Additional pontoon for Hardy Reef River a boost for tourism
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.
BEAUTIFUL SIGHT: Cruise Whitsundays’ Great Barrier Reef pontoon will soon undergo a makeover.