Heart of the Nation
Didn’t the world’s first floating hotel look fabulous? Here it is in ’88, brand new, moored at John Brewer Reef off Townsville. The $40 million brainchild of a local entrepreneur, the Four Seasons Barrier Reef Resort seemingly had it all: 200 rooms, a nightclub boasting a state-of-the-art laser light-show, fine restaurants, a pool, library, tennis court, helipad and semi-submersible. The only thing it didn’t have, alas, was luck. If only it’d had a bit of luck, it wouldn’t now be rusting away in a port in North Korea.
“My dad was an artist at heart, a creative person,” says Peter Tarca, whose late father Doug dreamed up the project and had the gumption to get it made. “He loved the reef and wanted to share it with other people.” Things went wrong from the start, though: the hotel was six months late being delivered from the Singapore shipyard, and was battered by rough seas