The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, and Australia’s great natural wonder, gives visitors the chance to dive deeper with new opportunities.
The draw of the iconic, UNESCO-listed barrier reef in Queensland, Australia, is deepened as a number of new attractions and hotels open for travelers.
Two new hotels are available in the Whitsundays. The InterContinental Hayman Island opened in July 2019 and offers guests five-star luxury surrounded by verdant cliffs and a crescent-shaped, white-sand beach.
There are 166 rooms, suites and villas. Guests can enjoy diving in the Great Barrier Reef, swimming in the resort’s private pool, sailing the Coral Sea, spa treatments and more.
Also in the Whitsundays is the new Reefsuites, coming in November. These are Australia’s first underwater accommodations.
The two suites feature floor-to-ceiling, panoramic views of tropical marine life including tropical fish, turtles and manta rays. The new accommodations are part of the $8 million sustainable redevelopment of the Reefworld pontoon.
On Lady Musgrave Island, the Lady Musgrave Island Underwater Accommodations are scheduled to open in April of 2020. The project is a new, government-funded multi-level pontoon development. The three-level pontoon offers accommodations for up to 24 people with 360-degree views of the reef. There will also be an underwater observatory, upper decks for diving, snorkeling and glass-bottom boat tours.
There are also new attractions, including Heart Island in the Whitsundays. Travelers to Hamilton Island now have the chance to access this iconic reef lagoon via a scenic 30-minute helicopter journey. Guests head to the Heart Reef by glass-bottom boat.
The Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) will open in Townsville in April of next year. It is the first of its kind in Australia aimed at increasing awareness of the threatened ecosystem and rehabilitating parts of the reef.
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