Bundaberg AND District

Artificial Reef Association Incorporated


News & Events

A Brief History

Explore the Reef


Maps & Downloads

Contact Us


to the web site for the Cochrane Artificial Reef - a project of B.A.D.A.R.A.I. (Bundaberg and District Artificial Reef Association Incorporated)


ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION: BADARAI was formed in October 1987, by Alan Cochrane, his wife Brenda and a small but enthusiastic group of people who wanted to put something back into the environment from which many people seem to do nothing but take - the underwater marine wonderland.

AIMS OF THE ASSOCIATION: The aim of the organisation is to assist nature to improve fish stocks, marine biodiversity and replace reef loss as well as create a diverse fish habitat which fishermen and scuba divers can enjoy. Along the way the association wants it's members to enjoy being a part of this challenging project for the community, and the committee is always seeking enthusiastic people to share ideas to help aim for the goal of creating an artificial reef second to none.

ABOUT THE COCHRANE ARTIFICIAL REEF: An area 400m by 800m, approximately 2.5 to 3 nautical miles from the rocky coastline near Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia (within the Woongarra Marine Park) has been set aside for the site of the Cochrane Artificial Reef. To date, it is the only artificial reef that has been approved in an existing marine national park in Australia.

The result of many hours of hard work by a small and dedicated team has been the most amazing habitat for many species of marine creatures, ranging from the upper end of the scale, including very large groper to the smallest of creatures such as nudibranchs. Both hard and soft corals are growing on the many diverse objects that have been placed on the reef, along with sponges, hydroids and gorgonia fans.

The variety of objects lends itself to attracting many species of marine life, and there is a home for almost any creature that chooses to take up residence on the reef. The largest objects include
the Porteur 77, a 130ft gravel barge that had a fully loaded displacement of around 770 tonnes, a 50 metre long, 350 tonne gravel dredge - the Ceratodus II (which takes its name from the lungfish that inhabit the Burnett River, and are also found in the Mary and Brisbane Rivers) - and along with 2 Mohawk aircraft, a 15-seater Kingair plane, a landing barge, a water tank, numerous concrete pipes, and steel prisms, 2 lightships, and an ex-trawler, this all makes for a fantastic dive site.

Being relatively close to the shore, the Cochrane Artificial Reef is also the destination for many fishermen. Many species of sport and table fish are caught, including snapper, parrot, trout, moses perch, mangrove jacks, estuary cod and pelagic species. Scuba divers also report regular sightings of a variety of other marine life including dolphins, turtles, manta rays, wobbegongs (carpet sharks), docile leopard sharks, batfish and the list goes on. Over the years the family of groper has grown from the original two that were spotted regularly by divers, to the six that are now often seen hovering just within vision range. Monitoring of the site has shown over 140 different species of fish in the area.