Sleep with the fishes at Australia’s first underwater accommodation in the Whitsundays
After many months spent mostly indoors and our plans to travel both interstate and internationally on the back-burner for now, you could say we’ve caught a bad case of the travel bug. The good news is that Queensland is open for Queenslanders, making now the perfect time to start exploring our sunny state. We’ve found a spot to add to your Queensland bucket list – Reefworld, an undersea accommodation in the Whitsundays where you can spend the night sleeping amongst the colourful aquatic garden that is the Great Barrier Reef. This nautical experience gives a whole new meaning to ‘a room with a view’.
Anchored offshore at Hardy Reef – just a short boat ride from Airlie Beach – Reefworld is Australia’s very-first underwater accommodation. Relaunched to the public in 2019, the revamped pontoon-hotel hosts day-tripping thrill seekers as well as a few lucky folk who book the below-deck all-inclusive accommodation experience. The refurbishment of the Reefworld pontoon saw Cruise Whitsundays work hand-in-hand with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to ensure the project was completed in the most sustainable and environmentally conscious manner – including the sustainable removal (and successful replantation onto an existing reef wall) of 4000 pieces of coral. Fun fact – the project was the largest natural coral transplant ever to be undertaken on the Great Barrier Reef, and is just one story of the ocean conservation narrative that Reefworld shares with its visitors.
So, what’s included in this underwater adventure? You’ll start off your sub-aquatic experience with a scenic cruise through the Whitsundays, arriving at Reefworld in the late morning. After lunch, you can take a privately guided snorkelling tour, dive or swim through the natural wonderland that is the Great Barrier Reef where you will spot fish, turtles and maybe a reef shark or two. For an additional cost, you can even take a scenic helicopter flight to see the famous Heart Reef. Day visitors head back to Airlie Beach in the afternoon and then overnight guests have the reef and the boat all to themselves, where they can watch the sunset whilst enjoying a tipple before relishing a long-table dinner under the stars. Following this nighttime feast, you can make tracks to your underwater room, which boasts a glass-walled ensuite and floor-to-ceiling views of the reef. After sleeping with the fishes, you’ll tuck into a delicious breakfast followed by some super-fun reef activities before heading home in the afternoon. The best part is that all meals and beverages (including wine and beer) are included!
Interested in this luxe underwater experience? A Reefsuite single room will set you back $1199 per person, and a double room or twin room is $799 per person. You can book yourself in here. You’ll be singing ‘Under the Sea’ like Sebastian in no time!
Image credit: Cruise Whitsundays