The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, and a popular tourist attraction. The location consists of 2,900 reefs and a mix of 900 islands – which together comprise an area of 133,000 square miles! The reef is mainly located just outside Queensland, Australia. The reef has the amazing quality of being visible from space! Unsurprisingly – given its stunning appearance, wide diversity of life and position as a cultural emblem of Australia – it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This article takes a look at one of the world’s stunning sights.
The Great Barrier Reef is a natural site, with records of complete reef structures dating back to thousands of years ago. The Great Barrier Reef is well known for containing an enormous range of life forms. Species of whales, dolphins, fish, sea snakes and sea turtles among others can be found in the area – with many of these rare species. A huge variety of birds too roost on the adjoining islands, with a range of sea plants also visible in the area. The Great Barrier Reef features many of the world’s most beautiful species!
Unsurprisingly, the Great Barrier Reef is a very popular tourist attraction. The warm, clear and tranquil waters make the site a popular location to visit. Tourism is hugely important too for the local economy. The majority of people use Whitsunday Island and Cairns to access the reef – due to the ease of access from these areas. Daily boat trips are common, while dinghies and even yachts are used to explore. Glass-bottomed boats are the most popular mode of transport – given the stunning view they provide. Snorkelling and diving are popular activities for tourists to engage with.
There are a range of dangers however to the long-term success of the Reef. Climate change is having an effect – as is pollution. There are concerns over ‘coral bleaching’ – something that can have a detrimental effect on ocean life. Oil spills, over-fishing and tropical cyclones also pose a risk to the reef. Declining water quality, chemicals and plastic too are all causes for concern. The reef does however have a robust management plan in place – to try and ensure the longevity and protection of the reef.
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The Great Barrier Reef is a world-famous site, and one of the world’s amazing sights. It is a popular tourist attraction – with many people opting to visit the reef while in Australia. For those not lucky enough to make it there in person, it is well worth exploring the reef on Google – who launched a 3D view of the Great Barrier Reef back in 2014! Another stunning sight to behold – the Great Barrier Reef will hopefully continue to entertain its viewers and keep its ocean life going strong for many, many years to come.