Reef Magic, owned by leading Australian adventure and leisure tourism company, Experience Co., has begun operations on the Great Barrier Reef.
The three-level floating platform is based at Moore Reef, a large horseshoe-shaped reef system 45km offshore from Cairns. The 1,000m2 activity pontoon will provide capacity for up to 250 guests who can enjoy guided snorkelling, and introductory and certified diving.
Helmet Diving is also available using an underwater platform that loops around the pontoon, offering one of the longest circuits on the Great Barrier Reef.
Local Traditional Owners will work closely with Experience Co’s marine biologists to offer guests a narrative of Indigenous knowledge along with western science.
Guests wanting to stay dry can experience the Reef via the semi-submersible, glass bottom boats or enjoy the large air-conditioned underwater observatory which features floor-to-ceiling windows.
In between activities, a sundeck complete with sun loungers and shaded retreat areas invites passengers to lie back and relax in comfort while admiring the views of the outer reef. Onboard catering from Ochre restaurant in Cairns will provide morning and afternoon teas, as well as hot and cold lunchtime offerings featuring Indigenous flavours such as Lemon Myrtle Roast Chicken Breast and Native Dukkah Crusted Smoked Kangaroo Loin. A fully stocked licenced bar will complement the culinary treats.
Adding to the guest experience is a purpose-built onboard marine science laboratory. Marine biologists will be available to take guests through the Reef research and conservation work being done onboard. Numerous science groups will utilise the laboratory with onboard accommodation allowing for multi-day stays during major reef events such as coral spawning.
With sustainability as a priority in its design, the day-to-day operations of the platform will focus on reducing the impact on the environment with three wind turbines, 16 solar panels and, where possible, electricity generation to power the pontoon – a first for the region.
Reef Magic pontoon experiences will depart from the Cairns Marina at 09.00 and return at 17.00. Prices start from A$139 (US$96) per person.