World’s largest coral reef system
Home to more fish, corals and marine animals than anywhere else on the face of our incredible planet, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is a fascinating ecosystem bursting with life and is just a short boat ride from the city of Cairns.
A listed World Heritage Site and marine park, The Great Barrier Reef is located off the north-eastern coast of Queensland in the Coral Sea, and is one of the natural wonders of the world – it’s so big it can even be seen from space!
Go snorkelling with our knowledgeable Marine Biologist…
Or some deep water fish coming into the shallow coral lagoons and lining up to have their teeth cleaned with a visit to a Cleaner Fish station.
And there’s even more that will astound even your wildest sci-fi fantasies.
Ever seen the blockbuster movie Avatar?
Did you know that much of director James Camerson’s inspiration for the background scenery of his other-universe animation was inspired by reef organisms?
The recoiling flowers in the Avatar forest greatly resemble the colourful clusters of great barrier reef Christmas Tree Worms, that sprout out of Boulder Corals and vanish as you get close.
Take a glass bottom boat tour..
And see the reef from above.
The commentated glass bottom boat tour is a great alternative to view the marine life beneath the surface and learn something along the way!
Fun Fact: The average Cleaner Wrasse sees around 2000 clients every day – that’s one busy fish!
Where is the Great Barrier Reef?
The Great Barrier Reef is located off the north east coast of Australia, on the continental shelf in the Coral Sea. Queensland is the only place in the world where two, independent world heritage sites co-exist; the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest.
Great Barrier Reef Fish Facts
The Great Barrier reef is home to over 2000 species of fish. That’s almost double the number found in the Caribbean! There are also over 400 species of coral, over 30 species of marine mammals including whales, dolphins and dugongs, 6 species of marine turtles, and much, much more! For more interesting fish facts, check out At The Coral Reef and our Homepage.
Scuba Diving Great Barrier Reef facts
The Great Barrier Reef is an epicenter of scuba diving activities. From avid scuba enthusiasts to those trying scuba diving for the first time, the clear waters and sheltered areas of the Barrier Reef create ideal conditions for some of the worlds very best scuba diving tours. It is widely agreed that The Great Barrier Reef is one of the foremost dive training hot spots for anyone learning to scuba dive. The calm, shallow lagoon areas and clear waters are ideal for scuba dive training, and the safety standards for scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef far exceed anywhere else around the globe.
Great Barrier Reef Tours
There are many different ways to see the Great Barrier Reef. From day charters, Cairns Liveaboard trips, Scenic Flights Reef Cruise and Island Accommodation the list is never ending! Generally speaking, the most desirable areas of pristine coral are the Outer Great Barrier Reefs. Staying on some of the many tropical sand islands are also a popular option for those seeking accommodation on the Great Barrier Reef, however the visibility in the water is sometimes compromised with proximity to built up sand destinations. For those who have time, it’s recommended to see the reef at dusk and dawn – the busiest times in this incredible ecosystem! (For more information about these magical times of day, click here). For information about other reef tours, click here.
The Gateway To The Great Barrier Reef
The City of Cairns, Australia, is widely referred to as ‘The Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef’. Once a small fishing and agricultural community, the city expanded in the 1870’s with the discovery of gold in the area. Although famously explored by Capitan James Cook aboard the HM Endeavour, on his exploration voyage of the Australian coastline, the Citly of Cairns wasn’t officially founded until 1876.
Cairns – Australia, Today
The recent influx of tourism to the area is largely due to it’s outstanding natural beauty and it’s proximity to many world heritage attractions. These include the Wet Tropics Rainforest, the Atherton Tablelands and – of course – The Great Barrier Reef! For more information about the city of Cairns, or to book tours in Cairns and the surrounding area visit Australias premium Cairns Trips website, for all the tour information you’ll need on your holiday to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.
Great Barrier Reef Accommodation
Choice is unlimited when it comes to accommodation at the Great Barrier Reef. From hotels in and around the Cairns area, tropical sand island destinations to spending time on the various liveaboard boats, you’re spoiled for accommodation options! To visit our popular Cairns Accommodations Website, click here. Generally speaking, the best way to see the most of the Great Barrier Reef is to spend time on a liveaboard boat that visits a number of different reefs, where you can experience first hand the magical times on the coral sea.