Daydream Island Resort & Spa is continuing its impressive Living Reef redevelopment program with a series of recent upgrades offering visitors even more opportunities to interact with its resident marine life.
Following substantial upgrades to the southern lagoon, Daydream has installed a number of new tanks – including a seahorse tank – in the Living Reef Centre, as well as a spectacular 1,100 litre aquarium of corals, tropical fish and invertebrates in the transit lounge to greet visitors.
A new reef section that is home to over 200 new fish and 100 pieces of coral has been added, as well as a baby shovelnose ray named Ruby, a Blue spot ray and two baby leopard rays. Five baby banded bamboo sharks have also been hatched.
In addition, the fish bowl for the southern lagoon has been enhanced with a new lighting system, the northern lagoon has had over 50% of its sand siphoned and replaced as part of Daydream’s ongoing water management process, and more educational and recreational programs have been launched.
“The new aquarium in the transit lounge is sure to amaze our guests as they step off the ferry while the Living Reef Centre has come to life with an ever-growing number of fish, rays, sharks and coral,” Daydream Living Reef coordinator James Astley said.
“We are running a new ecological presentation every Saturday at 4:30pm that discusses the management of the Great Barrier Reef, and the activities department has launched a new half day cruise on ‘Banana Winds’ that includes snorkelling with a marine biologist guide and a bush walk on South Molle Island.
“The redevelopment project is an on-going process but we are confident that the improvements will enhance the environment for our incredible marine life and create an even more interactive and memorable experience for our visitors.”
Mr Astley said the Living Reef team had also installed a third coral propagation system to breed and grow coral specimens.
“Special shallow tanks accelerate growth of coral without fear of disease and interference by marine animals,” he said.
“Along with our improved filtration and water uptake technology, this allows us to keep the lagoon in pristine condition as well as continuing to introduce new and exciting marine life.”
The 2,650sqm Living Reef is one of the world’s largest man-made living lagoons. The system contains more than 1.5 million litres of water and is home to more than 115 species of fish and 70 coral species native to the Great Barrier Reef.
Guided by Living Reef biologists, visitors can take part in fish and shark feeding shows or programs like the Stingray Splash, where guests walk knee-deep into the Living Reef and hand-feed and pat stingrays.
The upgrade is part of a number of improvements and initiatives being implemented across Daydream Island on an ongoing basis.
Mr Astley, who has more than 10 years’ experience with husbandry, breeding and nutrition of aquatic animals, said the team would also focus on attracting more school groups to the island.
“Daydream offers tailored packages which are the perfect combination of education and entertainment,” he said. “Students 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 - and enjoy activities like rainforest walks, pool sports and outdoor movies in their free time.
“The emphasis is on education while at the same time allowing for plenty of fun.”
Mr Astley said Daydream Island was also building relationships with universities to extend its work experience program.
“Daydream is committed to giving uni students hands-on experience that will assist their individual career development, whether it’s working alongside our marine biologists caring for the Living Reef’s animals or learning the mechanics of operating a successful resort,” he said.
Daydream Island Living Reef facts
• Is home to over 150 species of fish and 70 species of coral
• Totals a massive 2650 sqm in size and contains over 1.5 million litres of water through its North and South lagoons
• 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.
• Operates ‘’Actinic’’ or blue lighting (near UV) in the North Lagoon making the coral literally glow at night for a spectacular nocturnal underwater exhibit
ENDS Media enquiries: Brenton Gibbs on 0419 828 440 or firstname.lastname@example.org