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.

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

Additionally, it is of significant scientific significance since it protects endangered animals like the dugong and green sea turtles.

The Great Barrier Reef teems with brightly coloured fish, and coral is a must-see destination.  Best seen with a mask and fins snorkelling and scuba diving.

 

The Great Barrier Reef, the World’s most extensive coral Reef ecosystem, is a globally significant and exceptional entity.

This World Heritage Site includes the entire ecosystem, covering an area of 348,000 square kilometres and stretches between Fraser Island in the South to the tip of Cape York.

There is a large variety of depths, from shallow coastal areas to oceanic waters over 2,000 metres deep in this wide range.

Islands

Over 900 islands within the Great Barrier Reef.  From small sandy cays to cays to mountainous continental islands.

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

 

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.  The reef supports a  staggering array of marine life and flora.  This coral reef is the largest 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.

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 Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ Culture for thousands of years.  It is an integral part of their Culture, belief systems and spirituality.

The Great Barrier Reef 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.

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.

A place of recreation for scuba diving, snorkelling and fishing.  The Great Barrier Reef provides work for 64,000 people and brings in 6.4 billion dollars annually.

Where is the Great Barrier Reef located?

Located on the Northeastern coast of Queensland in Australia.  Stretching from north of Bundaberg to Papua New Guinea.

How big is the Great Barrier Reef?

The World’s most extensive coral reef, spanning 1,429 miles across 133,000 square kilometres.

Nearly 3,000 reefs make up the enormous Reef visible from space.

What is the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park?

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 and long-term prognosis for the Reef and the communities that depend on it.

Traditional Owners, various Australian and Queensland government agencies; industry; community organisations; individuals work together to maintain and manage the GBR.

How many types of coral are there?

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

How old is the Great Barrier Reef?

According to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), the earliest proof of fully developed Reef structures dates back 600,000 years.

According to the CRC Reef Research Centre, the existing living Reef structure is between 6,000 and 8,000 years old.

How can we protect the Great Barrier Reef?

Join thousands of people who are actively protecting the Great Barrier Reef.  Listen to a marine biologist’s presentation and share our passion for this magnificent Reef.

Every Visitor helps

Visiting the Reef is one of the most effective ways you can help save the Great Barrier Reef.  Every visitor to the Reef contributes to the daily maintenance of the Marine Park research by paying an Environmental Management Charge.  This fee enhances 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 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 use citizen science to connect people to take positive action to protect coral reefs.

Experience the GBR