The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s seven natural wonders.

Australia’s northeast coast is home to the Great Barrier Reef, a place of extraordinary beauty and variety.  Located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is visible from outer space.

  • Over 400 different types of coral
  • 1,500 other fish species,
  • There are four thousand different kinds of molluscs.
  • 240 species of birds
  • 6 of the World’s seven sea turtles

The Great Barrier Reef, a true natural wonder, is a treasure trove of marine biodiversity waiting to be explored. Stretching over 2,300 kilometres along the Queensland coast, it’s a world teeming with vibrant coral formations and a dazzling array of marine life.

Great Barrier Reef Gateways

Airlie Beach Bundaberg Cairns
Cape Tribulation Cape York Cardwell
Cooktown Mission Beach Port Douglas
Townsville Whitsundays Yeppoon

No matter where you explore within the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll be treated to a captivating world filled with big and small wonders. The reef’s diverse ecosystems are a testament to the resilience of nature, making it a must-see destination for anyone looking to connect with the incredible beauty of our planet.

Join us on an unforgettable journey to the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, where you’ll witness its stunning beauty and become a part of its ongoing conservation efforts. Together, we can ensure this natural wonder continues to thrive for generations.

Discover the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is a remarkable natural wonder, holding the title of the world’s most extensive coral reef ecosystem. This globally significant entity is a treasure of Australia and a testament to our planet’s unparalleled beauty and biodiversity.

Spanning an incredible 348,000 square kilometres, this World Heritage Site encompasses the entire ecosystem, extending from the pristine shores of Fraser Island in the south to the northernmost tip of Cape York. Its vast expanse offers diverse underwater landscapes, from the shallows of coastal areas to the depths of oceanic waters that plunge to over 2,000 metres.

The Great Barrier Reef is a realm of astonishing complexity and breathtaking beauty. It’s a sanctuary where vibrant corals and an array of marine life coexist in perfect harmony. Here, you can explore a mesmerising underwater world, encountering everything from colourful Reef fish to majestic sea turtles and even the world’s largest, gentle whale shark.

Whether you’re a seasoned diver, an avid snorkeler, or simply seeking a tranquil cruise over its azure waters, the Great Barrier Reef invites you to embark on a journey of wonder and discovery. It’s where nature’s brilliance shines in every shade and form, leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Join us in exploring the Great Barrier Reef and becoming a part of the legacy of this extraordinary natural wonder. Together, we can help preserve and protect this living masterpiece for future generations to marvel at and cherish.

Great Barrier Reef Islands

There are over 900 islands within the Great Barrier Reef, from small sandy cays to mountainous continental islands.

Explore by category

snorkeling scuba diving introductory scuba diving
semi submersible glass bottom boat scenic flights
day tours liveaboards outer Great Barrier Reef
Helmet diving helicopter flights marine biologist
underwater observatory water slide

Book an island tour today.

Islands of the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is home to over 2,500 distinct reefs of varied sizes and shapes.

Many billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps, make up the reef.  The reefs support a staggering array of marine life and flora.

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

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) protects most of the Great Barrier Reef.  GBRMPA monitors its preservation and protection from the ongoing impact of human use, including fishing and tourism.

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

This is a must-see location from Lady Elliot and Bundaberg in central Queensland through the Whitsunday Islands, Townsville, Cairns, and Cape York.

It generates billions of dollars of economic activity and sustains many small and large towns, including Cairns, Port Douglas and Airlie Beach.

Great Barrier Reef facts

Discover the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Australia’s most iconic natural treasures. Here are some fascinating facts about this incredible marine ecosystem:

World’s Largest Coral Reef System:

Stretching over 2,300 kilometres (1,400 miles) along the northeast coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is the most extensive coral reef system on the planet. It’s so vast that it’s visible from outer space!

Biodiversity Hotspot:

Home to an astonishing array of marine life, the Great Barrier Reef supports over 1,500 species of fish, 400 species of coral, and countless other creatures, including dolphins, sea turtles, and giant clams.

Ancient Wonder:

The Great Barrier Reef is estimated to be between 6,000 and 8,000 years old, making it one of Earth’s most ancient living structures. Its formation began after the last Ice Age when coral polyps started to build the reef.

Colourful Coral Gardens:

The vibrant coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef come in a kaleidoscope of colours, including brilliant blues, vibrant greens, and stunning shades of pink, purple, and orange. These colourful coral gardens provide crucial habitats for countless marine species.

Tourism Hotspot:

Welcoming millions of visitors yearly, the Great Barrier Reef is a top destination for snorkeling, scuba diving, and reef exploration. Visitors can marvel at the reef’s beauty, swim alongside colourful fish, and even witness the annual coral spawning event.

