Out of excuses: Daydream Island floundering

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Whilst shortages abound, a Creepy Crawly could clean the bottom of the Daydream Island Pool.

From the Cairns Post, 1st September 2022

‘Filthy’ swimming pools, overpriced food, mouldy rooms and ‘rubbish everywhere’. A young family on holiday paint a bleak picture of the Queensland island resort in a TikTok video. (The Tourism News does not reproduce TikTok videos)

A family has posted about their ‘nightmare’ experience on Daydream Island in the Whitsundays.

The Whitsundays has a reputation for paradise, but one young family has taken to TikTok to claim their dream of a blissful island holiday turned suddenly into a nightmare.

Mish and Kirk Ryan-Welsh have blasted Daydream Island Resort and the nights they spent there, claiming the whole experience was a “nightmare” on their latest TikTok video.

“Because if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry,” the video’s accompanying comments state.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the time we’re showcasing wonderful places to visit + stay, but this is not one of those times.

“We hope you like a little snapshot of our time spent on Daydream Island.”

The couple make a number of serious complaints against the four-star resort, including the accusation it does not have a recycling system in place, despite the resort marketing itself as an eco-friendly destination.

The TikTokkers criticise the dining options at Daydream Island Resort. Picture: TikTok

The TikTokkers criticise the dining options at Daydream Island Resort. Picture: TikTok

“The resort claims to be an eco-resort but there’s plastic + rubbish EVERYWHERE, + no recycling system in place,” the comment reads.

The couple also state much of the resort is dilapidated, closed or not functioning.

“Everything is always closed or out of order: the pools, bars, vending machines, pool table, playground, coffee machine, watersports – nothing is ever functioning – the “free” breakfast buffet (which was gross) is empty by 830, no food; tables or cutlery,” the couple claims.

They also said the pool was “freezing cold” and “filthy”, the restaurant was always booked out, the resort did not offer room service and the rooms were mouldy.

The TikTokkers say the pool at Daydream Island Resort is "filthy" and "freezing". Picture: TikTok

The TikTokkers say the pool at Daydream Island Resort is “filthy” and “freezing”. Picture: TikTok

“We forfeited hundreds of dollars worth of accommodation as soon as we could find another available place to stay, + continued our little family holiday on Hamilton Island which has been bliss,” they said.

Mrs Ryan-Welsh, speaking after the video went viral, said she and Kirk had taken to TikTok because they did not want others to experience what they had gone through.

She said the food service was terrible.

“You can’t bring anything to the island so you are forced to eat at their two restaurants,” she said.

The TikTokkers make fun of the shopping options at Daydream Island Resort. Picture: TikTok

The TikTokkers make fun of the shopping options at Daydream Island Resort. Picture: TikTok

“It is $35 for nasi goreng and it is literally just rice, ginger and soy sauce.

“You are meant to get an egg on top and it did not even come with that.

“Every time we ordered anything, there was a problem or it was half done.”

Mrs Ryan-Welsh said fellow guests she spoke with shared her dismay with the resort.

“We felt sad because some families save up for this paradise holiday for their kids, saving up all year to take their kids to a palace like this, and then get there and for them to be so disappointed,” she said.

She said her Adelaide-based family had “wasted” about $3500 on Daydream Island before leaving early to go to Hamilton Island.

Mrs Ryan-Welsh accused the resort of “ripping people off”.

“They are greenwashing people, there is nothing eco friendly at all about the resort,” she said.

“Animals rummage through the bins all day, there is rubbish on the island everywhere, they use so much plastic, animals are eating plastic containers.

“I do not know how they can call themselves an eco resort.

“We just do not want anybody to have to spend money to go here.

“We feel they are ripping people off.”

Daydream Island Resort has been contacted for this article, but has not provided a response.

It’s not the first time the island has been labelled a “nightmare” with parents seen panic buying food from the souvenir shop as Covid-19 wreaked havoc on the Whitsundays earlier this year.

Back then, a Daydream Island sales and marketing director said the staff were doing their very best to accommodate guests amid changes, admitting they had been feeling the heat.

The comments posted below this latest TikTok video were also critical of the resort.

“Daydream has never been good, Hamilton and Hayman are the better options, or just stay at Airlie,” user1969279142276 writes.

“A friend of mine went at the beginning of the year and had to leave early, no air con, no food, it was horrendous,” Margot Cooper writes.

“Daydream is well know for this, some friends went last week and what a disappointing experience they had, they ended up leaving before planned,” claudia marcela writes.

“I went there 10 years ago and it was bad then, they can‘t claim this one on Covid,” Rhianon Backman writes.

“Stayed there in 2020 and we nicknamed it nightmare island. Honestly couldn’t wait to be gone,” Soph wrote.

The negative reviews look to have lost Daydream Island some future business.

“Well I just took that one off the holidays list,” on the upside to 50 writes.

“Just cancelled and booked at Airlie Beach, cost me $400 but worth it, thanks for the heads up,” doubs17 wrote.

The Whitsundays has been a hugely popular domestic destination as Covid lockdowns eased and tourism businesses have been working hard to ensure tourists have a positive experience, with many going above and beyond.

Locals even put up tourists stranded after Jetstar cancelled a flight from Hamilton Island to Sydney.

Whitsunday Coast Airport and Whitsunday Regional Council have come up with a plan to ensure the region’s tourism future from better baggage handling and hire cars to attracting more films and TV series to be shot there.

And new airline Bonza is planning to land its first flight there in coming weeks.



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