kids will go cra-cra over the playground, crazy golf, tennis & other activities
By far the most fun you could have hitting a ball around, this crazy golf course is a fun (and challenging) course of Australia’s most iconic sites – 19 of them! Travel through Ned Kelly’s bushlands and gold rush fields to Bondi Beach, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Parliament House and Uluru, and show the kid’s who’s the boss!
If you can’t net a fish on your line, you can always have a hit at the nets! Book in for a game of love-all tennis – parents against kids – and teach the kids how to have a ball and work those little limbs. And when all this action tires you out but the kids are still burning dust, kick back at the playground and let your wee ones burn off some energy in the building playground.
8. To laze around the pool all day
It wouldn’t be a holiday without experiencing a little lazing about the resort pool! Daydream Island’s famous pool has all the holiday-must-have essentials – a picturesque pool with children safe depths and swimming zones and most importantly, a pool bar! Hey, you’re on holidays!
9. The kids will love Skippers Club
Too much of a good thing is never a good thing. So when the kids start driving you up the wall, or you start driving them up the wall, book them into the kids club! Skippers Club is guilt free because the kids will actually WANT to go to! It’s a pay-per-visit with morning and afternoon sessions available. There’s a range of activities on offer depending on the child’s age and season from outdoor activities to indoor crafts, storytelling, play, painting and computer games. Children from 6 weeks-old to 12 are welcome!
10. Hang out at the day spa
Book the onsite babysitter and rehydrate your sun-kissed skin with a luxe facial, massage or pedicure – and a complimentary Champers! The Daydream Island Rejuvenation Spa uses luxury products Pevonia Botanical and Eles Mineral Makeup, has an awesome menu from basic massage to three hour indulgence packages, hydro-storm steam effusion shower, Vichy treatments, body wraps, skin detox treatments, aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, naturopathy and more.
11. The Open Air Cinema is wow-a-riffic!
The fun doesn’t stop when the sun sets. Oh no, it’s the start of fun round two! Pull up a chair or picnic blanket and get some screen time at Daydream Island’s free open air cinema, which overlooks the Great Barrier Reef, for a kid’s flick they’ll love.
12. There’s ample boat play, water activities and beach sports
Just because you’re on an island, doesn’t mean you need to be landlocked! Pack a picnic, hire a boat and set sail on an expedition to explore the surrounding islands, the incredible coral reefs spot turtles! Not enough adrenaline-pumping action for you? There’s always jet skiing, kayaking, parasailing, reef fishing, beach volleyball, snorkelling, stand-up paddle boarding and scuba diving … In fact, there’s a whole great barrier reef just waiting to be explored!
13. The snorkeling is world class!
Daydream Island has three beaches, one (Lover’s Cove) is fringed by outcrops of live coral and colourful fish life, which makes for a perfect underwater playground to snorkel. There’s a host of cool rocks and cliff-side caves too. The kids won’t even miss their computer games… Pack some waterproof shoes for the kids for the rocky beachfront areas.
14. There’s plenty of foodie options for fussy eaters…
Fussy little eaters will be spoilt for choice! Daydream Island Resort and Spa has a variety of dining options from quick snack takeout to light lunch and fine dining beachside. The signature restaurant, Mermaids, dishes up a la carte selections with fresh seafood, meat and poultry to fancy cocktails and fine wines. Other foodie picks are the pirate themed Fishbowl, known for its pub grub and child-friendly meals, Waterfalls Restaurant, where you’ll be spoilt by a selection of buffet themes throughout your stay, The Boat House, Lagoon Bar and Gilligan’s Bar and Health Hut.
Visit Daydream Island Resort and Spa or call 1800 075 040 for information.
Have you visited Daydream Island? What did you think? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!