Our family vacation this year took us to Daydream Island. After a very short flight from Sydney you arrive at Hamilton Island where you take a 40 minute boat trip to DayDream Island. You are greeted off the boat like any tropical island with a shell beaded necklace and a warm smile.
The hotel itself had just undone extensive refurbishment and so everything was brand spanking new. The facilities for kids were incredible, fish feeding, an underground aquarium, snorkelling, free use of all water sports activities, 3-4 pools and not to mention that kangaroos (ok so they are actually wallaby’s but lets not tell Venice that) that roam around your feet. Very friendly! Theres also a rainforest walk with incredible look out points. More for the adults, a kids club! Haha which we put Venice into 2 of the afternoons so we could sip cocktails and lounge by the pool.
Whilst here we took a trip out to Whitehaven Beach, a must do!! Amazing white sand beaches, clear turquoise water with fish swimming around you. Just the boat journey there is enough to make the trip worth while, with incredible post card views of tiny islands or huge rainforest mountains floating past. And, just the odd whale jumping out of the water! Ya know, nothing too spectacular haha. Aside from this trip, there are also great barrier reef options (which I plan to go back and do without Venice) helicopter trips and AIrlie Beach tours.
The only down side to this hotel for us, being a foody, was the lock of eating options. 2 of the good restaurants don’t open until 7, which poses a problem with a 4 year old. This was probably intentional though so grown ups who didn’t want to be surrounded by kids had some form of kid free eating zone. Cleaver really! But for the rest of us it left 2 restaurants. 1 of which is a buffet which I hate. I think it brings out the worst in people. Eating all forms of shit on the same plate until eventually you roll out. So we stuck to the same place each night. However, despite that, the views from this restaurant were pretty incredible. With nothing but sea, islands and palm trees. Kids also ate free here!
After Daydream we stayed a night on Hamilton Island. This was probably the best part of our trip. Hamilton Island is a weird mix of retired American Florida vibes with all the luxury of a Hamptons vacation. Theres no cars, everyone gets around on a golf buggys.
Which was pretty awesome just in itself.
We stayed at long reef hotel, pretty much the only hotel left on the island with vacancies. It’s also the largest. Great pool and even better Margaritas! Now, having stayed here, I would definitely suggest spending more time on this island vis Daydream. Theres much more to do. Lots of little shops, incredible look out points with 360 panoramic views of the ocean on islands around you.
For the best sunset drinks try One Tree Hill, located right at the top of the island, it has a very low key vibe, where everyone spills out onto the road and sets up on the grass to listen to the music played by which ever busker arrives. These aren’t any buskers, these are professional guitar playing singers with all your favourites up their sleeve.
So you can sit on the side of the mountain, perched under a palm tree, with a green apple mojito watching the sunset. Magical!
Food options are also in abundant. Although having said that, every single restaurant was fully booked. Our only hope was the walk in restaurant of The Montaray. I didn’t hold very high exptentatibns for this, being a walk in restaurant where kids eat free but I was happily proven wrong. The food was epic, the views were epic, the espresso martinis were epic.
All in all, if your heading over to this side of the world, my suggestion is to probably just stay on Hamilton Island. However Daydream island is definitely worth a visit, but probably for no longer than a couple of days! I myself at this very moment, is already making Tom rebook another vacay on Hamilton Island.