The coral and fish are drawcards on their own, but there will soon be more reasons to head underwater on the Great Barrier Reef.
The Whitsundays has unveiled a series of underwater sculptures - a Maori Wrasse at Blue Pearl Bay off Hayman Island, two different Manta Ray sculptures at Manta Ray Bay off Hook Island, and a Turtle at Langford Spit.
Six Australian artists were chosen to have their sculptures submerged and on display throughout the marine park with two more sculptures still to be revealed. The next instalment will be an enormous creation called creation 'Anthozoa' which is a four-metre-high concrete single coral polyp, to be installed at Blue Pearl Bay in late September.
In a first for the southern hemisphere, a Museum of Underwater Art (moua.com.au), created by British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, will be installed near the coast of Townsville to drive awareness to the importance of the Great Barrier Reef. The works will be installed across numerous locations such as Magnetic Island and Palm Island, showcasing partially and fully submerged sculptures.
The first of several artworks, Ocean Siren, will be revealed in December at the Strand in Townsville and is modelled on a local Aboriginal girl that will change colour in response to changing water temperatures. Also, a Coral Greenhouse sculpture is planned for the John Brewer Reef site offering a world-class dive and snorkel experience.
If spending all day under the water isn't enough then you can also stay the night with the fish. Opening this summer will be Australia's first underwater accommodation, Reefsuites, by Cruise Whitsunday.
The two private, underwater rooms are located on the outer reef, and the price includes all meals and beverages, including breakfast, morning and afternoon teas and dinner. You could also add a private guided snorkelling tour and semi-submarine tour. Prices start at $749 per person. Visit cruisewhitsundays.com