The Great Barrier Reef is a unique site with well-preserved natural beauty and unique features. It is located in the north-east coast of Australia within the state of Queensland. It is known as the largest coral reef system in the world consisting of 400 types of coral, and thousands of species of fish and mollusks. If you want to have an unforgettable time exploring the beauty of Queensland in Australia, then you should travel to Great Barrier Reef. There are several attractions in itself and is considered as one of the top diving sites in the world.
Due to its size and natural importance, the Great Barrier Reef was listed by UNESCO as a Heritage Site in 1981. This covers the entire 348,000 square kilometers that belong to the Great Barrier Reef. The individual reefs (all 2,500 of them) in GBR vary in size and shapes; meanwhile, the 900 islands in the reef system offer something different for travelers wherever they may choose to explore.
A certain part of the protected reef system is known as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This part is limited to contact with humans to aid in preserving the reef system from human activity such as fishing or tourism. However, it is undeniable that a lot of tourists travel to Great Barrier Reef to experience first-hand exactly what the reef system is about. And the positive impact of the tourism industry is undeniable – the government earns billions annually from the tourists who travel to Great Barrier Reef.
When viewed from above, you will be in awe by the size and the magnitude of the seascapes. The Whitsunday Islands is one of the most popular islands that tourists explore when they travel to Great Barrier Reef. The island is best known for its green and vegetated island and the popular 7 Mile Beach known for its fine white sand. There are also several cays on the Great Barrier Reef system that serve as breeding ground for marine species like turtles and seabirds.
What you see from above is only a glimpse of the heritage and natural beauty that the Great Barrier Reef is truly known for. What lies beneath the water is more breathtaking and rich in terms of abundance in marine and coral reef system. You will find a wide range of shapes, sizes and colors of both soft and hard corals. The same is true for the marine species that live in this massive coral reef system.
Did You Know…?
Before you travel to Great Barrier Reef, here are some facts you need to know:
• There are over 2 million tourists who travel to Great Barrier Reef. This means that the Great Barrier Reef earns an approximate income of AUD 5-6 Billion annually.
• This is the biggest coral reef system in the world with over 2,900 individual reefs.
• There are over 900 islands that make up the Great Barrier Reef. The islands make up a total of 2,600 kilometers.
• The reef system is so large that it can be seen from the outer space.
• The size of the entire reef system is bigger than the states of Victoria and Tasmania combined.
• The Great Barrier Reef is larger than three European countries combined: UK, Holland and Switzerland.
• There are numerous species of animals found in the Great Barrier Reef including whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea turtles, seabirds, sea snakes, fish and more.
• The entire system is so ancient that experts estimate it to be around for 20 million years.
• There is a lot of beauty to enjoy at the Great Barrier Reef regardless of the time of year of your visit. But for best experience, avoid visiting sometime November to May because of the stinger season. You would be required to swim inside stinger enclosures or while wearing a stinger suit.
Great Barrier Reef in Photos
Travel to Great Barrier Reef: Resources and Guide
- Great Barrier Reef: Where to Dive, Snorkel and Stay
- Great Barrier Reef Islands
- 10 Best Snorkeling Sites in Queensland
- Sleeping Under the Stars on the Great Barrier Reef
- The Great Barrier Reef: Photo Essay
- Solo Travel to the Great Barrier Reef