The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system on the planet – it’s so big, in fact, that it can be seen from outer space. Spreading out over more than 2,300 kilometres and encompassing almost 3,000 separate reefs, it boasts an incredible ecosystem like no other in the world. Set just off the coast of Queensland in the Coral Sea, it provides plenty of unique scenery and amazing wildlife to discover.
In 1981, the site was selected to become a World Heritage Site, and it is now known as one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a state icon of Queensland.
Wildlife in the Great Barrier Reef
The marine life in the Great Barrier Reef is colourful and eclectic, boasting both native creatures and migratory species, too. You might be able to spot one of the thirty species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises, including the dwarf minke whale, the humpback dolphin, and the humpback whale. There are also several colonies of dugongs that live in the region and over 1,500 species of fish, including the clownfish, red bass, and coral trout. Sea crustaceans and sea snakes are also common sightings in the area.
How to Explore the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is so big and there’s so much to see that it’s difficult to know where to start. There are several boat tours and cruises that take you around all the most popular stops, including single day trips and longer, overnight voyages where you can travel to the furthest parts of the coral. Many of the boats have glass bottoms so you can watch the mesmerising underwater world as you go.
For the more adventurous, you can go snorkelling and diving at many different reefs in the area – two of the most popular activities in the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkelling and diving give you the chance to get up close and personal with the resident marine life and explore firsthand one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the modern world.
You can also take a helicopter ride and explore the vicinity and all it has to offer from a different perspective.
However you choose to explore the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll be amazed at the incredible array of scenery on offer and the wildlife that lives there. With a smattering of paradise islands flanked by crystal clear waters and mesmerising marine life, there’s always something to keep you busy, regardless of whether you want a relaxing trip to the region or want to try something a bit more adventurous.