Lady Musgrave Island. (Photo: VCG)
An upcoming eco-tourism experience on Australia's Great Barrier Reef will allow visitors to sleep up to 3 meters beneath the ocean surface in a sustainable floating hotel.
Plans for the three-level, multi-use pontoon to be located off Lady Musgrave Island were revealed on Tuesday by Queensland State Minister for Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones who said the project will attract thousands of additional visitors to the reef.
"This pontoon is a game-changer for Lady Musgrave and the Great Barrier Reef and will create a whole new way for visitors to experience the island and the region," Jones said.
The Queensland state government will provide almost 700,000 US dollars to support the project through its Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
Up to 24 guests will be able to stay overnight on the bottom level of the pontoon, which includes floor-to-ceiling windows providing a special glimpse of the reef's unique marine life.
"It will host an underwater observatory with UV lighting, so visitors can experience the reef at night and have upper decks for diving, snorkeling and environmental data collection," Jones said
The roof of the 36-meter-long vessel will be lined with solar panels to provide power, while the main deck will be constructed from recycled plastic and wood, with each meter utilizing 50 second-hand milk bottles.
Lady Musgrave Experience Managing Director Brett Lakey said the project would increase the world-class offerings of the Great Barrier Reef.
"This development will ensure the southern area of the Great Barrier Reef is an attractive gateway for visitors, providing some of the best tourism experiences on the Reef," he said.