Australia’s first floating dive site named

Published on 09 June 2021

Birds eye shot of the gold coast beaches and skyline.jpg

The Gold Coast’s dive attraction has been named Wonder Reef, reflecting its unique design.

Full Council today endorsed the name after receiving more than 200 responses from the community. 

“There was a lot of suggestions and I thank the community.

“We ultimately agreed with the name that external consultants had come up with, after the consultants liaised with the dive and tourism industries,’’ said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.

“Behind the scenes, we had to ensure the name was legally available and marketable so in that regard, I believe we have found the perfect fit.”

Mayor Tate said fabrication was nearing completion, with the reef foundations already transported to Brisbane for final works before being barged to the coast for installation later this month.

“Weather permitting, they will be lowered into the water in coming weeks.”

Mayor Tate said it was vital that monitoring and safety checks were undertaken throughout 2021 while also allowing time for marine life to begin to inhabit the site before the site.

The attraction will officially open to the public in early 2022.

“This project will bring $32.8 million into the region’s economy in the first 10 years,’’ he said.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Palaszczuk Government had invested $2.5 million in the reef project and provided a 50-year lease over the seabed off Main Beach.

“The Palaszczuk Government is working with tourism destinations across Queensland to help the industry rebuild,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“We know this project is set to make a real splash with local divers and visitors.

“It has created 18 jobs during construction and 82 once operational which is great news for Queensland’s economic recovery.’’ 

Environment and Great Barrier Reef Minister and Member for Gaven Meghan Scanlon said the project was a great addition to the coast’s long list of exciting attractions.

“The coast is renowned for its natural beauty and fun attractions. This project will combine these two perfectly,” Ms Scanlon said.

“This project is expected to entice more than 16,000 diving enthusiasts to the Gold Coast and deliver an extra $2 million a year to the city’s visitor economy.’’

Wonder Reef’s most prominent features is nine buoyant ‘sculptural reef flutes’ individually tethered to the seafloor by reinforced concrete and steel pyramids. 

Depths range from 10 metres to 30 metres making it ideal for beginner and experienced divers.

The steel reef structures have been designed to attract and sustain a rich diversity of fish and other marine life and achieve positive environmental outcomes. 

The nine reef structures, weighing more than 738 tonnes, will create a 32,000m3 reef habitat.

The $5 million dive attraction project, 2.5 kilometres offshore from Main Beach, is being delivered jointly by the Queensland Government and the City of Gold Coast. The State Government contribution is from the Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

The reef sculptures are the work of renowned Queensland artist Daniel Templeman who has brought his creative interpretation to the marine engineering capabilities offered by Subcon Technologies to create the structures.