Cruise Whitsundays will make some major changes to its Great Barrier Reef pontoon infrastructure next month, providing new opportunities for a range of visitors to the Whitsundays to experience the famous Hardy Reef ‘River’.
L: The Reefworld pontoon at Hardy Reef
R: The Knuckle Reef pontoon will relocate to Hardy Reef, 300m south of Reefworld (where ‘Reefworld II’ is currently moored)
The 45metre/150 foot pontoon currently at Knuckle Reef will be relocated to the Hardy Reef River, to be permanently moored just over 300 metres south of the other large ‘Reefworld’ pontoon.
The ‘Reefworld II’ pontoon (currently located 300m south of Reefworld) will be towed back to the mainland for a refurbishment and exciting relaunch 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,” Mr Hortle 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 coral wall,” he said.
“We are also taking the opportunity to install new moorings for the relocated pontoon which are anchored only to the sea bed – not the coral wall – which will aid in further protecting the precious environment of the Great Barrier Reef,”
“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,”
“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.”
Cruise Whitsundays is undertaking all infrastructure changes and upgrades with approval from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and above and beyond best practice environmental guidelines.
The changes will occur in the first two weeks of August.