Ad­di­tional pon­toon for Hardy Reef River a boost for tourism

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

CRUISE Whit­sun­days’ Great Bar­rier Reef pon­toon in­fra­struc­ture is set to un­dergo a makeover next month.

The changes will pro­vide new op­por­tu­ni­ties for a range of vis­i­tors to the Whit­sun­days to ex­pe­ri­ence the fa­mous Hardy Reef River.

The 45m pon­toon at Knuckle Reef will be re­lo­cated to the Hardy Reef River and will be per­ma­nently moored a lit­tle more than 300m south of the large Reef­world pon­toon.

The Reef­world II pon­toon will be towed back to the main­land for re­fur­bish­ment and will be re­launched in the new year.

Cruise Whit­sun­days chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer 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,” he 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 wall.”

Mr Hor­tle said new moor­ings would be in­stalled for the re­lo­cated pon­toon, an­chored only to the sea bed and not the coral wall.

This would fur­ther pro­tect the Great Bar­rier Reef, he said.

“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,” Mr Hor­tle said.

“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.”

The work is sched­uled to start in the first two weeks of Au­gust.

Photo: Con­trib­uted

BEAU­TI­FUL SIGHT: Cruise Whit­sun­days’ Great Bar­rier Reef pon­toon will soon un­dergo a makeover.

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