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Installation commences of Gold Coast’s Wonder Reef attraction

Installation commences of Gold Coast’s Wonder Reef attraction
August 11, 2021

The installation of the Gold Coast’s newest, $5 million underwater attraction – the steel and concrete-based reef Wonder Reef – began today using the country’s largest floating crane to sink nine buoyant sculptural reef flutes, anchored to a depth of 30 metres.

The Queensland Government has invested $2.5 million in the reef project and provided a 50-year lease over the seabed off Main Beach.

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.

The name - Wonder Reef – was endorsed after receiving more than 200 responses from the community.

Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe notes “Wonder Reef is part of our commitment to helping Gold Coast tourism rebuild better and is set to top the bucket lists of scuba divers from across Australia.”

Queensland Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said Wonder Reef was expected to attract 160,000 new visitors and deliver $32 million within a decade for the city’s economic recovery. 

Minister Scanlon added “after installation, marine experts will start work on planting local species of coral to help accelerate marine and entice a rich diversity of sea life.

“Diving experts predict Wonder Reef will create a unique diving experience for visitors within a 10 to 15-minute boat trip from the Gold Coast Seaway.”

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate enthused “It’s exciting we are close to seeing Wonder Reef become a reality and providing yet another reason for tourists to visit our great city.

“It’s not just about the many tourism benefits – this will also be an environmental wonder with more than 30,000m3 of new reef habitat for the Gold Coast’s unique marine life to call home.  

“Wonder Reef will be an incredible addition to the Gold Coast’s dive scene.”

The reef structures weigh more than 846 tonnes and will undergo six to eight months of rigorous monitoring and testing to meet approvals and diver safety.

Between eight and 10 aluminium anodes are attached to each of the nine reef flutes to protect the steel structures against corrosion.

Minister Hinchliffe said Wonder Reef would join a collection of artificial reef dive sites in Queensland include Townsville’s Museum of Underwater Art, ex-HMAS Tobruk in the Great Sandy Marine Park, and ex-HMAS Brisbane off Mooloolaba.

Image top and centre: Installation of Wonder Reef; Image above: Gold Coast Foundation Reefs, artist Daniel Templeman and Project Manager Kim Mayberry

Related Articles

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

26th April 2021 - Artificial reef being installed off Perth’s Ocean Reef

17th July 2020 - Research shows artificial reefs benefit the environment and recreational fishing

13th December 2019 - Tender awarded for Albany artificial surf reef design

8th August 2018 - New artificial surfing attractions to open in Japan

2nd December 2017 - Innovative artificial wave ride opens in western Sydney

24th January 2017 - New artificial surf wave concept under development in Dunedin

8th February 2016 - WhiteWater launches ‘never-ending wave’ artificial surf concept

27th May 2015 - New artificial reefs begin deployment off Hervey Bay


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