Great Barrier Reef one of the seven natural wonders of the World

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is Earth’s most extensive coral reef system.  More than 2,900 reefs, with 900 island coverers an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres. Its natural beauty is treasured not only in Australia but throughout the world.

Located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is visible from outer space.

Many billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps, make up the reef. It supports a staggering array of different marine life and flora and is the most massive single structure created by living organisms.

In 1981 it was designated as a World Heritage Site and was listed among the world’s seven natural wonders. The Queensland National Trust has made it an official icon of the state.

Most of the Great Barrier Reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), which monitors its preservation and protection from the ongoing impact of human use, including fishing and tourism.

The Great Barrier Reef has been part of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ culture for tens of thousands of years. It is an integral part of their culture, belief systems and spirituality.

The Great Barrier Reef is also a must-see location from Bundaberg in central Queensland through the Whitsunday Islands, Townsville and Cairns, and the Northern Cape.

It generates many billions of dollars of economic activity and sustains many small and large town centres.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Great Barrier Reef?

Queensland’s GBR is a kaleidoscope of colours.  Home to thousands of marine creatures and hundreds of types of corals.

It is the largest labyrinthine of coral reefs and islands in the World. For scientists, it is a continuous fascination.

It’s a place of recreation for scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing.  A place for work for the 64,000 jobs that the GBR supports.

Where is it located?

Located on the North-Eastern coast of Queensland in Australia.  Stretching from just north of Bundaberg to Papua New Guinea.

How big is it?

An area of 349,000 square kilometres

How long is it?

The GBR is 2,300 kilometres long (1,400 miles).

Is the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea?

In the Coral Sea

What is the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park?

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is a protective Government body set up in 1975 to protect this World Heritage Listed site.

What kinds of sharks are there?

Black Tip reef shark
Bull sharks
Epaulette sharks
Grey Reef sharks
Lemon shark
Leopard shark
Nurse shark
Silvertip shark
Tasselled wobbegong
Tiger sharks
Whale Sharks
Whitetip reef shark
Zebra shark

What ocean is the Great Barrier Reef in?

The Pacific Ocean off the North-Eastern coast of Queensland.

How many types of coral are there?

The GBR is home to approximately 600 species of coral. Coral is broken into two main types hard and soft.