No Australia holidays are complete without a trip to the famous 2000km stretch of reef off the coast of Queensland. But what is it that is so wondrous about this particular reef, and why does Australia’s government spend a great deal of effort and money maintaining it?
Considered to be one of 7 natural wonders of the world, the reef is also the one, singular living thing visible from space, making it a beauty that stretches beyond the stars. It’s a perfect natural habitat for hundreds of species of the most vibrant, exotic and mesmerising sea life, pulling in over 400 species of coral and 1500 species of fish.
But the Great Barrier Reef isn’t without its troubles, as a boom in Australia’s mining industry has recently brought the dangers the one of a kind natural habitat faces to the fore. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) is tasked with protecting and preserving the reef, ensuring it can be safely fished and that tourists can continue to come and drink in the wonders on display under the crystal clear azures of the Coral Sea.
The GBRMPA website explains that certain trip organisers display an eco certified logo, denoting that they are certified by Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Certification Program. Although all trips to the barrier reef are conducted with upmost care, consider booking a trip displaying this logo to ensure that your visit has the least damaging impact possible on this unique destination, so it may continue to exist for many years.
There are many fantastic ways to experience the reef, varying from boat, to air, to under the water itself. While there’s no doubt that getting up close and personal with the sea life is an un-missable opportunity, so too will be the chance to soar over head, taking in panoramic views of the reef in its entire majesty.
As one of the seven greatest sights of nature on earth, The Great Barrier Reef is not just a national treasure of Australia, but of the whole world. Its protection is an important and challenging undertaking, but thanks to those at the GBRMPA, it is possible for thousands of tourists to visit this awe-inspiring place every year. If you are in Australia, or planning a visit, you simply cannot miss out on this fantastic once in a lifetime experience.