Whitsundays…to describe it all in one word…AMAZING!!
All too many parents have the anxiety of travelling with kids. You can do it! Its amazing. It’s not easy but it is what you make it and YOU CAN DO IT. There’s nothing easy about parenting. Cease the moment and enjoy what little time you have before they are all grown up. Best advice I can give you is to remember it’s their holiday too. Need some more convincing? Heres an article 8 ways travel helps your child
I’ve been travelling with my son since he was 9mths old who is now 2yrs 11mths. He loves travelling and I hope it’s instilled in him to explore the world. We have now been to the Gold Coast, Bali, Fiji, Hawaii and the Whitsundays.
As a single mum how can I afford to travel? SAVE SAVE SAVE…Travel and enjoy. You only live once.
Travelling to the Whitsundays can be quite expensive. Do your research, look out for cheaper flights and keep an eye out for those specials. Check out Airbnb for a cheaper option of accommodation. Sign up for Airbnb and get $50 AUD off your first stay.
Of course when it’s low season the price will drop as well but you can still catch the good weather.
We travelled in March and weather was great except the day we arrived. Still humid and hot but a few showers on the day of arrival. No big deal, you’re going to be in the pools anyways right? Every other day was great.
I found a deal on Cudo for 7 nights in a balcony room for $1400. This includes:
- Buffet breakfast daily
- $200 food and beverage credit (big bonus)
- $50 credit per day per adult for the rejuvenation spa (which I didn’t use as prices are far too high and would result in a huge gap)
- $20 credit each day for the skippers club (kids club, which I didn’t use)
- 2 for 1 voucher for cruise Whitsunday tour. This was limited to certain tours but would’ve been great if travelling with someone.
Also included was an arrival photo and a 30min professional photo shoot. Arrival photo and 1 other photo free.
Travelling with littlies you always need snacks. I brought 2 suitcases with me as flights already included the baggage so I brought snacks with me. Peanut butter, almond butter, carrot, cucumber, apple, corn thins, grapes, things my son likes to snack on. This saved me a bundle as there were only 2 options for dinner and you know kids sometimes just don’t want what is on offer (my son is a great eater with a big appetite). There is also a convenience store at the resort which I didn’t need to go into. The resort also has self-service laundry facilities available so you can pack light.
A buffet breakfast is provided daily. Best lunch option I found were sandwiches which weren’t too expensive (under $10) from Gilligan’s. Not much option for kids though, sausage rolls and meat pies (my son is not into sandwiches yet). Dinner we only had 2 options as it was low season. They have a weekly schedule which changes daily. You can get the weekly schedule from reception. Mermaids restaurant was open most days which was quite expensive. Some days I would purchase a sandwich during lunch for dinner. Limited options for food was the down side. If you’re over in Airlie there is a Woolworth’s though. If staying at Hamilton island there are more options and if you have a kitchen that’s even better. On an upside kids a certain age eat free at certain restaurants. On the night where I purchased a sandwich for dinner the resort was very accommodating. They had a cavery buffet and they allowed me to take away some food for my son. I was happy to pay for a serving for him as kids under a certain age eat free on this night but they didn’t charge me which I thought was great. The cavery buffet is $50 per adult and kids eat free but the food looked great and my son devoured it. If going to mermaids restaurant there are only a few option for kids. Cheese pizza, grilled chicken and chips, slider and fish and chips. Again they were very accommodating. I asked for some plain pasta with cheese, peas and carrots and they were happy to accommodate. On another night I ordered the grilled chicken with peas, carrots and cheese and they were again happy to accommodate without further charge. If you’re over in Airlie try the Seafood bar. I ordered a grilled Barramundi and salad for $16, took it back to the resort for dinner and even though it was cold it was amazing. I can only imagine what it would’ve tasted like fresh! Enough about the food, let me tell you how amazing the Whitsunday is…
Weather wasn’t as great as I hoped, it was overcast but not too cold. We arrived at daydream island around 2pm so there wasn’t much to do except stay and use the facilities at the resort. I looked at tours so I could plan our days and the activities desk was very helpful. Generally I like to unpack everything so we are ready to enjoy and relax. After having everything sorted I took my son to Lover’s cove. I purchased a $5 bag of fish food which can be purchased at the activities desk or the beach hut. Fun and cheap activity with the kids. Lover’s cove is surrounded by coral so bring your sandals to walk down. Ankle deep there were plenty of fish to see and feed. My son had a ball. We fed the fish everyday we weren’t on a tour.
Here is where you can also snorkel. We didn’t snorkel here but I can imagine how amazing it would’ve been.
We also saw lots of kangaroos along the way.
After feeding the fish we explored some of the resort and found the beach hut located near mermaids beach. We had a chat to the staff who are all very friendly. This is where you can hire stinger suits, kayaks, paddle boards, catamarans, snorkelling gear and purchase fish food. Some of these activities are free of charge. I also found out about the twilight kayak tour which unfortunately we were unable to do due to the weather. The twilight tour takes you around the island in the late afternoon on kayaks and you feed fish over them. My son would’ve loved this activity. The twilight tour was $25.
