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Gold Coast Desalination Plant

The Gold Coast Desalination Plant converts sea water into drinking water .

As a climate-resilient source of water, the plant supplies drinking water to the SEQ Water Grid, and ramps up supply in times of flood or drought, or when conventional water treatment plants are offline.

It uses an advanced technology called reverse osmosis to remove the salt and the plant can supply around 133 million litres of water a day – that’s equivalent to more than 50 Olympic sized swimming pools.

The plant was built in 2010, and generally operates in ‘hot standby’ mode, ready to increase production if and when required. The plant has played a significant role in maintaining water supplies during extreme weather events.

It supplied up to 20% of the region’s drinking water supply during the January 2011 flood event and the Australia Day 2013 extreme weather event.

It was also blended with treated dam water and used to supplement drinking water supplies in the final year of the Millennium drought in 2009. Based on population growth and demand, the desalination plant may be required to supplement peak demand on the Gold Coast as early as 2020.

This hour-long tour through the will take you through the process of separating dissolved salts and other minerals from seawater to produce drinking water.

Tour participants will be able to sample the water from the plant at the end of the tour.

Boyd St, Tugun, Queensland, Australia

9:30AM - 4:00PM


Guided tours

Pre-booked guided tours only for a maximum of 30 people. Must be aged 14 and over. Closed in flat shoes, long pants and long sleeved shirts are COMPULSORY. For safety reasons you will not be permitted to do the tour if you are not wearing the appropriate clothing. Hard hats, vests and safety googles will be supplied.

Building type

Desalination Plant


Design: Sinclair Knight Merz and Cardno.
Construct: John Holland
Operate: Veolia