Dreamy island getaways feature in reef development spree

Daydream Island, the iconic Whitsunday Island resort decimated by Cyclone Debbie, will reopen to the public in April following a full-scale redevelopment and rebrand.

After an extensive two-year rebuild, the Queensland island’s new brand promises a relaxed premium holiday experience allowing guests to “get lost in the moment”.

Advertising agency Interbrand researched the island’s history, landscapes and native flora and fauna, as well as canvassing the memories shared by its Facebook followers, to create the island’s “new story”.

Director of Sales and Marketing, Jayson Heron said the rebrand was an important step for Daydream’s transformation into a premium holiday destination.

“The Island has undergone a huge journey from the devastation caused in 2017 by Cyclone Debbie and we wanted the new brand to signal the evolution of the island.

“The new brand gives a nod the island’s heritage whilst also looking to the future.”

The resort will feature Graze restaurant, Infinity and Inkstone Kitchen and Bar and three other bars; Barefoot Bar, Tonic and Silica.

And guests will enjoy panoramic views across the Great Barrier Reef as they paddle in the resort’s landscaped pool hub.

Further south, a contentious $1.2 billion resort on Hummock Hill Island off the southern Great Barrier Reef has been approved subject to conditions.

Despite a local council decision to refuse the development application over environmental impact concerns, Queensland’s coordinator-general stepped in to review the decision in the Planning and Environment Court.

A total of 45 conditions have been applied to the approval, including developer Eaton Place providing the infrastructure to construct and service the development at no cost to the state.

The 465-hectare resort, known as Pacificus, will include luxury hotel rooms, a health spa resort, private villas and apartments and camping grounds for about 2,700 people.

There will also be commercial and retail outlets, an aquarium, a marine research centre, an Indigenous arts and cultural centre, an 18-hole golf course and a 200-metre bridge connecting the island to the mainland.

The sub-tropical site is close to Heron, Lady Musgrave and Lady Elliot islands and the towns of Agnes Waters and 1770.

Six of the 17 grounds for original refusal related to environmental concerns about the development’s impact on the reef, while its potential to damage trade in neighbouring tourist areas also created opposition.

“We have stepped in, listened and acted for jobs and economic prosperity in the Gladstone region,” said Queensland’s minister for development, manufacturing, infrastructure and planning, Cameron Dick.

“By using his legislative step-in powers, the coordinator-general has ensured the project can go ahead – delivering certainty to both the proponent, Eaton Place, and locals who want to see this development bring more tourists to the region.”

The project will support an estimated 700 operational jobs when complete, with construction due to begin in 2020.

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