$1.4m underwater 'trail' installed at Langford Reef
IN A Queensland first, Langford Reef will become home to new installation of underwater and inter-tidal art designed to "lure” visitors island reefs severally impacted by Cyclone Debbie in 2017.
A trial installation of the artwork is being funded through the Queensland Government and Federal Government's $7 million Tourism Recovery Fund to assist the Whitsundays tourism industry post Cyclone Debbie.
Of that pool $1.4 million will be spent on an underwater tourist "trail”.
The artworks include fish, a nudibranch and a crab and vary in size with the nudibranch 1.8 metres long and weighing about 300 kilograms.
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen welcomed the new local attraction as a way to drive tourism growth.
"It's great to see more attractions being installed in the Whitsunday region, to help attract more domestic and international visitors here,” he said.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said four sculptures by local artist Adriaan Vanderlugt was unveiled to the public last weekend at the Whitsundays Reef Festival at Airlie Beach.
"We know that to lure more visitors to the Whitsundays, we need to invest in new tourism product," she said.
"Tourism is crucial to creating new jobs in this region, that's why we're backing this initiative to create a unique attraction in the Whitsundays.
"This artwork will provide a new experience for people travelling to the Whitsundays and will help the marine tourism industry recover after Cyclone Debbie.
"Around the world - from the Caribbean, to the Maldives, Spain, Bali and Australia's west coast, underwater art has been used to lure visitors.”
Tourism Whitsundays General Manager Tash Wheeler said this was a great outcome for Queensland.
"Our thanks go to the State Government and Federal Government for their efforts in the wake of Cyclone Debbie in 2017 to provide the destination with new stories and experiences for visitors from around the world to experience,” she said.
Final submissions for art to be installed at six locations in the Whitsunday area close on August 10.