Australia’s new dive attraction is set to open to the public on Wednesday, June 8. The huge artificial reef is found just ten minutes by boat from the Gold Coast Seaway and is expected to attract more than 16,000 divers each year. The $5 million attraction was funded equally by the Gold Coast City Council and the state government and has been secured in a 50-year seabed lease.
The site consists of nine buoyant sculptures, each well anchored to the seabed by a reef foundation weighing more than 70 tonnes. The structures reach up to 22 meters above the sea floor. Once complete, Wonder Reef will create a 32,000 cubic-meter marine habitat that can attract a rich diversity of marine life. It is also Australia’s first floating dive site.
Interestingly, for Daniel Templeman, the artist behind the futuristic sculptural reef flutes, the creation of Wonder Reef was his first underwater piece.
“I tried to make something that exaggerated that sense of buoyancy, something that pointed upwards to the sky,” Templeman said.
The site’s coral was planted in 2021 and has already been attracting a variety of sea creatures from lobsters, octopus, and sea turtles to tropical fish and giant groupers. The coral is expected to grow by up to 25 centimeters a year.
Sitting just 7 meters below the surface, the reef is accessible to all levels of divers. Advanced divers can descend to a maximum depth of 30 meters.
For more information and to book your dive, check out Wonder Reef’s official website.