SNEAK PEEK: Lady Musgrave HQ pontoon taking shape
CUSTOM designed and built, the Lady Musgrave HQ pontoon is expected to revolutionise tourism opportunities at the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
The three-level pontoon will be 35 metres long house underwater accommodation with a 24 bunk-bed-type dorm in what has been described as a "world class" project.
Lady Musgrave Experience's Shane Emms said you could be sleeping underwater between a coral bommie and a turtle cleaning station before Christmas.
He said the glue used to attach the fibreglass pontoons to the middle level was the adhesive used on the likes of space shuttles.
When the more than $2 million project was announced, alongside the underwater observatory, the project was said to include UV lighting, enabling visitors can experience the reef at night and have upper decks for diving, snorkelling and environmental data collection.
Mr Emms said the pontoon would be powered by wind and solar, something there is no shortage of out on the reef, with the Reef Empress bringing desalinated water to the pontoon and transferring waste off.
The middle level will sport a 20m snorkel platform, showers, toilets, snorkel and dive equipment, a food and drinks bar, about 60 lockers and the crew's quarters.
Mr Emms said there would also be wheelchair-friendly facilities as they hope to increase accessibility to the sights of Lady Musgrave for everyone.
While the upper level is planned to be slightly more open with potential to host 6-8 swags, providing a chance to sleep on the reef and under the stars.
Mr Emms said there would also be measures implemented to mitigate wind.
He said the observatory, lower level, was being built at Hervey Bay with the middle and upper levels constructed locally.
While the pontoon is hoped to boost the economy once it is in the lagoon, the construction process has created dozens of jobs already.
Mr Emms said about 12 full-time workers and 30 contractors were helping bring the project to life.
Lady Musgrave Experience managing director Brett Lakey said on the project's website that the world class pontoon project would significantly expand the guest experience on the Great Barrier Reef.
He said this innovative project would see Lady Musgrave Experience driving benefits throughout the whole Southern Great Barrier Reef region.
"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," Mr Lakey said.