Heart of the Na­tion

The Weekend Australian - Magazine - - Front Page -

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

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