An eco-tourism experience will see visitors sleep three metres beneath the ocean’s surface in a new sustainable “floating” hotel planned for the Great Barrier Reef
Dinah Lewis Boucher – The Urban Developer
A new three-level pontoon on Lady Musgrave Island has been announced, which will feature an observatory and underwater hotel.
Plans for the project include an underwater observatory with UV lighting, for visitors to experience the reef at night, bedrooms will have 360-degree underwater views of the reef, as well as upper decks to cater for diving, snorkelling and environmental data collection.
Underwater hotels around the world include the delayed Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental in Shanghai, still under construction.
While the Mantra Resort in Zanzibar in Tanzania will set visitors back $1500 a night, and the ultra-luxury Conrad Rangali Island underwater hotel in the Maldives, which sits five metres below the surface, costs its guests up to $11,710 a night.
Underwater plans for the southern area of the Great Barrier Reef’s new hotel take a smaller and environmental approach.
The pontoon is planned to be 36 metres by 12 metres and offer accommodation for up to 24 people, expected to cost visitors up to $550 a night.
“All the decking on the pontoon is made from recycled materials and every lineal metre of our decking has 50 recycled milk bottles in it,” Lady Musgrave Experience managing director Brett Lakey said.
“So there’s great longevity of our lagoon and for our Pontoon design.”
The state government said it will provide $1 million toward the project through its $36 million tourism infrastructure fund, announcing it would partner with Lady Musgrave Experience to deliver the pontoon.
“We know that tourism is now worth more than a billion dollars to the southern great Barrier Reef, and we want to see this continue to grow because it means jobs locally,” tourism minister Kate Jones said.
Jones said the development would attract an extra 160,000 visitors to the region each year.
“And drive more than $1.8 million in visitor expenditure.”.
Construction is expected to commence in August with plans to open to the public in April 2020.