great-barrier-reef

The Great Barrier Reef. A true natural wonder

Great is one way to discribe Australia’s The Great Barrier Reef. One of the world’s seven natural wonders, it is a prized World Heritage Area. The largest coral reef system and the biggest living structure on the planet. It sprawls over a jaw-dropping 344,400 square kilometres – beginning at the tip of Cape York Peninsula in the north and extending down to Bundaberg in the south.

Located in the Coral Sea, The Great Barrier Reef is on Australia’s North East coast. The Reef is composed of 3000 individual reef systems, 760 fringe reefs, 600 tropical islands and about 300 coral cays. This complex maze of habitats provides refuge for an astounding variety of marine life, plants and animals – from ancient sea turtles, reef fish and 134 species of sharks and rays, to 400 different hard and soft corals and a plethora of seaweeds.

As one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions, the Reef has a global reputation for its turquoise waters, kaleidoscopic corals, abundant sea life and over 900 islands. This includes the;

Whitsunday Islands

The Whitsunday’s is made up of 74 islands. Rugged and Beautiful have cliffed lined shores, inlets edged by horseshoe beaches and fringing coral reefs. Most of the islands are uninhabited. They’re characterized by dense rainforest and white sand beaches. The town of Airlie Beach is the Whitsunday’s central hub.

Lizard Island

Lizard Island is part of the Lizard Island National Park which also comprises Osprey, Palfrey and South islands and Seabird Islets along with Eagle Island. It is the only continental island group close to the outer barrier reef. The rugged beauty of Lizard Island contrasts sharply with the sparkling blue waters and rich fringing reefs which surround the island group. More than half of Lizard Island is covered in grasslands and tropical forest. The island’s best-known animal is a lizard—the yellow-spotted monitor Varanus panoptes.

Heron Island.

The island itself is a coral cay located near the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern Great Barrier Reef, 80 kilometres north-east of Gladstone, Queensland, Australia. This Coral Cay began forming around 6,000 years ago. Heron Island was declared a national park in 1943 and is a beautiful island teeming with wildlife & tranquility that has been maintained in its natural state. A favourite for those who snorkel and dive.

 

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