There are many activities on the resort. If you are staying here it’s worth a look at what there is on offer.
- Sunset kayak tour
- Mini golf
- Paddle board tour
- Sailing lessons ($30pp or $50 per couple)
- Island kayak adventure
- Clear kayak eco tour ($40pp)
- Movies night
- Motorised watersports (jet ski hires, hire boats, banana boat rides)
- Lovers cove kayak ($15pp 45min tour)
- Guided rainforest walk (you can do this on your own)
- Wild fish feeds at lovers cove
- Tennis courts
- Beach volley ball
- Water polo
- Beach soccer
- Beach cricket
- Beach badminton
- Living reef night tour ($70 family rate 2 adults 2 kids, $25 pp)
- Guided fish feeding tour (family 2 adults 2 kids $60, $25 adult, $15 child between 3-14)
- Stingray splash ($38 min 6yr old)
- Living reef ranger ($79 min 6yr old)
- Marine biologist for a day (159 min 12yr old)
- Live music
There are 2 fish feedings daily free of charge.
No tours were booked so we had a day lazing by the beach and had some fun in the pool. Fed some fish @ Lover’s cove and explored the other side of the island.
First things first. Buffet breakfast! On offer there is the usual breakfast options. Eggs, sausages, bacon, hash browns, mushrooms, tomatoes. There is cereal, toast, fruit, yoghurt, coffee, juice. A variety of options to choose from. Fill up on breakfast and lunch won’t be too expensive! I ordered warm milk for my son from coffee bean and I also wasn’t charged! Keeping holidays affordable!
Off to the activities desk to get our holiday on its way. Planning is key if you want to fit everything in when you have numbered days.
When booking tours make sure you check the weather! Ask as many questions as you like and ask if they have any deals on offer. By asking the right questions you can save and choose the right tours for you.
I chose to do Hardy reef which is the pontoon about 2.5hrs away by boat. This is a must where you see the Great Barrier Reef, one of the 7 wonders of the world. $240 adults, $115 children 4-14. Under 4s free. If I had the chance to do this again, I would definitely be booking for the Reef sleep. I am actually kicking myself that I didn’t have this all planned out.
Ocean rafting, you can choose from 2 different tours (northern exposure and southern lights). We did the southern lights, 1 snorkelling spot, hill inlet and Whitehaven beach. Adult $172, child 2-14 $111, family $523. They alsk have other tours on Offer.
When booking tours have a look at where they are going and what best suits you. If you book them all at the same time you can save. Booking 2 cruise Whitsunday tours, you receive a 10% discount. The more you book the more you save. The deal I received was a free return transfer to Airlie valued at $79. This was great as I had booked the Scenic flight online departing from Airlie. Why did I book online? I did my research. To do a 10min helicopter ride from Hardy Reef to see heart reef is $149pp (not sure if they charge for kids under a certain age). To book through the resort $800. Booking it myself online cost $199 for a 1hr flight. You see the entire Great Barrier Reef, heart reef, hill inlet, Hamilton Island and Hayman Island. It is not in a helicopter, it is in a small plane but for $199 compared to the $800…who really cares what you’re flying in! Value for money. And to top it off my son was free!
After all confirmed bookings, the photos desk a few metres away. I booked our complimentary 30min photo shoot and arrival pic. Thank you Anthony, you were so patient with my numerous questions and captured great photos of my son and I. You were accommodating to my needs and when I had an idea for a shoot you were more than happy to allow me to lead. In total Anthony captured 112 photos. What I loved about this shoot is it’s not your average pressure to purchase, studio, money grabbing company. It was fun, relaxed and natural. My son doesn’t like to take photos but was happy to smile at the camera for Anthony. He climbed trees, walked on the beach, lay in a hammock and splashed in the water. Best thing about this shoot is you don’t have to purchase. You still receive 1 arrival photo and 1 photo from the shoot free. Afraid you will regret not purchasing? No need to fear..you can purchase anytime. They send you a link so you can view the pictures and you can purchase when you get home. They are never deleted! Short on cash because you spent it all on your holiday? You can even purchase 5yrs down the track as long as you have the link. If you loose the link? Give them a call and they can send it to you again. It also isn’t as expensive as your average professional shoots. From $255 for all the photos. Now you have a copy you can create your own master piece. Canvas, photo book, mugs, calendars, you name it and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg like they usually do. Don’t worry about what you look like, one day, all your kids will have are memories and pictures. Why not have great pictures of the love you share and the fun you had? And it’s affordable!
Here are a few amazing moments captured by Anthony.
Our photo shoot booked, back to lovers cove to feed the fish and then to our photo shoot. The rest of the day was pool, beach, sandcastles…fun fun fun. Want to relax and have a drink while the kids play? There’s a pool bar for your convenience
Remember when I said the best advice I can give you is it’s their holiday too…it’s the little things like allowing them to have that $9 mocktail! Or having that ice cream they wouldn’t normally have.
