Travel Destination: Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Swimming with Prehistoric Animals or Just Dead Corals?

Have you ever heard or read about the Great Barrier Reef? We bet you have, and if you haven’t, there’s a severe problem going on in your database (aka, brain). 

One of the most beautiful and important places in the world is actually underwater, and anyone who isn’t afraid of diving a bit and exploring would love to visit it at least once in their lives. 

Spoiler: it is worth overcoming your fears and making sure that swimming isn’t an issue when deciding to visit it. 

This location is beyond stunning, and you wouldn’t want to miss it if you get the chance to pay for a trip, win a prize, or just spend some money traveling around the world and going to the most popular and beautiful places in it. 

However, even when people have a simple and basic concept about the Great Barrier Reef, not many know what truly makes it beautiful and, more importantly, why it is crucial for the entire planet to be properly preserved. 

Therefore, we decided to do something for you and hundreds: review why the Great Barrier Reef is a place that should be taken care of for all of us and guarantee it is visited at least once in a lifetime. 

The World’s Largest Coral Reef? (Psst! It Is)

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system and can be found off the east coast of Australia in the Queensland mainland. 

It spans over 2,300 kilometers in length and is comprised of over 900 islands with over 400 reefs. The Great Barrier Reef’s location makes it a prime spot for marine life.

With such a diverse living environment, it’s no wonder that this area has been designated as a World Heritage Site in 1981.

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is home to remarkable diversity and beauty. It is home to the largest collection of coral reefs in the world, including 400 varieties of coral as previously mentioned, 1,500 fish species, and 4,000 types of mollusks.

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It is also a place of great scientific interest because it houses endangered species like the dugong (or sea cow) and the large green turtle.

It is a vast cross-shelf ecosystem that extends from the low watermark on the coast to 250 kilometers offshore. This vast depth range includes large shallow coastal areas, middle-shelf, outer, and oceanic waters more than 2,000m deep.

There are approximately 2,500 reefs within the GBR, with a variety of sizes and shapes. 

Additionally, the 900 islands mentioned (or even more) range from small, sandy cays to larger, more vegetated cays to large, rugged, continental islands that rise over 1,100m above sea level. 

These landscapes and seascapes combine to create some of the most stunning maritime scenery anywhere in the world.

Latitudinal, cross-shelf, and depths of water column diversity create a unique ecosystem that supports a wide range of species, ecological communities, and habitats. 

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The GBR is one of the most diverse and complex natural ecosystems on the planet. This diversity and interconnectedness, together with their interdependence, makes it one of the richest and complex. 

There are also 240 species of birds and sponges. This biodiversity is rare in any other World Heritage property. 

Despite not being part of its formation or how the GBR provides to our world, we would like to mention the fact that environmental threats are everywhere.

Climate change, pollution, crown-of-thorns starfish, and fishing are the primary threats to the health of this reef system. 

Shipping accidents, oil spillages, and tropical storms are other threats to this reef system’s health. We are quite worried about how all those factors can reduce biodiversity and affect the entire earth’s ecosystem. 

Visiting the Stunning Great Barrier Reef

With all those species and elements in the location, who wouldn’t want to visit it?

Many that argue they aren’t fans of the reef would actually like to see it once in their lives, even if it isn’t that close in terms of diving and getting to know several of the corals and fishes you can find. 

Now, what is the main reason people decide to visit it? Because it is more than simply beautiful. 

This is Australia’s most popular attraction, with more than 100 islands scattered across the reef. 

You can snorkel and dive in some of the most beautiful places on the planet, including rainbow-colored corals and a variety of marine life.

Local Aboriginal people have a deep cultural connection to this area. They have passed down stories from generations about how the reef was created. 

The Dreaming story recounts how Bhiral, the Creator, dropped hot rocks and lava from the sky, creating the Great Barrier Reef. 

There is more than “just species” (as many people call them) to see, touch, and take pictures of. You will discover that history and beautiful stories are around this great barrier.

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Scientists and environmentalists still encourage people to visit the reef to enjoy its wonders despite all the threats that are leading the Great Barrier Reef to be endangered. 

Humans can help the reef survive by making the right financial investments and raising awareness about the dangers it faces, which is why you should consider visiting it as well. 

Just think about it, you will get the chance to face the world’s largest barrier, and you will also help preserve it along with our planet and ecosystem. 

Got quite interested? Besides exploring some of the islands, you can also enjoy other activities:

  • Helicopter flight.
  • Scuba diving.
  • Visiting the shoreline of Whitehaven Beach.
  • Snorkeling. 
  • Whitewater rafting. 
  • Green Island one-day trip.
  • Enjoy a cruise over the islands.

Movies & Documentaries – Starring: The Great Barrier Reef

With such a beautiful place, you can’t expect people to not take some advantage of it when it comes to scenography and finding locations where beauty falls short every single time. 

The Great Barrier Reef is a favorite for films that include seas, corals, and sea species. 

Therefore, you will find many documentaries and movies about it and the reef as the main location. 

“The Great Barrier Reef” documentary from 1981 is one of the most popular and shows how beautiful the place is. 

On the other hand, movies like “Sea Patrol,” “Aquamarine,” “Ocean Girl,” and “Uninhabited” are some of the ones you can find with the reef as primary and secondary areas. 

Of course, you can expect many shark films and some thriller and terror ones like the latter we mentioned to be popular in terms of choosing this location as part of the filming place. After all, who doesn’t want beautiful and stunning water around you to remark the tragedy that awaits? (It was a bit of a joke there).

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6 Facts You Must Know About the Great Barrier Reef

  • The largest living structure in the world, the GBR, can even be seen from space!
  • The reef is millions of years old. Scientists believe the corals alone could be about 20 million years old. 
  • Prehistoric creatures and species can be found (yes, many of them being 400+ million years old).
  • The corals only spawn once a year (November).
  • The GBR meets the coastline of the Wet Tropics, making it the only place where two UNESCO World Heritage Sites collide. 
  • Compared to Tasmania and Victoria together? This barrier is much bigger.

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Written by Dame Cash

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