Cruise Whitsundays’ Great Barrier Reef pontoon infrastructure is set to undergo a makeover next month.
The changes will provide new opportunities for a range of visitors to the Whitsundays to experience the famous Hardy Reef ‘River’.
The 45 metre/150 foot pontoon currently located at Knuckle Reef will be relocated to the Hardy Reef River and will be permanently moored just over 300 metres south of the other large ‘Reefworld’ pontoon.
The ‘Reefworld II’ pontoon will be towed back to the mainland for refurbishment and will be relaunched in the new year.
Cruise Whitsundays CEO Nick Hortle said the changes presented exciting opportunities for visitors to the Great Barrier Reef.
“Having two large pontoons in the spectacular Hardy Reef River will mean that the demand on the infrastructure will be better managed, enhancing our guest experience,” he said.
“Along with the relocation of the Knuckle Reef Pontoon, we will be installing 130m of new snorkel swim lines at its new site, giving guests an entirely new location to explore the Hardy Reef River wall.”
Mr Hortle said new moorings would be installed for the relocated pontoon, anchored only to the sea bed and not the coral wall.
This would help in further protection of the Great Barrier Reef he said.
“Hardy Reef offers the best combination of reef, coral and fish life for visitors to see, and is in the best condition in living memory,” Mr Hortle said.
“The two pontoons both have underwater viewing chambers and full facilities for guests, which will mean we can better service the combination of our guests arriving on day tours, by helicopter or by cruise ship.”
Changes will start to take effect in the first two weeks of August.
SOURCE: WHITSUNDAY TIMES