Congratulations to Daydream Island for achieving Ecotourism certification! This island resort, which has just undergone a major redevelopment following damage from Cyclone Debbie in 2017, offers an incredible Great Barrier experience for both domestic and international guests.

One of 74 islands in the Whitsundays region, Daydream Island offers one of Australia’s most unique reef experiences with its amazing Living Reef, a free form coral lagoon wrapped around the central building, 200m in length and holding over 1.5 million litres of water and over 100 species of marine fish, rays, coral and invertebrates such as starfish, sea cucumbers and crabs.

DD Underwater Observatory welcome article

Photo credit – Daydream Island

Another special feature is the underwater observatory, which allows visitors to look through a large acrylic window out at a typical reef system.  With qualified marine biologists on site, experiences such as reef ranger programs and guided snorkel and night tours allow visitors to a deeper level of learning and fun for children and adults alike. The resort also participates in reef monitoring, coral restoration and research on sharks and rays.

DD Drone welcome article

Photo credit – Daydream Island

Each of the 277 fully refurbished modern rooms and suites offers a delightful view to wake up to – across lush, tropical gardens or looking out to the impossibly blue waters of the Whitsundays. All of these rooms use LED lighting and natural lighting, and green power is purchased to cover the additional energy necessary for the resort’s office and other operations.  

Guests are transported to the island on Cruise Whitsundays, another ECO certified operator, and products are purchased locally by the resort to reduce transport emissions. These products include building materials, furniture and produce. There is a no email print policy at the resort and recycled paper is used when printing can’t be avoided. All ink cartridges are refilled instead of being replaced. The recycling system in place includes separating general waste from recyclable materials including glass, hard plastics and aluminium, and emission sources are identified and assessed, recorded monthly for comparison and reduced where possible. Unavoidable emissions are offset through the purchase of carbon credits.

DD Palm welcome article

Photo credit –Daydream Island

Daydream Island is committed to continuous improvement. Initiatives have been proposed for the next 12 months to combat environmental impacts and these will be closely monitored. These include a composting system for kitchens, improved rubbish disposal and recycling, reduced water consumption, reduced power consumption by 5%, staff awareness and training and ensuring suppliers are aligned with the resort’s environmental values.

Once again, congratulations to Daydream Island and welcome to the Ecotourism Australia family!

Lovers Cove welcome article

Photo credit –Daydream Island

For more information, visit the Daydream Island website or Facebook page


Ecotourism Australia certified operators took home more gold awards than any state at Friday night’s Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Canberra.

Winning almost one quarter of all awards, including over a third of gold awards, 8% of silver awards and 28% of bronze awards, these successes once again provide undisputable proof of the high calibre of ecotourism businesses across the country.

Ecotourism Australia CEO, Rod Hillman, said that these results are impressive, especially considering ecotourism operators are not even eligible for all of the awards categories.

“We see these results year on year from our operators and it’s just great to see that these businesses continue to be recognised on a national scale.

“All of them are 100% committed to not only offering outstanding visitor experiences, but also conducting their business in a way that protects people and planet for generations to come.

These are true movers and shakers in our industry, and we applaud them for their successes.”

Ecotourism and Respecting our Culture (ROC) certified Nitmiluk Tours and Cicada Lodge, who took home a record four awards on the night, three of them gold, are proud of what this means for their region’s Traditional Owners, and for the recognition of Australia’s Indigenous cultural heritage.

“The success of Nitmiluk and Cicada Lodge is based on strong relationships and partnerships within the NT and interstate – Ecotourism Australia being one of them,” said Nitmiluk’s Chief Operating Officer, Sveva Falletto.

“We are thankful to our team members [and] our board and we share these awards with all our partners. It’s a team effort.”

The Qantas Australian Tourism Awards were held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra on Friday night, 6 March.

Ecotourism Australia certified operators made up close to a fifth of all finalists on the night, with those awarded representing the Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia.


For questions and comments, please contact:

Lina Cronin – Communications Manager / [email protected] or 07 32566777


Ecotourism Australia certified winners – Qantas Australian Tourism Awards 2019


Adventure Bay Charters

Bronze – Adventure Tourism

Calypso Star Charters

Gold – Tourist Attractions

Cobbold Gorge

Bronze – Tourist Attractions

Habitat Noosa

Gold – New Tourism Business

Kimberley Quest

Gold – Tour and Transport Operators

Lady Elliot Island

Silver – Ecotourism

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park

Bronze – Ecotourism

Nitmiluk Tours

Bronze – Major Tourist Attractions

Nitmiluk Tours

Gold – Qantas Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism

Nitmiluk Tours (Cicada Lodge)

Gold – Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services

Nitmiluk Tours (Cicada Lodge)

Gold – Luxury Accommodation

Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

Bronze – Major Tour and Transport Operators

Rainforestation Nature Park

Bronze – Qantas Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism

Red Cat Adventures

Gold – Major Tour and Transport Operators

Red Cat Adventures

Silver – Adventure Tourism

Roaring 40s Kayaking

Gold – Adventure Tourism

Tasman Venture

Bronze – Tour and Transport Operators

Venture North Australia

Gold – Cultural Tourism