Hervey Bay boat builder making waves – under water

FALLING asleep to the sights and sounds of a pristine marine environment on the Southern Great Barrier Reef is now a reality, thanks in part to a local Hervey Bay boat builder.

Lady Musgrave HQ will change the way visitors experience the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Parts of the eco-tourism pontoon were built by BtB Marine in Hervey Bay. PHOTO: Supplied.

Nestled in the sheltered waters of Lady Musgrave Island Lagoon, Lady Musgrave HQ is a three-level pontoon that is set to change the way day and overnight visitors experience the island and the world’s largest coral reef system.

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Lady Musgrave HQ offers overnight glamping accommodation above deck as well as underwater accommodation in a glass-walled observatory.

The pontoon will also serve as a unique base for day trippers enjoying snorkelling and scuba diving activities.

Urangan-based BtB Marine was a major player in the building of the marine tourism attraction.

The 14.5m underwater observatory, 20m swim platform and observatory access staircase were built at the company’s Hervey Bay workshop last year.

The pontoon was then assembled, launched and fitted out in the Port of Bundaberg under the direction of Steve Foster of Oceaneer Marine Services and Site Manager Craig Foster.

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BtB Marine General Manager Chris Hough said he was excited the parts they built for Lady Musgrave HQ are now moored in the lagoon.

“Visitors will not only be able to enjoy snorkelling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef but they will also be able to sleep overnight under the water and in glamping-style luxury tents on this world-class facility. How good will that be,” Chris asked.

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With bookings open from October 2021, Lady Musgrave HQ is set to change guest experiences on the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

The pontoon was designed to be sustainable and eco-friendly.

Article continues below gallery.

PHOTOS: Supplied.

Above the waterline, the zero-impact design is completely solar and wind-powered. Below the surface, coral cultivation and citizen science programs will give back to the reef.

BtB Marine said the sustainable tourism experience would have no footprint and all waste would be stored in tanks before being transported back to the mainland.

“BtB Marine has always come from a philosophy of looking at innovative ways to build and operate ecologically sustainable vessels,” said Chris.

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“Safety, reliability and practicality are paramount issues for vessels in remote locations. Our vessels have been performing remarkably for many years in many locations around Australia and right throughout the Pacific Island Nations.

“It was an absolute pleasure to collaborate with Lady Musgrave Experience Managing Director Brett Lakey on this very special project,” he said.

BtB Marine’s innovation and boat building capabilities have been recognised regularly in recent years.

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In 2020, the company won The Australian Marine Industry Award for Innovation and the AusMarine Award for Best Multi-Purpose Workboat.

For more information on Lady Musgrave HQ, click here.

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