The Gorgeous Expanse of the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the entire world. Stretching out over 344,400 square kilometres, it really is a sight to behold – and can even be seen from space. Within its aquamarine clutches it harbours almost 3000 individual reefs as well as 900 paradise islands. Situated just off the coast of Queensland in the Coral Sea, it’s easy for visitors to get to and proves to be a massive hit with anyone exploring Australia.

It garnered World Heritage status back in 1981 and today plays host to a colourful and varied array of life. It’s also one of the seven natural wonders of the world, as well as the planet’s largest individual structure made by living organisms – no mean feat, by any stretch of the imagination.

The amount of incredible sea life that calls the reef home is amazing, and visitors often revel in sightings of native Australian creatures, as well as those that are near-on extinct elsewhere in the world. All manner of dolphin, whale, and porpoise species flank the coastline, as well as unusual dugongs and thousands of species of vibrant fish. In addition, there’s hundreds of species of shark and sea turtles that use the reef as a breeding ground. If that wasn’t enough, there are also a collection of saltwater crocodiles that mosey up and down the mangrove and salt marshes along the coastline of the reef.

Because it’s such an important ecosystem, the reef is now protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which aims to lessen the impact of human use, including activities like fishing and other tourist pursuits. In the current environmental climate, the reef is having to adapt fast to a great number of changes, including climate issues, population outbreaks, and coral bleaching – in fact, since 1985, the reef has lost over half of its coral cover.

Despite this, the National Park is managing to preserve this incredible patch of life, and tourists continue to visit the reef for its huge number of activities, including diving, snorkelling, and boat trips. The best way to get to know the region for yourself is to get up close and personal with it – don a scuba kit or a snorkel and dip below the surface to come face to face with some of the world’s most fascinating creatures.

There’s no doubt that the Great Barrier Reef will continue to be a huge tourist attraction in Australia – what with so many different eco-systems, sights, and creatures to explore, the possibilities remain endless.

Explore the reef on our Great Barrier Reef Tour.

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