Daydream Island set to reopen after an $86m refurbishment

One of the Whitsundays' most iconic island resorts is on the mend after sustaining significant damage during Cyclone Debbie in March last year. Boring the brunt of the storm with wind gusts of up to 260km/h  the tidal surge was the cause and result of the resorts temporary closure.

But owner China Capital Investment Group has pumped $86 million into repair and redevelopment works to have the luxury island resort reopened to guests by the end of September.

Head of sales and marketing for Daydream Island, Jayson Heron, said refurbishments included new rooms, bars, restaurants, swimming pools and an improved outdoor interactive reef, which guests could use for snorkelling or marine-life feeding

The island's iconic mermaid statues were washed away during the storm surge, and a decision had not been made on whether they would feature in the resort's new design.

The island's beaches and surrounding corals were also impacted by the cyclone, with the shoreline slowly recovering.

Whitsunday dive operator Tony Fonts said tourism operators diversified the experiences they offered and were offering more onshore activities like island bushwalks and beach day trips.

"The tourism industry is resilient here, and we're lucky we have the islands and have different options," Mr Fontes said.