Day 3: Hardy Reef..
What a beautiful sight. Adult $240, my son was free, includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. Also includes your snorkelling gear and a trip on the semi submersible. This is a BIG day. How to survive it with kids…bring lots of snacks. My son didn’t have anything that was on offer and a hungry child is a hangry child! I always have snacks available!
Early wake up. Boat departs daydream at 7.30am to Hamilton where you will have to get off and change to the Hardy Reef boat. Hardy Reef also offers a reef sleep which would be amazing sleeping under the stars.
Staff at daydream allowed me to take some breakfast with us. At Hamilton there’s a cafe across the road from the marina. Great coffee! (I’m a barista) There are also sandwiches and wraps available, I didn’t look at the menu though. If you want something different for dinner this may be your chance as there isn’t enough time on the way back and you don’t want to miss that last boat!
From Hamilton it is approximately 2.5hrs. Morning tea is served, masseuse on board and of course a bar. Staff will explain all activities available. You can also Check out what is on offer ahead of time.
Here at Hardy reef time flies! Once you are wet you will need to dry off in order to go back onto the boat for lunch, so we decided to do the dry activities, have lunch and then snorkel. A reef sleep would have been amazing where you stay at the pontoon for 2 days and 1 night. You can organise your trip so you don’t have to pay for 2 lots of accommodation. This would have been an amazing experience.
Day 4: Ocean rafting!
Ocean rafting was great fun on a super speedy boat. Pick up at 10.30am gave us time to have breakfast without rushing. Tip: sit at the back as it’s not too bumpy and best view! Staff were super friendly and accommodated to my sons needs. First stop is a snorkelling spot. A short boat ride away you will come to the hill inlet. A little bush walk to get to the lookout. My son didn’t need any assistance and walked the whole way. After the hill inlet a short boat ride over to the famous Whitehaven beach for lunch and free time.
Its been a long 2 days of loads of fun and exploring. Try to get the little one to bed as early as possible for a good night sleep for yet another adventure tomorrow.
Day 5: Airlie & scenic flight
Today we headed out to Airlie. You can choose which time best suits you. You will have to let them know at least 30min prior to departure. You can find the ferry transfer timetable at the activities desk.
Going to Airlie is about a 30min transfer. If you are doing the scenic flight, make sure you have enough time to get there. If you’re not doing the scenic flight I don’t recommend going to Airlie. There isn’t much to do there and not worth the $79 transfer over.
Here we did a coastal walk, grabbed some lunch along the way and off to our scenic flight. I will let the pictures do all the talking!
Some pics from our coastal walk after stopping at the park and the beach.
Some of the many photos from the scenic flight. The pictures honestly do not do it any justice when you see it with your own eyes, it’s a completely different experience.
The flight lasts approximately 1hr. The cost includes pick up and drop off. Make sure you don’t miss that last ferry back! We got dropped off at woolies where I purchased a few things then off to the Seafood bar for some take away fish and salad for dinner. The grilled Barramundi was amazing! Must try. You can also catch a tuk tuk bicycle. Great if you’re in a hurry to catch that last ferry. If you’re not in a rush, the walk isn’t far…we were in a hurry! They charge about $1 a min.
Tours are done..its time to chill out and enjoy what daydream island has to offer. Have a sleep in, enjoy some breakfast, watch the free fish feeding.
We booked for the guided fish feeding tour ($25 for adults $15 for kids, my son was free) where you get to feed a Barramundi, touch some baby sharks and rays, meet, feed and touch Piklet (their largest stingray) and hold a starfish.
The rest of the day, we chilled by the pool, drank mocktails, ate ice cream and fed the fish @ lovers cove. A nice and relaxed day, still filled with loads of fun.
Last day daydreaming on daydream island.. let’s make the most of the glorious weather, relax and enjoy the last day before getting back to reality.
Heading over to the other side of the island after breakfast is a short walk with a beautiful view. You can also catch a buggy from either side of the island. On the other side of the island you will find the playground, tennis courts, Gilligan’s, bakery, beach, water sports and of course a pool.
We spent most of the day in the pool and lazing around. Getting back to the room we did the rainforest walk which leads back to the other side of the island near lovers cove. It’s not a hard walk but take care. There are a few lookout points, stop and enjoy the view..
Back to the room to get ready for our last dinner, pack bags and ready for reality.
Would I recommend travelling to the Whitsundays? Definitely a must see. I would also highly recommend all tours we did.
I hope I have inspired you to travel and see what a classroom can never show you. Sure education is important but also is experience. Take that long needed holiday. Take the kids out of school for a week and enjoy your kids while they are kids. (It is also a lot cheaper during the school term).
Keep a look out for more blogs to come as our next holiday has already been booked😁
@Diaryofasinglemum signing out