Hotels

“It’s a game-changer”: Underwater hotel on Great Barrier Reef to open in 2020

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

Queensland’s first ever underwater hotel will be built in the Southern Great Barrier Reef, with plans for it to open in time for Easter next year.

The Queensland government revealed yesterday that it will provide $1 million in funding for an upcoming eco-tourism opportunity in Lady Musgrave Island, which will reportedly allow guests to sleep up to three-metres below the ocean’s surface in a floating, underwater hotel.

An artist's impression of the pontoon
An artist’s impression of the vessel, operated by local business Lady Musgrave Island Experience, that will contain the underwater hotel.

Set in the lagoon surrounding Lady Musgrave Island, the sustainable hotel – part of a 36 metre, three-level multi-purpose pontoon operated by Lady Musgrave Experience – will reportedly be fixed to the sea bed and offer accommodation for up to 24 people.

An artist's impression of the pontoon.
An artist’s impression of the vessel, which will run on solar power and be made partly from recycled materials.

“This pontoon is a game-changer for Lady Musgrave and the Great Barrier Reef and will create a whole new way for visitors to experience the island and the region,”  Queensland Tourism Industry development minister Kate Jones said.

The Queensland government expects the multi-level pontoon to draw an extra 16,000 visitors to the world’s largest coral reef every year, driving more than $1.8 million in visitor expenditure.

The vessel will reportedly run entirely on solar power and will partly be made from recycled materials. It will also be fitted with UV lighting for experiencing the Great Barrier Reef at night, while the upper decks will offer opportunities for diving, snorkelling and environmental data collection.

Lady Musgrave Experience managing director Brett Lakey said the project would increase the world-class offerings and capabilities for Lady Musgrave Experience – driving benefits throughout the Southern Great Barrier Reef region.

“This development will ensure the southern area of the Great Barrier Reef is an attractive gateway for visitors, providing some of the best tourism experiences on the Reef,” Lakey said.

The initiative is expected to support up to six jobs during construction and 14 jobs once operational.

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