HELLO: Bywa pops out of the water at Horseshoe Bay.
HELLO: Bywa pops out of the water at Horseshoe Bay.

Check out Bowen's newest beachside attraction

ONE of the most popular tourist destinations in Bowen just got a little bit better, with a new underwater sculpture finding its offshore home.

Horseshoe Bay has been given a new addition in the form of a 3.4m tall underwater sculpture.

The artwork was installed on Friday, after a screw mooring was installed on Thursday.

The artwork by artist Brian Robinson is entitled Bywa which means waterspout in the dialect of Kala Lagaw Ya from the Western Islands in the Torres Strait.

The sculpture incorporates 10 various forms of marine life synonymous to the region including the coral trout, wobbegong shark and the green turtle, and is located around 60m off the beach.

The Bowen addition joins four other sculptures across the Whitsunday region, installed at Blue Pearl Bay off Hayman Island, Manta Ray Bay off Hook Island and Langford Spit.

The goal of the project is to provide a new experience for guests travelling to the Whitsundays and to help the marine tourism industry recover after Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

The $975,000 sculpture project is part of the Queensland and Federal Government's $7 million Tourism Recovery Fund to assist the Whitsundays tourism industry after the damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

Reef Ecologic managing director Professor Adam Smith, who helped facilitate the sculpture program said the addition to Horseshoe Bay was inspired by the people of Bowen.

"We consulted with the community on what they wanted and we really think that came through in the final artwork," Mr Smith said.

"The installation over the two days couldn't have gone better."

"We were even greeted by some whales in the distance as we did it, and nothing is more Whitsunday than that."

Bowen Tourism and Business sales and marketing manager Mary Gallagher said that she expected the sculpture to add another attraction for tourists to enjoy.

"There are places around Australia that have underwater sculptures, but this is relatively new to Queensland," she said.

"It's totally unique. At high tide you can't see it, but at low tide you'll be able to see a lot of it. It's really accessible to everyone who wants to see it.

The information centre at the Big Mango had been the base for some of the sculptures before they found their underwater home.

Ms Gallagher said that she was sad to see them leave the Big Mango, but knew that they would help Whitsunday tourism in the long term.

"With over 40,000 visits a year to the mango, the sculptures were seen by a lot of people."

 

"We got attached to them, but now people can see them in a new unique way."