The Gold Coast has long been a fun and adventurous hotspot – and now the opening of Wonder Reef gives another exciting reason to visit.
What is Wonder Reef?
The Gold Coast’s latest must-visit attraction, Wonder Reef, launched in June and offers a unique diving experience. It’s an entirely human-made reef, consisting of nine enormous floating sculptures tethered to the sea floor.
Artist Dan Templeman was enlisted to create the impression of a hanging garden that unfurls towards the sky. However, the swirling shapes aren’t simply about aesthetics: the nooks and crannies of the 22-metre-high sculptures, which move with the ocean’s energy like a giant kelp forest, have already been adopted as home by a kaleidoscopic array of marine life.
“It’s an amazing fusion of art, science and engineering,” says reef specialist Matthew Allen of construction company Subcon, the brains behind Wonder Reef. “We’re all about providing habitat. While some people refer to it as ‘artificial’, we’ve simply provided the skeleton of a reef that mother nature is then taking over and perfecting.”
More than 32,000 cubic metres of new reef habitat can be explored by certified divers of all levels, from beginners to advanced.
Where do I find Wonder Reef?
Wonder Reef sits 2.5 kilometres offshore from The Spit at the Gold Coast’s Main Beach. It’s just a 10-minute boat trip from the shore, with more than six types of coral and dozens of fish species that call it home.
“Right down below you find giant fish like grouper and cod, and further up you’ll find all sorts of coral reef fish,” says Allen. “And there’s always the chance you’ll see manta rays, turtles or even whales passing by.”
How do I visit Wonder Reef?
“It’s super easy to go with an operator,” says Allen. “The boats tether directly above so you’re actually right over your dive site. You just jump straight into the experience, so there’s no wasting any time.”
Certified divers can dive to a depth of eight, 18 and 30 metres at Wonder Reef, depending on their level of experience.
Where should I stay to experience Wonder Reef?
A host of world-class hotels and resorts await the 16,000 diving enthusiasts Wonder Reef is expected to attract to the Gold Coast each year.
Continue the aquatic amazement by staying at the JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, where waterfalls cascade over rock grottos and tropical fish swim in the sandy-bottomed depths.
Get into the party spirit at QT Gold Coast where Miami stylings and quirky decor make an irresistible package. Or soak up the grandeur of the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, where a spectacular lobby opens onto the ocean-hugging swimming pool of the Goldie’s only beachfront resort.