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Orpheus Island Lodge Launches Exclusive Dive Tours to the Museum of Underwater Art

October 9, 2020 Resort News No Comments Email Email

The Northern Escape Collection’s Orpheus Island Lodge, a secluded island hideaway on the Great Barrier Reef, is one of a select group of tourism operators granted permission to offer guests dive tours to the new and thought-provoking Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA).

Located 32NM from Orpheus Island and 80 kilometres off the coast of Townsville in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, MOUA was conceptualised by world-renowned underwater sculptor and environmentalist, Jason deCaires Taylor and is the first museum of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

Guests staying at Orpheus Island Lodge can now book a full-day, private dive charter tour to the ‘Coral Greenhouse’ at the John Brewer Reef dive site – the largest MOUA installation. Featuring around 20 sculptures of ‘reef guardians’ propagating coral submerged to a depth of around 18 metres, the artwork shares an important message of reef conservation and aims to spark conversations around preserving and restoring our natural wonders.

Orpheus Island Lodge’s General Manager, Ross Penegar said he and his team were honoured to be able to share the MOUA and deCaires Taylor’s art installation with guests as part of its additional menu of bespoke experiences.

“At Orpheus, we strive to deliver authentic experiences that celebrate the region’s spectacular beauty and create lasting memories for our guests. We see this installation not only as a new and wonderfully rare opportunity to experience the reef, but also as a platform to share the stories and culture of its First Nations people and further raise awareness of the importance of environmental activism and conservation, which is something we are very passionate about,” Mr Penegar said.

The messages shared through the MOUA and the ‘Coral Greenhouse’ align beautifully with Orpheus’ philosophy of sustainable tourism and the Northern Escape Collection’s ongoing endeavours to safeguard the environment. Some examples of the special environmental measures that are incorporated into daily operations include solar power and batteries servicing the lodge, the use of biodegradable cleaning products, the removal of single-use plastics, treating and recycling 100% of the lodge’s water for irrigation and watering, sustainable food growth, native flora replanting, and a donation of $50 per guest stay to the Reef Keepers Fund – supporting projects that protect and preserve the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.

Orpheus Island Lodge MOUA dive tour details:

  • Full Day Charter – approx. 9am to 5pm
  • Double or single dive, plus opportunity for fishing
  • All charters come with a skipper, host/guide, lunch, dive equipment and refreshments
  • $3,000 / 8 hrs, 4 guests – charter price can be split between guest groups
  • Additional guide $300, additional guests $100pp
  • Please note all charters are weather dependent

Fast facts:

  • Orpheus Island Lodge is one of only five commercial tourism operators that will be offering tours to the ‘Coral Greenhouse’ at John Brewer Reef
  • The ‘Coral Greenhouse’ weighs more than 58 tonnes and is made from stainless steel and pH-neutral materials to complement natural coral growth
  • John Brewer Reef, located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, is a naturally-formed reef, with some weather protection, 10-15metre visibility, natural coral walls and a flat sandy base
  • For thousands of years the Wulgurukaba people and other groups paddled these waters trading along the coast between tribal groups. These people had an intimate understanding of their environment, the seasons and the spirituality behind it all
  • John Brewer Reef was named after a troop ship named John Brewer sailing from Sydney to India in 1842
  • Jason deCaires Taylor is the world’s leading underwater sculptor. His permanent underwater works span several continents and explore themes of conservation and environmental activism
  • Through his work, Jason hopes to usher in a new era of culturally and environmentally-aware tourism

The John Brewer Reef ‘Coral Greenhouse’ is the first-ever underwater building created by artist deCaires Taylor who hopes to advance education and offer opportunities for scientists, marine students and dive tourists to engage in action-based learning and to conduct globally important research on coral reef restoration.

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