The Great Barrier Reef is Getting an Underwater Hotel

ReefSuite, Great Barrier Reef
ReefSuite, Great Barrier Reef

The Whitsundays’ new floating pontoon will offer visitors the special chance to sleep overnight at the Great Barrier Reef, either on the upper deck or in an exclusive underwater Reefsuite

Queensland has done it again, with the state government announcing yet another quirky and wonderful reason to go to the Whitsundays. First, there was Scuber, then there was Heart Island. And soon, you’ll be able to sleep with the fishes, so to speak, in Australia’s first underwater hotel.

Reefsuites will be located on the soon-to-be-built $8-million Reefworld pontoon at Hardy Reef, giving guests a front row seat to the dazzling underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the pontoon, being built in partnership with Cruise Whitsundays, “will be one of the most iconic tourism projects in the world”. “We want to invest in tourism attractions that we know will attract more visitors to the Whitsundays and support local jobs – this project will achieve just that… This is about attracting more tourists who stay longer and spend more while they’re in Central Queensland,” she said.

Jones added the Whitsundays should get an extra 60,000 visitors per year as a result of the new attraction, which is being built off the back of increasing demand. “There is huge demand for a new pontoon in the Whitsundays. This will give more people the chance to see the Great Barrier Reef and will allow tourists to experience this natural wonder in new ways,” she said.

The new floating pontoon will measure 12 metres by 45 metres and offer visitors the special chance to sleep overnight at the reef, either on the upper deck or in an exclusive underwater reef suite.

With just two underwater rooms available, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sleep under the ocean is priced from $749 per person and boasts premium bedding, a glass-walled en suite and floor-to-ceiling views of the spectacular underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. All meals and most beverages, including breakfast, lunch, morning and afternoon teas and dinner are included, as well as a spectacular dining experience under the stars. Other activities at the reef including a private guided snorkelling tour and semi-submarine tour are also available.

For those who love the ocean but not enough to fall asleep in it, the all-inclusive Reefsleep experience, available from $595 per person, will cater to 28 overnight visitors sleeping under the stars in a unique reef bed.

Guests will arrive at the accommodation via a scenic cruise through the Whitsundays to the pontoon, before being shown to their ocean accommodation, which Jones is calling “ an absolute game-changer for the local tourism industry.”

Reefsuites are slated to open this summer.

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