29 June 2011
Adventurer Ben Southall enjoyed a close encounter with Daydream Island Resort and Spa’s most iconic residents including Pikelet and Pancake the stingrays and Bruce the shark during a whistlestop visit to the island today.
The Tourism Queensland ambassador and former Best Job in the World winner visited the resort’s Living Reef lagoon as a part of the Best Expedition in the World campaign - a three month, 1600km kayak and sailing journey from the Town of 1770 on the central Queensland coast, north to Cooktown in the tropical north.
Mr Southall and qualified marine biologists from Daydream’s Living Reef presented educational modules on the fragility of the reef’s ecosystem as well as life cycles of Great Barrier Reef marine life. The adventurer also took part in a stingray and shark feeding show at the Living Reef lagoon, which is home to more than 100 species of marine fish and 50 species of coral.
Mr Southall’s visit coincided with the island’s launch of new educational packages aimed at teaching school groups about the wonders of the reef through the Living Reef lagoon.
“I’ve had a fantastic time at Daydream Island Resort and Spa sharing my experiences and getting up close to sharks, stingrays, sea stars and sea cucumbers at the Living Reef lagoon,” Mr Southall said.
“The Living Reef is a great example of how education and entertainment can be combined to provide a unique tourism experience for everybody, from island guests to day trippers and school groups.”
Daydream Island CEO Phil Casey said the island was delighted to host Mr Southall’s visit.
“We are thrilled Ben has included Daydream Island on his itinerary and have enjoyed helping promote Queensland as an international tourism destination,” Mr Casey said. “His visit was also a fantastic opportunity to showcase our man-made Living Reef lagoon.
“The lagoon provides a rare and exciting opportunity to experience the marine world with the perfect combination of entertainment and education, which is why we have launched new educational packages which cater to all school groups.”
Mr Casey said Daydream had introduced all inclusive three and four-day packages which include up to five educational modules delivered by the resort’s expert marine biologist team and a full day trip onboard ‘Seaflight’ to the Cruise Whitsundays pontoon at Knuckle Reef.
The modules tackle subjects such as inter-animal relationships, camouflage, animal behaviours, coral reef ecosystems, food webs, animal welfare, water quality, animal biology, human impacts on the reef and global warming.
Students will also enjoy a range of activities such as rainforest walks, pool sports and outdoor movies during free time.
“Students will learn a vast amount about marine life, from why reef fish are so colourful to how to set up and care for their very own marine aquarium at home or in the classroom,” Mr Casey said. “The emphasis is on safety and education while at the same time allowing for plenty of fun.”
Four day packages start from $479* per person, quad share (4-14yrs); or $554* per person, quad share (15yrs+). Three-day packages start from $379* per person, quad share (4-14yrs) and $454* per person, quad share. The packages also include all meals and return catamaran transfers from Abel Point Marina, Airlie Beach.
A newly installed grand stand gives up to 30 people prime viewing of the main lagoon and shark and fish feeding sessions and is especially suitable for school groups.
The Living Reef won the Tourist Attraction category in the 2010 Whitsunday Tourism Awards.
Daydream Island Living Reef facts:
· Is home to over 100 species of fish and 50 coral specimens, including Sharks, stingrays and sea-stars;
· totals a massive 2650 sq m in size and contains over 1.5 million litres of water through its numerous lagoons and displays.
· has an average width of around 12m and a depth of more than a metre in some areas
· has sea water pumping into the lagoon system at a rate of 80 litres per second
· has 7 million litres of sea water pumped through it every 24 hours
· contains about eight tonnes of living coral rock.
· Living Reef regularly contributes to on-going research and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef and marine environments.
For information and bookings about school packages, contact Tara Baker on 07 3259 2326 or email Tara_Baker@daydream.net.au
*Conditions apply, subject to availability. Prices valid from now until 22 December 2011 & 7 January 2012 – 31 March 2012. A minimum 3 night stay applies. Child Policy: Children are 4 - 14 years . One adult is required for every 10 children travelling. Adult Policy: Adult rate applies for guests 15 years and over. An indemnity form must be signed by the legal guardian/parent for all persons under 18 years of age. These are to be presented to Living Reef Staff on arrival to Daydream. Block out periods apply. Travel recommended for Feb-Jun or Nov each year.
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