WORLD FIRST: Hamilton guests can now visit iconic Heart Reef
AFTER a decade of development, and an investment of $2 million, a new epoch has arrived for the iconic Heart Reef, located in the Whitsundays.
Not content with just flying over the natural wonder, visitors will now have the opportunity to see the delicate intricacies of the iconic Heart Reef Lagoon thanks to the launch of Heart Island.
The island is a man-made state-of-the-art pontoon that has been developed in close consultation with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park authority.
Construction began on the split-level pontoon following a two-year environmental impact study, and it can cater for up to six guests at a time.
It doesn't carry waste, and operates within the designated lagoon, where regular reef health monitoring takes place to ensure the coral and marine life are thriving.
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The pontoon has been described as "futuristic" and is exclusive to guests of Hamilton Island. It is only accessible via air - a 30-minute helicopter flight to be exact.
After arriving at Heart Island, guests can can board a glass-bottomed boat, especially designed to maximise the viewing of what lies beneath the surface, before making the short journey to the Heart Reef itself.
Hamilton Island CEO Glenn Bourke said Heart Island elevated the luxury offering of the Whitsundays and complemented the standard of accommodation available on Hamilton Island.
"Heart Island provides our guests with an unsurpassable way to explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef," Mr Bourke said.
"Since being purchased by the Oatley family in 2003, Hamilton Island has worked to become a world-class destination, epitomised by our six-star luxury resort Qualia.
"We are proud to offer this pre-eminent experience for our guests in partnership with Hamilton Island Air."
An experience of this calibre will set you back $999 per person, and guests must be over 14 years of age.
The experience includes a return scenic helicopter flight, tour of Heart Reef, snorkelling equipment and light catering.