A TRIP to Daydream Island in 2016 sparked a career in marine biology for a young Gold Coast student.
Zachariah Goodall, with his mother and grandmother, came to stay on the island when he was 15 years old.
His grandmother Susan paid for Zachariah to take part in a marine biology club on the island.
"He was cutting up food and feeding the sharks and giving the stingrays their medicine,” his mum said.
"And when we went to the reef, he had a good talk to the marine biologist on the boat.”
Ms Goodall said her son always wanted to be a vet but, after visiting Daydream Island, he decided he wanted to be a marine biologist.
"He is in Year 11 now and thinking about studying marine biology at Griffith University,” she said.
Zachariah's grandmother said the lad wanted to get back to the Whitsundays to study and live, which was alright by Ms Goodall who said, "that would be great because I can come up and visit you”.
She was devastated to hear the Whitsundays and the island had been so severely affected by Cyclone Debbie and had been following Facebook updates on the re-build.
"We loved it so much and are looking forward to coming back to the island,” she said.
For the Gold Coast-based housekeeper who is on her feet all day, the island experience at the heart of the Great Barrier Reef in the Whitsundays could be summed up in one word.
"Heaven,” she said. "I didn't have to cook, I didn't have to clean. We are really looking forward to the resort re-opening in September.”
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.