Underwater restaurant on verge of reality

Underwater restaurant on verge of reality

It's above water for now -- but soon a specially-made restaurant will be well below the surface.

Auckland engineer Mike Murphy's already designed one underwater restaurant for a luxury Maldives resort -- so when the opportunity came again, he couldn't resist.

This time the restaurant is longer and will seat up to 30 people.

"On the first one we struck a problem with the fish were eating the silicone so we then had to go and put a cover strip over it, which we've done for this one because we've learnt from the first one," Mr Murphy said.

His career began 30 years ago with the construction of Kelly Tarlton's underwater tunnel, and since then he's designed dozens of world-renowned aquariums and underwater structures.

His latest project was built by New Plymouth-based Fitzroy Construction.

"Basically all Kiwi-designed, Kiwi-built, and it's an overseas market so it's really good to bring that into New Plymouth, into New Zealand," Fitzroy Engineering project manager Adrian van't Hof said.

After leaving New Plymouth today the restaurant should arrive at its new tropical home in just a few weeks -- then it will be lowered into the water for tourists to enjoy dining with a difference.