The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. It is the largest reef in the world and consists of about 3,000 individual reefs, 885 islands, and hundreds and thousands of different species of plants, birds, and marine life. Swimming with the fish and admiring the colors of the corals is a must on any Great Barrier Reef vacation. Outdoor reef diving and day trips to the island are among the most common activities on the reef, along with scenic flights and rainforest trips to Kuranda and the Daintree Rainforest.
Offering an incredibly unique and spectacular natural environment, the Great Barrier Reef is not only a popular holiday destination for Australiansbut attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world year after year.
Accommodation on the Great Barrier Reef
There are hundreds of accommodation options along the tropical coast of North Queensland. Whether you choose to stay on the mainland or on an island, all accommodations are conveniently located near the most popular local attractions and points of interest, including starting points for tours and cruises on the Great Barrier Reef.
Activities on the Great Barrier Reef
Sail through the days in crystal clear waters… Tours of the Great Barrier Reef can make a vacation a little exciting, or the trip can be quite a vacation!
The climate on the Great Barrier Reef is very different due to the long length of the reef. The majority of the reef, which stretches 2400 km along the coast of Queensland, is located in tropical and subtropical regions. The northern part of the reef is in a tropical climate with hot, humid summers with lots of rain and humidity. The southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef is subtropical with milder summers and much less humidity.
Listed as a World Heritage Site in 1981, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest and most complex reef system and one of Australia’s most precious natural wonders. It is larger than New Zealand (345,000 square kilometers or 70 million football fields) and is home to a wonderful diversity of life, including several rare and endangered species, as well as:
- +1600 fish species
- +620 kinds of corals
- +100 species of jellyfish
- +3150 types of mussels
- +30 species of marine mammals such as whales, dugongs, and dolphins
- +133 species of sharks and rye
and much more.
Stretching 2400 kilometers off the coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is made up of approximately 3,000 individual coral reefs.
Hazards on the Great Barrier Reef
The biggest threat to Recife is climate change. The other major threats to Recife include:
- impact on coastal development,
- poor quality groundwater,
- and illegal fishing.
Reef health (corals, eelgrass, and marine life) is declining due to poor water quality and the cumulative effect of climate change, including warmer weather leading to coral bleaching and more severe weather events such as cyclones. Bleaching occurs when corals are stressed.
Excess nutrients, fine sediment, and pesticides from agricultural waste and other industries pose the greatest risk to the reef’s water quality. The sediment suffocates corals and reduces the amount of light reaching seagrasses and other plants, affecting their growth and survival, as well as the survival of marine animals that depend on them for food and shelter. Excess nutrients may be associated with eruptions of coral-eating crown-of-thorns stars.
UNESCO World Heritage List
The UNESCO World Heritage Commission assesses the condition of World Heritage sites. In July 2021, the commission met and noted with concern that the long-term outlook for Recife had deteriorated, with climate change as the main threat. The Committee agreed that measures to increase Recife’s resilience and address other factors (including climate change and improved water quality) are crucial.