Underwater Marine Sculptures - The Whitsundays QLD
The Whitsundays, Queensland.
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Underwater Artwork

In an Australian and Great Barrier Reef first, avid snorkellers and divers will be treated to an underwater wonderland with the installation of underwater art in The Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The underwater sculptures provide a new experience for travellers and marine enthusiasts. These unique artworks have been installed at various popular sites around The Whitsundays, you’ll find the Turtle Dream by artist Col Henry at Langford Reef, Maori Wrasse by local artist Adriaan Vanderlugt at Blue Pearl Bay, Migration of the Manta by artist Brian Robinson and Manta Ray by local artist Adriaan Vanderlugt at Manta Ray Bay and Bywa another by Brian Robinson at Horseshoe Bay, Bowen.

These incredible sculptures will not only provide amazing scenery for guests to enjoy they will also act as a new base for coral growth and animal shelter. 

The Underwater Artwork will be part of many Whitsunday tour operator’s itineraries. Check-in with the team at The Whitsundays Visitor Information Centre to find out which operators will get you there.  


Maori wrasse or Humphead Maori Wrasse, Cheilinus undulatus is the largest member of the family Labridae, reaching up to 2 metres (six feet long) in the male species, and up to three feet in females. Although widespread on coral reefs in the Indo-west-central Pacific, Humphead Maori Wrasse are uncommon throughout their range. The species is very susceptible to fishing pressure, and as a result, it is CITES-listed and is considered Endangered by the IUCN. This species is fully protected (no fishing) in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It is very friendly and approachable to snorkellers and SCUBA divers at popular tourism sites and fish feeding locations in the Whitsundays.


Photo credit: @riptidecreative



2.7m x 3.85m x 0.6m

GPS Coordinates: 20° 2.6086' South, 148° 52.8988' East


Anthozoa is a reimagining of the tiny coral polyp - life source of the reef, rendered as the single largest underwater sculpture in the world. It is a symbol of resilience, regeneration and hope at a time when the future of the reef is greatly threatened. Ngaro artist Nicky Bidju Pryor’s artwork is featured in the mouth, where the ripples tell a story of change ahead and cultures working together to save the reef. The name Anthozoa comes from the Greek words ánthos ‘flower’ and zóa ‘animals’ or ‘Flower Animals’ as corals were earliest known. #anthozoawhitsundays


Jessa Lloyd

Langford Reef

PH neutral reef restoration marine grade concrete

6m x 6m x 5m

GPS Coordinates: 20° 0.8342' South, 148° 88.197' East


Mantas are found in warm temperate, subtropical andtropical waters. They are pelagic (surface dwelling) species. Mantas have triangular pectoral fins, horn-shaped cephalic fins and a large, forward-facing mouth. Mantas may visit cleaning stations for the removal of parasites. Like whales, they breach for unknown reasons. Brian collaborated with traditional owner Nicky Bidu Prior to emboss a traditional pattern. If you’re lucky enough to spot a Manta on the Reef and snap a photo of its underbelly, email your picture to Eye on the Reef and\or Project Manta to contribute to their ongoing research and monitoring program.


Photo credit: @riptidecreative


Concrete and stainless steel

2m x 1.7m x 0.3m (2)

GPS Coordinates: 20° 3.6503' South, 148° 57.3541' East


Turtle Dream is a Hawksbill turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata, a critically endangered species. Hawksbill turtles are easily distinguished from other sea turtles by their sharp curving beak, and the saw-like appearance of its shell margins. The Ngaro indigenous name for Hawksbill turtle is Maeyila. The sculpture is created from 800 individual pieces that were hand shaped, welded and polished by the artist and his son Colin. The Artist feels this work is a pinnacle of his long public art career, symbolising the passion that many people have for the reef, marine species, oceans and planet.

Turtle Dream

Photo credit: @riptidecreative


Stainless steel

6.5m x 6m x 2m

GPS Coordinates: 20° 0.8338' South, 148° 88.167' East  


The indigenous name for Manta Ray is Manguna. Common name “Manta” is Portuguese and Spanish for mantle (cloak or blanket). Adriaan collaborated with traditional owner Arthur Gabey to fashion a surface design with a traditional Ngaro theme of a dreamtime story. The design includes 74 different sized circles which represent the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. There are serpents on the Manta Rays wings and its “U” shapes are the Aboriginal symbol for people. Mantas are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Areas where Mantas congregate are popular with SCUBA diving and snorkelling tourists.


Photo credit: @riptidecreative



3.8m x 3.8m x 1.2m

GPS Coordinates: 20° 3.6593' South, 148° 57.3606' East  


Bywa is a traditional language word from the dialect of Kala Lagaw Ya from the Western Islands in Torres Strait. When translated in English it means ‘waterspout’. According to mythology waterspouts are the vessels that carry marine animals up into the heavens for the spirits and ancestors to feed on. Waterspouts are a rare natural phenomenon Robinson’s Bwya is rich with marine animals common to Bowen waters - Turtle, Coral trout, Mangrove jack, Trevally, Parrotfish, Surgeonfish, Butterflyfish, Sergeant major, Tropical rock lobster, Stingray, Epaulette shark and Wobbegong shark.



Concrete and stainless steel

1.3m x 1.3 x 3.4m

Located at Horseshoe Bay, Bowen


Video provided courtesy of Riptide Creative

The Tourism Recovery Fund (TRF) is a $7M initiative, jointly funded through the Australian and Queensland Governments, to help the tourism sector recover following the devastating impact of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie to the Whitsunday region in March 2017. The objective of the TRF is to facilitate recovery, rebuild and/or create new tourism experiences and infrastructure that will drive demand, improve quality, and increase tourism expenditure, with flow-on economic benefits across the tourism supply chain.


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