World-first floating reef and dive attraction to be built off the Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is set to be home to a world-first floating reef, which is earmarked to be built 2.5-km off the coast of Main Beach. The sculptural living reef is designed to create a new ecosystem to recruit fish, serving as a sustainable habitat for a diverse range of marine flora and fauna – while also delivering a thrilling new diving attraction for the city.
The concept will feature nine buoyant ‘sculptural reef flutes’, individually tethered by reinforced concrete and steel pyramids to stand 16-20 metres above the ocean floor. According to Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate, divers will be able to swim around and through the floating reefs, which over time will become covered in marine growth attracting schools of fish and other species. The eye-catching reef sculptures are the work of renowned Queensland artist Daniel Templeman, who describes the dive attraction as “sculpture gardens, where simple geometric forms support the generation of marine life.”
The floating reef has now edged one step closer to reality, with the City of Gold Coast recently awarding the contract to deliver the site to Australian company Subcon Technologies Pty Ltd, which is also responsible for the Simpson and Hardy reefs in Hervey Bay, Turner reef off Scarborough and multiple installations off New South Wales, Darwin, Perth, Exmouth and Mauritius. The current concept, which combines Daniel Templeman’s creative interpretation with the marine engineering capabilities offered by Subcon Technologies, will undergo further design development in consultation with the dive industry reference group before commencing construction. The floating reef project is expected to be completed in mid-2021.