Gladstone Couple Forego Housework to Snag World-First scUber Ride on the Great Barrier Reef

28 May, 2019

Heron Island, Queensland Australia:  Gladstone couple, Terry and Kym Purcell, today vetoed the daily housework to “hail” the world's first rideshare submarine experience on the Great Barrier Reef.  

Three days after watching the launch of scUber on the Australian news, avid diver Terry Purcell surprised his wife of 32 years with the once-in-a-lifetime experience. His mission was to show her the underwater world that he passionately loves.  

“I've been diving on the Great Barrier Reef since I was seven years old and the reef around Heron Island is the most wonderful spot in the world,” said the 54-year-old owner of Purcell's Engineering in Gladstone.

“Today is really about my wife. She does not have a diver's certificate. She snorkels but it's not the same. With this (scUber), she can experience the reef first-hand and see it close up.” 

“Besides, who else do you know who can say, 'I hailed a submarine'?”

Terry set his alarm clock early and was on the Uber app by 7:30 am to request the On Demand ride when it opened to the public for the first time.

Within minutes of entering “Great Barrier Reef” into the Uber app, a submarine icon popped up on his screen followed by the arrival of a colourful Great Barrier Reef-branded Tesla. The Tesla transferred the couple to Marine Helicopters at Gladstone Airport for a scenic flight to Heron Island and the one-hour underwater scUber experience.

Commenting on the experience and the $3000 price tag, Terry said “It's an absolute bargain. You can't put a cost on this. For my wife to be able to see the reef at 18 metres below sea level and to see the bottom of a true coral atoll like I do when I dive was just magic.”

When asked what else he would have been doing if he wasn't on scUber, the retired company owner said, “probably the housework.”

Tourism and Events Queensland, in partnership with Uber, announced the launch of scUber, the world's first rideshare submarine experience on May 23.

For a limited time only, scUber riders will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the exquisite beauty of the Great Barrier Reef – all without the need for a snorkeling mask or a diving license!

The scUber experience will be available starting on Heron Island, off the coast of Gladstone in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region from May 27, before moving to Agincourt Reef off the coast of Port Douglas in Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef region from June 9. Availability is strictly limited.

The scUber experience will cost $3,000 AUD for two riders and includes:

  • Pickup from your location with the Uber app;
  • Return scenic helicopter ride to either Heron Island (for riders requesting from Gladstone) or the Quicksilver Cruises pontoon off the coast of Port Douglas (for riders requesting from Cairns, Port Douglas and Palm Cove);
  • One hour ride in a scUber submarine;
  • Return trip back to your original pickup address with Uber.

To celebrate the launch, Queensland and Uber are offering this exceptional bucket-list experience to one lucky winner and a friend from each of the following countries: USA, Canada, United Kingdom, France, New Zealand and Australia. To enter the competition, go to and explain in 25 words or less why you should experience the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef with scUber. Terms and conditions apply.

Today also marks the beginning of Uber's partnership with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.  

Please see here to download a suite of assets including the launch media release  as well as video, audio and visual assets.

Images taken by the Purcell family are available on: 

For more information on scUber, the consumer competition and partnership between Queensland and Uber, visit: .



Notes to Editors

How to request your scUber ride?

scUber rides are charged at $1,500 AUD per person with a minimum cost of $3,000 AUD per ride, and include scenic helicopter transfers to and from mainland Queensland. The scUber ride is an hour in duration and is bookable via the Uber app. Availability is not guaranteed.

About the Great Barrier Reef

Greater than 69 million football fields in size, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest and longest coral reef system and is home to 600 different types of coral (one third of the world's coral species), approximately 1,625 species of fish and more than 1,000 islands. Tourism to the Great Barrier Reef is significant, with almost three million tourists visiting the World Heritage Area every year. Around 80 per cent of all tourism activity occurs within 7 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef marine park.

For domestic inbound visitation statistics, see here.

For market specific visitation figures on the Great Barrier Reef, see here.

About Uber

Uber's mission is to create opportunity through movement. We started in 2010 to solve a simple problem: how do you get access to a ride at the touch of a button? More than 10 billion trips later, we're building products to get people closer to where they want to be. By changing how people, food, and things move through cities, Uber is a platform that opens up the world to new possibilities.

About Tourism and Events Queensland

Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) is a statutory body of the Queensland Government and the state's lead marketing, destination and experience development and major events agency.