A lucky group of locals became the first to experience a sunset onboard the Lady Musgrave HQ pontoon yesterday as the luxury reef liveaboard facility nears completion.
Gliding down the Burnett River guests were wowed by the sight that greeted them, with eight beautifully styled queen beds featuring custom tent canopies sitting proudly on the pontoon’s upper deck.
Its eco-credentials were also immediately visible, with the rooftop sporting enough solar panels and wind turbines to power the entire vessel.
It was a proud and emotional moment for Lady Musgrave Experience Director Brett Lakey who started the journey to bring this dream to fruition more than a year and a half ago.
“It's great to have a world-class facility, that is soon to be launched on the Barrier Reef, it's been 19 months in the making,” Brett said.
“It's been a big push to get it here and then just the final touches next week.
“It’s probably the best facility on the reef now and hopefully that creates these different demographics to Bundaberg, which will be the gateway to Lady Musgrave, which we’ll provide on Lady Musgrave HQ.
“To have the people to come out and experience Lady Musgrave in the lagoon on a facility like this – it's truly unique.”
The impressive facility is still a few weeks away from launch, with an exact date yet to be set, however Brett hopes it will be up and running by September.
For now, he offered friends, contributors to the project and tourism industry colleagues a sneak peek as to what life would be like aboard the Lady Musgrave HQ pontoon.
“It’s like a sort of a luxury liveaboard on the reef, you know, where they get that facility to use for the day facilities on the reef and so much more.
“Underwater observatory downstairs, their overnight accommodation, glamping tents on the upper deck.”
From school groups studying marine biology, corporate functions or fishing charters, Brett said “the options are endless”.
“We’ve got a lot of honeymoons booked already,” he said.
“We can do some destination weddings whereby they get married on the island and have a unique boutique sort of reception on board and we can come and go with that by sea plane in the lagoon or via private vessel backwards and forwards.”
Accommodation options vary between the underwater bunks and the beds on the upper deck, which were custom designed for the Lady Musgrave HQ.
“I wanted that sort of tent facility, but something unique and comfortable and luxury at the same time,” Brett said.
He added that the sustainable tourism experience would have “no footprint” and “every single drop of waste goes into the holding tanks”.