If you ever get the chance to visit Australia, don’t miss it. It’s a great country, full of surprises! On one of our visits there we were able to take in the Great Barrier Reef. Because of its natural beauty, both above and below the water, the Great Barrier Reef has become one of the world’s most sought after tourist destinations.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world. It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 miles) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000sqmi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in north-east Australia.
A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as fishing and tourism. Due to its vast biodiversity, warm clear waters and accessibility from the tourist boats called ‘live aboards’,the reef is a very popular destination, expicially for scuba divers. Tourism on the Great Barrier Reef is concentrated in the Whisundays and Cairns due to their accessibility.
Many cities along the Queensland coast offer daily boat trips. Several continental and coral cay islands are now resorts, including the pristine Lady Elliot Island.
A variety of boat tours and cruises are offered, from single day trips, to longer voyages. Boat sizes range fron dinghies to superyachts. Glass-bottmed boats and underwater observatories are also pupular, as are helicopter flights. By far, the most popular tourist activites on the Great Barrier Reef are snorkelling and diving, for which pontoons are often used, and the area is often enclosed by nets. The outer part of the Great Barrier Reef is favored for snorkelling due to the clear pristine water.
Our trip was by boat and we snorkeled the reef. We saw beautiful corals, many varieties of fish and other sea creatures. All in all, it was well worth the time and expense. We highly reccommend it!