Discover which incredible creatures you could find on your Great Barrier Reef Tour!

Comprising about 2,900 individual coral reefs and 900 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is swarming with some of the most extraordinary marine wildlife around. Check out our list of the best creatures you can find during your adventure to the outer reef!

The Colourful Creatures


Feast your eyes on some of the most strikingly beautiful creatures within the reef; the fish! The Great Barrier Reef holds the most diverse range of fish in the entire world and each species has a different appearance and lifestyle. Some fish are solitary, whereas others live in large schools. The fish can be pink, green, blue, yellow – you name it! Some are massive and powerful like the whale shark and others are small such as the famous clown fish. No matter where you are along the Great Barrier Reef, you are guaranteed to see at least a few incredible fish species!


Found in both deep and shallow seas, the coral is the foundation of the Great Barrier Reef. Acting as a home, safe haven, and eating ground for several species of marine life, the coral is the direct link between thousands of plants and animals. The reef is home to over 400 types of hard coral and one third of the world’s soft coral, each helping to support the myriad of creatures that live on the Great Barrier Reef.

Big Creatures

When people think of the Great Barrier Reef, most picture colourful corals and fishes whizzing through the water, but that’s not all it holds. The open-water regions of the reef are swarming with larger marine species, including dolphins, sharks, and whales! Dolphins are typically seen in small pods, frolicking next to the cruising boats or jumping from the water to show off. Sharks, although feared, are a terrific sight to see. Being the bosses of the ocean, they charge through the water hunting schools of fish for a snack. Look out for whales during their migration season as they travel to the warm waters to breed. Minke and humpback whales are the most common species sighted.

The Unique Creatures

Sea Turtles

Seeing a sea turtle in real life is on almost every traveller’s bucket list ! These marvellous, ancient creatures are some of the most unique species on the Great Barrier Reef. Slow and steady, the turtles glide through the water, with thousands of years of connection with the reef and the islands nestled within. Seeing a wild sea turtle can be a rare sight, so make sure you keep a sharp eye out for them during your snorkelling or diving adventure .


One of the most unusual looking creatures at the Great Barrier Reef, the Dugong is commonly referred to as the cow of the sea. They have striking features reminiscent of other animals such as dolphins, whales, and even elephants. Dugongs are typically found in the shallow bays of the Great Barrier Reef islands, either drifting through the water or grazing on the nearby seagrass.

Explore the Great Barrier Reef Tours

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward began with a passion for travel and turned it into a thriving tourism business. He co-founded Sightseeing Tours Australia after starting out as a tour guide in Melbourne. Cameron delights in helping visitors get the most from their trip to Australia. Whether he's leading tours or writing about his favourite places, Cameron loves sharing his local insight with fellow travellers.

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