Hamilton Island series: Daydream Island and Airlie Beach, Queensland

I am on Hamilton Island, sharing a long weekend visit with a work friend.  We have had a great time exploring the island.   

Today we are going to leave Hamilton Island and head out to visit a neighbouring island called Daydream Island. 

After a brief visit to Daydream Island we will take a ferry to Airlie Beach before heading back to Hamilton Island

Why leave our perfect island for another perfect island?

I guess because the islands are so relatively close, and because we can… so we do… and to see what the neighbours are up to of course.

So many islands, these whitsunday islands are amazing… and did I mention spectacular?

We start our day, after breakfast, with an easy 35 minute ferry ride direct from Hamilton Island to Daydream Island.

Daydream Island according to Wikipedia:

“Daydream Island is one of seven islands of the Molle Group, a sub-group of the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia. The island is small, measuring 1 km in length and 400 m at its widest point. The highest point on the island is 51 metres above sea level.

There are two tourist resorts on the island: the original resort at the southern end and a newer resort at the north-eastern end. The original resort caters to day visitors and the newer resort, which opened in 1990, caters to overnight guests.”

Daydream Island, while being another perfect island beach destination is really just another island amongst the 74 Whitsunday Islands.  While not all of the 74 islands of the Whitsundays are inhabited or cater to tourists, a handful of islands do cater to sunseekers and island hoppers including Hamilton Island (check), Daydream Island (check), Hayman Island, Hook Island, Long Island, South Molle Island and Lindeman Island.

And of course, lets not forget the stunning Great Barrier Reef, itself one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  Said to be the world’s largest living structure and the only one visible from outer space…impressive.

Great Barrier Reef according to Wikipedia:

“The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres (1,400 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from out space and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. It supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981.”

Having had the opportunity myself, I can assure you a must do activity is to snorkel the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

There is a large resort on Daydream Island, which we explore in and around, making our way past the wedding chapel with the fantastic view and onto the small bay where we are able to feed the fish.  We grab some bags of fish feed and throw as much food as we can at each other’s feet, causing us each to squeal as the fish nip frantically about our ankles… so girlie but what the hey.

From Daydream Island we catch the next available ferry for the 30 minute ride to Abel Point Marina, Airlie Beach… so simple.

Airlie Beach according to Wikipedia

“Airlie Beach is a tourist destination, extremely popular with backpackers. Its beach is small and the sea is inhabited by marine stingers, the box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) from November to May. In order to provide somewhere for the visitors tourists to swim, the local council, has built a small – medium sized swimming lagoon on the foreshore, similar to the lagoon found in Cairns. The Airlie Beach Lagoon is 4,300 m2 and 4.5 million litres of fresh, self chlorinated water.

The Great Barrier Reef is easily accessible from Airlie Beach, with an array of different types of tours available. Majority of these tours depart from Abell Point Marina but a few depart from the recently completed Port of Airlie. The Abell Point Marina contains 507 berths”

When at a beachside township, a must do is to grab some fish & chips from the local fish and chip shop and sit and enjoy both the fish & chips and of course the fantastic views. 

We have time to wander the main shopping strip of Airlie Beach, stopping for a beer at the pub.  It has been a brief but lovely visit to Airlie Beach.  Time to now get back to our own tropical paradise meaning one final ferry trip.  Airlie Beach back to Hamilton Island takes us about 50 minutes on the ferry.

Safely back on Hamilton Island we get ready for dinner at our friends’ apartment.  Our work collegue was seconded to this island several months prior to our arrival.  Their rented apartment is stunning with a huge balcony off the living areas to die for because of its stunning 180 degree water views. 

Tonight we dine with the view fit for a queen…or even a girl from Melbourne.

For previous Hamilton Island series post see Catseye Beach, the Marina and restaurants of Hamilton Island, Queensland
For next Hamilton Island series post see Hamilton Island to Brisbane, Queensland