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You Can Now Swim Around Underwater Sculptures and Coral at the Gold Coast's New Artificial Dive Site

Wonder Reef lets you dive down to 30 metres and swim around nine giant buoyant reef sculptures — all just a ten-minute boat trip from the Gold Coast Seaway.
By Sarah Ward
June 06, 2022
By Sarah Ward
June 06, 2022

Whether you like hitting the beach, hopping on rollercoasters, touring movie studios or trekking through the hinterland, the Gold Coast isn't short on tourist attractions. But the Sunshine State holiday spot's latest addition will take you to new depths — swimming around underwater sculptures and coral, and past hundreds of different species of marine life, all without venturing too far from the shore.

Meet Wonder Reef, which opens for dives from Wednesday, June 8. It's a huge artificial reef, and it's perched just a ten-minute boat trip from the Gold Coast Seaway. Here, you'll descend down to 30 metres, and paddle around nine giant buoyant reef sculptures, which are floating beneath the surface about 2.5 kilometres offshore from Philip Park at The Spit.

First announced back in mid-2021, the new $5-million attraction is designed for experienced divers — and to draw in more tourists to the Goldie, obviously. The site's coral was planted just before Christmas last year, and has already been attracting everything from lobsters, octopus and tropical fish to turtles and giant gropers. It's also expected to grow by between one and 25 centimetres a year.

That's what more than 16,000 divers will see each year, too, as well as those nine sculptures. Made by Queensland artist Daniel Templeman, they measure up to 22 metres tall, weigh more than 738 tonnes (in air) and span a reef habitat of 32,000 cubic metres in size.

If you're now keen for a dip, Gold Coast Dive Adventures and Queensland Scuba Diving are running regular tours. Or, if you're an experienced diver with your own boat and dive equipment, you can also book a public mooring.

Pitched as a new bucket-list dive site by the City of Gold Coast and the Queensland Government, who've brought it to fruition, Wonder Reef has been given a 50-year seabed lease. So, it's sticking around for both a good time and a long time.

And while the site is man-made — the coral is real, but the reef setup is artificial — it's been crafted with the natural environment in mind. Indeed, not that anyone should need any assistance, but helping folks to appreciate the underwater beauty of the natural world is another of Wonder Reef's big aims.

Wonder Reef is open for bookings from Wednesday, June 8. For more information, head to the Wonder Reef website.

Published on June 06, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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