The Great Barrier Reef - More than just a scene of incomparable
natural beauty lying beneath beguiling, clear blue waters. World Heritage
listed, it encompasses more than 1000 islands and 2,900 individual reefs and
shelters 1,500 species of fish and 400 species of coral. It is unimaginably
vast, stretching more than 2000 kilometers - more than the total combined
area of the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is the world's largest World
Heritage area extending 2000 kilometers.
World's Most Extensive Coral Reef :
The Great Barrier Reef's great diversity reflects the maturity of the
ecosystem, which has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. It is the
world's most extensive coral reef system and is one of the world's richest
areas in terms of fauna diversity. Great Barrier Reef is fascinating to
children, invaluable to scientists, and irresistible to seekers of paradise.
The white beaches fringing many of its islands are without peer.
Rich Flora and Fauna
The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area contains more than just coral
reefs. It also contains extensive areas of seagrass, mangrove, soft bottom
communities and island communities. Contrary to popular belief, the reef is
not a continuous barrier, but a broken maze of coral reefs and coral cays.
It includes some 2 800 individual reefs, of which 760 are fringing reefs.
Habitats for Diverse forms :
The Great Barrier Reef provides habitats for many diverse forms of marine
life. There are an estimated 1500 species of fish and more than 300 species
of hard, reef-building corals. More than 4 000 mollusc species and over 400
species of sponges have been identified.
Other well-represented animal groups include anemones, marine worms,
crustaceans (prawns, crabs) and echinoderms (starfish, sea urchins etc.).
The Reef contains nesting grounds of world significance for the endangered
green and loggerhead turtles.
Multiple Access Points :
The Great Barrier Reef is known as one of the world's greatest snorkelling
and scuba diving locations. It is a favourate destination of scuba divers,
underwater explorers, and lovers of exotic, romantic tropical islands.
Snorkelling and diving tours abound near the Great Barrier Reef, as do
opportunities for fishing and glass-bottomed boat tours.The Great Barrier
Reef have a choice of multiple access points all up and down the north
Queensland coast, starting as far south as Bundaberg near the vicinity of
World's Tourist Attraction :
Tourism is the principal industry in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage
Area, with an approximate annual value in excess of $1 billion. The Marine
Park tourism industry comprises a diversity of operations including day-trip
vessel operations to reef and island destinations the Marine Park, local
tourism operations provide day trips to offshore islands and reefs, extended
diving and fishing trips, and roving charters between all sections of the