Environmental Importance:

Beyond its scenic beauty, the Great Barrier Reef plays a vital role in the health of our planet. It acts as a natural barrier, protecting coastlines from storms and erosion, and supports fisheries, tourism, and scientific research.

Threats and Conservation:

Despite its resilience, the Great Barrier Reef faces numerous threats, including climate change, pollution, and overfishing. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and preserve this natural wonder for future generations.

Explore the Great Barrier Reef and experience the magic of this extraordinary marine ecosystem firsthand. Whether snorkelling above vibrant coral gardens or diving into the depths of its crystal-clear waters, the Great Barrier Reef promises an unforgettable adventure for all, who visit.

Great Barrier Reef FAQs 

Q. What is the Great Barrier Reef?

A. Queensland’s GBR is a kaleidoscope of colours—home to thousands of marine creatures and hundreds of types of corals. It is the world’s largest labyrinthine of coral reefs and islands—a place of recreation for scuba diving, snorkelling, and fishing. Providing work for 64,000 people, bringing in 6.4 billion dollars annually.

Q. Where is the Great Barrier Reef ?

A. It is located on the northeastern coast of Queensland, Australia. Stretching from the north of Bundaberg to Papua New Guinea.

Q. How big is the Great Barrier Reef?

A. The world’s most extensive coral reef, stretching 1,429 miles across 133,000 square kilometres. Nearly 3,000 reefs make up the enormous reef visible from space.

Q. What is the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park?

A. Since 1975, Australia has entrusted the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to protect and manage the marine park. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act of 1975 is the best science to safeguard the reef. Values decrease risks and improve the present prognosis for the Reef and the communities that depend on it. Traditional owners, Australian and Queensland government agencies, industry, community organisations, and individuals work together to maintain and manage the GBR.

Q. How many types of coral are there?

A. There are approximately 600 species of coral. Coral has two main types: complex and soft.

Q. What kind of marine life can be found in the Great Barrier Reef?

A. A vast array of marine life, including over 1,500 species of fish, various types of corals, sea turtles, sharks, dolphins, and whales. It’s one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet.

Q. Is the Great Barrier Reef in danger?

A. The Great Barrier Reef faces various threats, including coral bleaching due to rising sea temperatures, pollution, overfishing, and coastal development. Efforts are being made to conserve and protect the reef through marine protected areas and sustainability initiatives.

Q. Is the Great Barrier Reef visible from space?

A. Yes, the Great Barrier Reef is visible from space! Its expansive size and distinctive colours make it a prominent feature when viewed from orbit.

Q. Can you snorkel and dive in the Great Barrier Reef?

A. Absolutely! Snorkelling and diving are popular activities in the Great Barrier Reef. There are numerous sites where visitors can explore the underwater world, encountering colourful corals and marine creatures up close.

Q. What is coral bleaching?

A. Coral bleaching occurs when corals expel the symbiotic algae living within their tissues due to stress, often caused by high water temperatures. This leads to the corals turning white and, if the stress persists, can result in their death.

Q. Can tourists visit the Great Barrier Reef islands?

A. Yes, many of the islands are open to tourists. Visitors can explore the islands, enjoy water-based activities, and experience the region’s unique ecosystems. Famous islands include Hamilton Island, Green Island and Lady Elliot Island.

Q. Are there restrictions on visiting the Great Barrier Reef?

A. While tourism is allowed, regulations are in place to protect the reef. These may include rules about anchoring, fishing, and wildlife interaction. Following these guidelines is essential to minimise the impact on the delicate ecosystem.

Every Visitor helps

Visiting the reef is not only an unforgettable experience but also one of the most effective ways you can contribute to preserving the Great Barrier Reef. Every visitor to the reef plays a vital role in its conservation efforts by paying an environmental management charge. This fee not only supports the daily maintenance of the marine park but also elevates the Great Barrier Reef’s reputation as the world’s best-managed reef.

  • Recycle trash
  • Use a reusable cup
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Plant a tree
  • Use only organic fertilisers.
  • Reef-Safe Sunscreen
  • Say no to single-use plastics.

Help Save the Great Barrier Reef

Molly Steer, an 11-year-old local Cairns girl, started StrawNoMore to help stop plastic straws.

Reef Restoration Foundation, James Cook University, and local tourism operators are establishing a coral nursery on the Great Barrier Reef.

Reef Check Australia uses citizen science to connect people to take positive action to protect coral reefs.

Attend a Reef talk and learn about the GBR.

Next, book one of our fantastic Great Barrier Reef Tours.

For the Ultimate way to experience, spend at least one night onboard Reef Encounter.

Explore our locations