Gold Coast Wonder Reef attraction installation begins

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Installation of the Gold Coast’s newest underwater attraction, worth $ 5 million, the steel-and-concrete-based Wonder Reef, began today using the world’s largest crane floating country to sink nine sculptural floating reef streamers, anchored at a depth of 30 meters.

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

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

The name – Wonder Reef – was approved after receiving over 200 responses from the community.

Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe notes that “Wonder Reef is part of our commitment to help Gold Coast tourism rebuild better and should be at the top of scuba diving lists across Australia.”

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

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

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

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate enthusiastically said, “It’s exciting to see Wonder Reef about to become a reality and provide yet another reason for tourists to visit our great city.

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

“Wonder Reef will be an incredible addition to the Gold Coast diving scene.”

The reef structures weigh over 846 tons and will undergo six to eight months of rigorous monitoring and testing to meet divers’ approvals and safety.

Between eight and 10 aluminum anodes are attached to each of the nine reef splines to protect steel structures from corrosion.

Minister Hinchliffe said Wonder Reef will join a collection of Queensland man-made reef dive sites including Townsville Museum of Underwater Art, ex-HMAS Tobruk in Great Sandy Marine Park and the ex-HMAS Brisbane off Mooloolaba.

Image top and center: Installation of Wonder Reef; Image above: Gold Coast Foundation Reefs, artist Daniel Templeman and project manager Kim Mayberry

Related Articles

June 10, 2021 – Manufacturing nears completion for Gold Coast’s newly named “Wonder Reef”

April 26, 2021 – Artificial reef being set up off Perth’s Ocean Reef

July 17, 2020 – Research shows artificial reefs are good for the environment and recreational fishing

December 13, 2019 – Call for tenders awarded for the design of the Albany artificial surf reef

August 8, 2018 – Opening of new artificial surf attractions in Japan

December 2, 2017 – Opening of an innovative artificial wave merry-go-round in Western Sydney

January 24, 2017 – New concept of artificial surf wave in development in Dunedin

February 8, 2016 – WhiteWater launches the “endless wave” artificial surf concept

May 27, 2015 – New artificial reefs begin to deploy off Hervey Bay


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