Queensland’s Daydream Island resort recently reopened for business following an extensive renovation project led by GHD, which provided a broad range of services contributing to the holiday facility’s stunning transformation.

GHD collaborated with the owner, China Capital Investment Group, to provide a gamut of services from project inception through to final resort handover including design, engineering, project management, construction superintendency and contract administration. The renovation project covered all accommodation wings, the central guest facilities, arrivals building, multiple restaurants, buildings and various front-of-house features.

Robby Chohan, GHD’s technical director — Structures/ Property & Buildings and project manager for the redevelopment, recalled that the design phase was already well underway when the region was devastated by Tropical Cyclone Debbie in March 2017. Consequently, additional rectification works were incorporated as part of the redevelopment.

Some of the features added by GHD include an underwater observatory, and a living reef and on-land lagoon, which wraps around the central resort building. Home to more than 100 different kinds of aquatic creatures, the lagoon uses seawater directly drawn from the ocean, circulated without treatment, and discharged into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, again without treatment or filtration.

“Essentially, we have created a land based extension to the Great Barrier Reef offering a unique snorkelling experience, underwater observatory, reef education centre and underwater function facility,” says Chohan.

The renovation was an exceptional opportunity for GHD’s North Queensland team to be involved in a complex, multidisciplinary project, which was also one of the largest redevelopments in the Whitsundays in recent years. Even when the project moved into construction, GHD maintained a full-time site presence, allowing several of their engineers in North Queensland to gain first-hand experience in delivering complex infrastructure.