Marine life in the Great Barrier Reef

Marine life in the Great Barrier Reef

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 11/11/2016

Reading time: 3 mins

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most important natural wonders, covering more than 2,300km along the coast of Australia. It spans the area between the northern tip of Queensland and Bundaburg and plays host to thousands of species of marine life.

Here, divers and snorkelers can immerse themselves in another world entirely, getting up close and personal with some of the most mesmerising sea creatures in the world.

Though the Great Barrier Reef is fairly young for a coral reef (reefs have been around for more than 500 million years, but the latest incarnation of the Great Barrier Reef is just 8,000 years old, having developed after the most recent ice age), it is still home to some ancient creatures that you can learn more about on a trip to the region.

There is thought to be more than 1,500 species of fish in all shapes and sizes, 400 different types of coral, and a whopping 4,000 species of molluscs amongst the many other creatures that call these waters home.

  • Fish

    Fish in Great Barrier Reef

    The fish of the Great Barrier Reef are colourful and quirky, boasting wonderful markings and fascinating behaviours. Keep your eyes peeled for Sea Butterflies, Parrotfish, Clownfish, and Surgeonfish if you’re looking for vibrant diving partners, and look out for camouflaged species like the Coral Trout which blend into the background.

  • Molluscs

    Giant Sea Cucumber

    With more than 4,000 species of molluscs in the Great Barrier Reef, it’s highly likely you’ll spot a few while you’re there. Species like the Worm, Sea Cucumber, and the Blue Seaslug are firm favourites, offering a quirky backdrop to the serene underwater world.

  • Whales

    Whales are the kings of the Great Barrier Reef, with their huge bodies and majestic personalities. While here, you might be able to catch a glimpse of Minke Whales and Humpback Whales, two of the more prominent species in the area.

  • Other Marine Species

    The list of sea creatures in the Great Barrier Reef is endless. As well as colourful fish, whales, and a huge selection of molluscs, you can also see Spinner Dolphins, ancient Green Sea Turtles, and shark species.

The Great Barrier Reef really is one of the most magical places on earth, and the abundance of marine life here make it the perfect place for animal lovers to learn more about the wildlife that calls this part of Australia home.

Related article: Top 5 Things to Do at the Great Barrier Reef!

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.