Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is located in Queensland, Australia. Spanning over 344,000 kilometres, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world. Almost 3,000 reefs and 900 islands make up this natural spectacle which has been described as one of the well-known places in the world. The Reef is located in the Coral Sea.
The Great Barrier Reef is visible from outer space. It has great significance among researchers of flora and fauna. The Reef is made of coral polyps, a minuscule organism, with billions of them joining up over a large area. The ecology and wildlife of the region is varied. This is another reason why it has attracted major attention throughout the years. The Great Barrier Reef is commonly sighted as one of the most important natural places in the world.
It was chosen as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981. Informally, it has also been called one of the natural wonders of the world.
Where It Is Located
The Great Barrier Reef is in the north-eastern part of Australia. It spans from Bramble Cay to the Lady Elliot Island. In terms of its area and size, it is the largest structure in the world made complete from natural life form. Many people around the world know Queensland because of the Great Barrier Reef. The government named it is as a state icon of Queensland. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was established to help protect and preserve part of the Reef. The protection limits the effects from excessive human use.
The Main Reefs
As mentioned above, there are over 2,900 different reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef. The ribbon reefs and deltaic reefs are found in the north. Among the main types of reefs found are:
- Fringing Reefs –the most common type of coral reef found in the system
- Planar Reefs – a majority of the islands are located on planar reefs
- Cresentic Reefs – reefs shaped like crescents make up a large part of the middle of the Great Barrier Reef
- Lagoonal Reefs – the most diverse of reefs, found in the north as well as the south
Due to the global popularity of the region, millions of people visit here each year. Tourism has become an extremely important sector for the local economy. Over a billion dollars are earned annually through the tourism industry. This has prompted the local administration to provide the infrastructure for visitors to enjoy themselves.
Among the major activities in the region, fishing is highly popular. However, restrictions have been imposed on fishing in the region to protect the species of fish found here. Apart from fishing, the Great Barrier Reef is the ideal place for deep sea diving. This is why scuba divers from all over the world make their way here every year. The climate of the region is warm, which is what scuba divers are looking for. It also provides pleasant weather for vacationers.
The water in the Great Barrier Reef is clear and of a great quality, especially for diving. This is why swimmers find it hard to resist the urge to get in. Scuba diving remains the foremost activity for tourists here. The biodiversity of the region is visible in the species of fish found in these waters. You will find some of the most beautiful fish in the world in the Great Barrier Reef. The coral reefs themselves make a pleasant viewing experience.
To view the ecology under water, snorkelling is available. Snorkelling is the second most popular activity for tourists after diving. Getting to see the underwater living organisms is an experience that you will enjoy.
Over two million people visit the Great Barrier Reef annually and very few of them leave without having taken a boat trip. It has become a major attraction for the people who come here. There are several boating services that have been established here. You can choose from a number of options regarding boat and yacht trips. The lengths of the trips vary from short, hour-long trips to entire cruises. In fact, the Great Barrier Reef is a great place to visit if you are on a cruise.
The bottom-line is that the Great Barrier Reef is one of the best tourist destinations in the world. There are plenty of activities to enjoy and wonderful sights to see. Have the time of your life with a vacation here.