Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Great Barrier Reef tour company deploys world’s first wireless underwater drone to collect data

Great Barrier Reef tour company deploys world’s first wireless underwater drone to collect data
June 24, 2021

Family-owned tour company Passions of Paradise is deploying iBubble - the world’s first wireless and entirely autonomous underwater drone – to speed up its survey work on the Great Barrier Reef.

Passions of Paradise has become the first in Australia to purchase the drone in an effort to better catalogue their research work on the outer reefs off Cairns.

Passions of Paradise Environmental Manager Russell Hosp said the drone had been nicknamed Bumblebee as it could follow a diver without the ocean currents affecting it and had 360 degree sonar allowing it to avoid obstacles.

Hosp advises “funded by the Tourism Industry Activation and Reef Protection Initiative through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Bumblebee records the monitoring that Passions of Paradise divers do for the Eye on the Reef surveys.

“We log data on the corals and marine life we see during surveys so that changes in reef conditions are reported immediately.

“Video and photos of the areas surveyed are part of the reporting requirements and allow us a complete recording of our activities, which we can edit into exciting social media content.

“Bumblebee has been very useful in documenting the Coral Nurture Program, a partnership with the University of Technology Sydney where we grow broken fragments of coral on frames at Hastings Reef and then plant the new coral on damaged sections of the reef."

Hosp adds “Passions has always been involved in research projects that help give our passengers a better understanding of the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.

“In the past five months we have done 60 Eye on the Reef surveys, almost 200 hours of research and planted more than 700 pieces of coral.

“In the future we hope to use the Bumblebee to analyse coral growth and local reef structure, and to record the impact of events such as Crown of Thorns outbreaks or cyclones.”

Passions of Paradise Chief Executive Scott Garden said there was a growing demand from visitors to the Great Barrier Reef to become involved in citizen science.

“Passengers choosing our certified carbon-neutral operation are very conscious of their environmental footprint and are keen to help the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.

“Each Friday we take small groups of up to eight experienced divers on an eco-experience where they can undertake Rapid Monitoring Survey Reports and monitor our coral planting.”

The Passions of Paradise fully-inclusive Reef Tour and Eco Experience is $399. For more information go to

Related Articles

22nd June 2021 - UNESCO recommends Great Barrier Reef be listed as ‘in danger’

21st June 2021 - Great Barrier Reef Education Experience Program opens

10th June 2021 - Fabrication nears completion for Gold Coast’s recently named ‘Wonder Reef’

2nd June 2021 - Commercial reef tourism operators to benefit from Reef Education Program

19th May 2021 - Australian Marine Conservation Society claims Hunter Valley gas development to be a disaster for the Reef

9th May 2021 - Great Barrier Reef protection to be enhanced with new $9.7 million vessel

28th April 2021 - Queensland Government rejects mine to protect Reef

17th March 2021 - Queensland Government extends fee relief for Cairns reef operators

22nd February 2021 - 17 marine tourism operators funded to monitor health of Great Barrier Reef

17th February 2021 - Great Barrier Reef’s D Grade highlights urgent action is required

9th October 2020 - Australian Marine Conservation Society claims Reef Inquiry confirms what was already known

30th September 2020 - Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority responds to illegal fishing on the Reef

16th June 2020 - Great Barrier Reef campaigners deliver message of Reef-safe recovery

13th May 2020 - Great Barrier Reef tourism operators to receive additional financial assistance

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Founded in 1961, Myrtha Pools® quickly became Italy’s première swimming pool company, and has since grown into one of the world's leading swimming pool construction…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks / Wellness


Goplay Commercial Playground Equipment

Goplay designs and manufactures specialised playground equipment for indoor play centres, hotels, food chains, clubs and resorts. If our years of experience and dedication have taught us one thing,…

read more




Hidroplay welcomes you to the exciting world of children's Playscapes, waterslide's and Water Attractions. Appealing to families, Hidroplay increases patronage in your facility during those…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation



Playrope Aqua-Fun, are the Australian & New Zealand exclusive distributors for Vortex Aquatic Structures International, the world leader in aquatic playgrounds and urban water landscapes.…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Parks / Play / Recreation



Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners (GNFP) is a structural, aquatic and civil engineering consultancy with broad experience in the design of new municipal and institutional swimming pools, hydrotherapy…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Design / Venues


Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues


Felton Industries

Felton Industries is Australia’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of quality outdoor furniture and has been supplying premium seating solutions for all sporting, commercial, community…

read more

Parks / Play / Recreation / Sport / Venues


Abel Sports

INTRODUCTION Abel Sports is Australia’s leading manufacturer and suppliers of Goal Posts, sports ground safety netting systems and coaches boxes for Stadiums ,Sports Clubs, Councils and…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business