A Beginners Guide To The Great Barrier Reef

22nd March 2017

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is actually quite a humble place. Despite being named a World Heritage site in 1981 and being dubbed one of the seven wonders of the natural world, it still only calls itself ‘great’. It’s the world’s largest living organism and the largest coral reef system in the world. It can even be seen from outer space. It’s more than great, it’s incredible.

Composed of 900 islands and more than 2,900 individual reefs, it stretches for more than 2,300km and covers an area of around 344,400sqkm. Its unique ecosystem supports an immense range of life forms including 5,000 mollusc species, more than 1,500 species of fish, 215 bird species, 30 species of porpoises, dolphins and wales, 17 sea snake species and six turtle species. It’s downright awe-inspiring.

Ancient and immense, the Great Barrier Reef is a bucket list destination for people all over the world and ever year enchants millions with its unique and functional beauty. If you do plan to make this pilgrimage, take advantage of the ample range of Great Barrier Reef tours on offer. There are so many ways to experience the reef, even if you don’t like swimming.

Swim

I know, we said you wouldn’t have to if you didn’t want to but we thought we’d start with the obvious. Getting wet is the easiest way to get up close and personal with the incredible marine life of the reef. After all, it is one of the most magical places in the world to dive or snorkel.

Sail

Although nothing is quite the same as experiencing the underwater world of the reef, the sheer enormity of this natural wonder makes it worth exploring from above or below. Enjoying the added bonus of impeccable views of the Queensland coast, you can sit back and relax as you watch the reef stretching off into the distance. For a glimpse below the waterline, join a glass bottom boat excursion for wonderful views without getting wet.

Fly

This may not seem like the most obvious way to enjoy the reef but if the envy-inducing photos on Instagram are anything to go by, you’re going to love it. Aside from the magical feeling of being airborne, experiencing the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef by air is an astounding reminder of just how enormous the reef really is. It’s also a great way to get acquainted with the area.