The Great Barrier Reef:
UNESCO listed in 1981 and considered to be one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef is one of unique phenomena in the world. It is the largest single structure made up of living organisms in the world and is so big that it’s actually visible from space! The reef itself is 340,000 square kilometers in size, stretching over 2,500 km along the Queensland coastline from Bundaberg right up past the tip of Cape York and is made up of more than 2900 individual coral reefs and over 900 islands.
The Great Barrier Reef is home to billions of marine creatures. Some of the smallest include the coral polyps, which congregate together to form the spectacularly colorful and bright reef systems. These reefs, in turn, become home to a huge variety of fish and other sea creatures, which form their own ecosystem. In addition to the 400 different kinds of corals and sponges, you can find more than 1500 tropical fish species, dolphins, turtles, mollusk, Dugong (Sea Cow), Manta-rays, Sting-rays, Seahorses and many other animals. It’s also a bird watchers paradise with over 200 types of birds found in the area.
Great Barrier Reef Trips:
With over 2,000,000 visitors a year to the reef, it’s hardly surprising that there are literally hundreds of Great Barrier Reef trips available to accommodate any traveler. These operators are all regulated by the Marine Park Authority which ensures that the activities undertaken on the reef are both safe to the participants and sustainable to the reef itself so that it’s beauty can be preserved for others to enjoy. It’s no wonder the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most highly regarded and internationally acclaimed destinations in the entire world. This all means that the reef is actually very accessible, with one of the closet and best catered jumping off points being Cairns.
Most Popular Great Barrier Reef Trips:
Undoubtedly the most popular Great Barrier Reef Trips are based around snorkeling and scuba diving activities. Snorkeling is such an easy activity to undertake and is suitable for people or almost any experience level. In most cases, you don’t even need your own equipment unless you want it, as everything is supplied for you. There are a number of trips available, ranging from half day tours right up to multi-day ‘live-aboard’ trips.
Some of the other popular ways to experience the reef are to get on a fully catered sailing vessel and just unwind for a couple of days. For the more adventurous, there are helicopter flights and charter plane flights that will give you a view of the reef that is simply unparalleled. Some helicopter flights will even stop on a deserted coral cay for lunch! For those craving something a little more peaceful, try staying at one of the beautiful island resorts for a couple of days, where you can sip your cocktail while watching the sunset. Of course we have to mention that the fishing trips are legendary!
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most relaxing, idyllic and entertaining destinations you could ever experience. There is simply no place like it in the world, so you’ll just have to come on your own Great Barrier Reef trip soon!