AUSTRALIAWonder ReefWonder Reef is a spectacular artificial reef located just 2.5km from the shores of the Gold Coast. This unique dive site is the world’s first buoyant reef, and the visual effect of these huge underwater sculptures floating beneath the surface is a sight to behold. “ This impressive reef has only been submerged for a little over a year, but it has already attracted a wealth of marine life. The pyramids at the base of the installation are shrouded with cave sweeper and juvenile fusiliers ”Wonder Reef is the outcome of a collaboration between the City of Gold Coast, Queensland Government, global reef experts Subcon Blue Solutions and renowned Queensland sculptural artist Daniel Templeman.

The sculptures look similar to a giant upside-down bell, there are nine in total, and they are clustered in three groups of three. Each one is anchored to the sandy seabed at around 30m.

At the base of each installation is a hollow pyramid with holes cut into it to offer a place for fish to shelter, and they are big enough for a diver to swim through. Attached to the pyramids are large chains that lead up to the sculptures, which are about 7-8m below the surface.

Each one is slightly different, but they all have plenty of openings and ledges that allow light and currents to flow through, creating an ideal habitat to encourage coral growth and providing a perfect home for fish and invertebrates to thrive.

This impressive reef has only been submerged for a little over a year, but it has already attracted a wealth of marine life. The pyramids at the base of the installation are shrouded with cave sweeper and juvenile fusiliers.

Lionfish, moray eels, giant gold-spotted rock cods and massive Queensland grouper also inhabit the depths, while rays and the occasional turtle have also been known to visit the site.

The considerable chain links offer refuge to a host of small invertebrates and have become colonised with barnacles, sponges and magnificent ascidian.

The sculptures are also covered in algae, sponges, barnacles, crinoids and ascidians. Soft and hard corals have also already begun their colonisation. Tiny nudibranchs can be found on these structures, and small reef fish like gobies, blennies, hawkfish and bannerfish seek shelter in and around this new environment.

The reef has attracted large schools of yellow tail fusiliers and Indian scad bait fish. With all this food on offer, wahoo and tuna are never far away. Wonder Reef is a truly unique dive site and will only improve as the coral grows and more marine life is attracted.

Did you know?Pause at different depths of this vertical drop dive to witness the ever-changing ecosystem, the deeper you dive.Essential informationLocation: Gold Coast, Australia
Depth: 7m-30m
Diver level: Beginner to advanced
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