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Australian Underwater Discovery Centre

AUDC

Australia’s largest natural marine observatory, the Australian Underwater Discovery Centre (AUDC), is coming to Busselton in 2022.

The new $30 million marine observatory will be located 1.8kms out to sea and feature the world’s largest ocean windows peering into the Indian Ocean, as well as a Marine Parks Discovery Centre, educational and interactive marine education experiences, underwater dining space, underwater art galleries and exhibition spaces.

A design unique to Geographe Bay

The AUDC is born out of a collaboration between Australian Engineering houses, Subcon and Core Marine with British based BACA Architects.  The new whale-shaped observatory will rise from the Indian Ocean at the end of the 1.8-kilometre, heritage-listed Busselton Jetty which extends over the protected waters of Geographe Bay.

Busselton, a 2.5-hour drive south of Perth, is a pretty tourist town famous for its jetty and annual whale migrations, which take place from September to December. Here the cold waters of the Southern Ocean meet warm waters from the Indian Ocean, creating a unique underwater environment.

The design, dubbed ‘Cetacean’ was inspired by the Humpback, Southern Right and Blue Whales which frequent Geographe Bay. The abstract likeness mimics these majestic marine mammals performing what’s commonly called a ‘Spy Hop’, a manoeuvre where the whale raises its head to eye level to gaze insightfully at those above the waterline.

Inside features a massive 5.5-metre-tall window offering views of the unique ecosystem that has grown on the pier leading back to Busselton.

A living building

The Cetacean’s exterior is designed to create a thriving habitat for fish and corals, with a bio-receptive structure encouraging corals, sponges and algae to take hold. Barnacles will grow in the splash zone – just as they do on whales! There will be underwater sculptures too, which will provide additional habitat and protection for marine life.

To learn more contact our team at info@subcon.com.

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Bussetlon Jetty 1

Frequently Asked Questions

The operation of the Busselton Jetty is managed by a community-run not for profit organisation, Busselton Jetty Inc, formerly the Busselton Jetty Environment and Conservation Association (BJECA).

Formed in October 1987 as the Busselton Jetty Preservation Committee, Busselton Jetty Inc has been successfully raising funds and implementing initiatives for the Jetty for over 20 years. Without the dedication and passion of this voluntary committee and its community members, the Jetty would not be the tourism icon that it is today.

You can learn more about Busselton Jetty Inc on the Busselton Jetty website.

Busselton Jetty website includes this fantastic timeline of the history of the Jetty.

The AUDC is due for completion in late 2022.

The existing underwater observatory is a victim of its own success. It has a capacity of 44 visitors per hour and it is so popular, that during peak times, visitors are often being turned away!

The new AUDC will host 140 people at any one time, meaning that all visitors to the jetty will get to experience the wonders that lie beneath the surface at Busselton Jetty!

The AUDC was inspired by the whales which frequent Geographe Bay.  The manoeuvre known as a ‘Spy Hop’ formed the basis for the design by BACA Architects which has evolved into the beautiful homage to these majestic mammals!

Art reefs are a beautiful fusion of art, science and engineering that explore what is possible when we aspire to integrate coastal infrastructure into the environment.

Most importantly, underwater art communicates the importance of our marine environment. By creating a sense of beauty and exploring the nature of perception we aim to inspire the viewers to explore, experience and conserve our wonderful oceans.

Designing the AUDC is a collaboration lead by Subcon as the marine contractor, with stunning work from BACA Architects and highly skilled design analysis by marine engineering design powerhouse Core Marine.

The majority of the project is being funded through a combination of Commonwealth and State grants. The remainder of the project is funded from Busselton Jetty Inc’s reserve funds and a self-supporting loan through the City of Busselton.

Cetacean LR

Interested in being part of this amazing project?

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Frequently Aksed Questions