Formerly named West Molle Island, Daydream Island is one of the
smallest islands within the Whitsunday Group. Daydream is the closest
of the Whitsunday Islands to Shute Harbour, lying just five km from the
mainland. Just one kilometre long, Daydream is popular with day
visitors because of its close proximity to the mainland. Of its three
beaches, one is fringed by outcrops of coral and colourful fish life.
The island's dense jungle of tropical vegetation is inhabited by
parrots and tiny sunbirds. The highest point on the island is 51 metres
above sea level.
Christened West Molle Island in 1881, the present name "Daydream" came
into use in 1932 when Lee (Paddy) and Connie Murray established the
first tourist resort on the island. They re-named the island 'Day
Dream' after a yacht owned by the Murray family.
Ownership of the resort passed through a number of individuals or
groups. Among them was Reg Ansett, who closed and dismantled the resort
in 1953 and shipped the buildings to Hayman Island. A new resort was
developed in 1968, but was almost totally destroyed in a cyclone two
years later. It entered a period of major redevelopment in 1981 after
years of unprofitability but was again closed down in 1989.
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These days there are two tourist resorts operating on the island:
the original resort at the southern end caters to day visitors, only
overnight guests can visit the newer resort (opened in 1990) at the
north-eastern end of the island.