How many tourists go to the Great Barrier Reef?

How many tourists go to the Great Barrier Reef?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 12/10/2021

Reading time: 2 mins

The Great Barrier Reef, alongside Kakadu and Uluru, is one of Australia’s most awe-inspiring natural attractions. This giant stretch of coastline (some 2,700km!) comprises thousands of individual coral reefs playing home to some of the world’s most incredible and bizarre fish and sea species!

Tourists Diving on the Great Barrier Reef

Given its fame for housing everything from Nemo to dugongs and reef sharks it should come as no surprise that tourists from all over the world want to see this magnificent reef.

Every typical year, some three million tourists experience the reef through dives, snorkels, glass-bottom boat rides, even helicopter tours, with each of them taking home an amazing story from the time they ventured off the Queensland coast and saw something spectacular in the water below.

So, now that we’ve got tourists numbers out of the way, what adventures await you on and below the magical Great Barrier Reef?


Great Barrier Reef dive sites, as you can imagine, are near-endless. From Osprey Island to the SS Yongala (which some say is the best wreck dive going around the world), to Stanley Reef and the Pixie Garden, Queensland and its reef is the place where avid divers the world over want to find themselves throughout the course of any given year.


But diving can be a little, shall we say, hectic for newcomers to such adventures, and that’s why snorkelling is there to initiate you without all the extra work and training. Snorkelling is also one of the Great Barrier Reef’s best activities: it’s a truly serene and joyful way to get to know the reef and some of its most famous inhabitants without having to go too far into the deep!

Glass bottom boat ride

Of course, neither diving or snorkelling take everyone’s fancy, but everyone still wants to see the reef! This is where the comfort and safety of a glass-bottom boat tour comes in wonderful handy. All you have to do is sit back (or forward, really) gazing into the glass and you will see the reef without having to even get a drop of water on yourself.

Helicopter tours

Or, you know, you could just elevate yourself away from the Earth and take in the Reef’s wonders from the wild heights of an unforgettable helicopter tour – the choice is yours, really.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.