Queensland Backpackers Great Barrier Reef
Queensland Backpackers will no doubt all have the Great Barrier Reef high on their things to do in Queensland list and no one will be disappointed in our magnificent Great Barrier Reef – there is a great choice of Great Barrier Reef tours including day tours & liveaboard tours for snorkellers and scuba divers
The world’s largest coral reef system, nearly 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands comprise Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which stretches a staggering 2,600 kilometers across the South Pacific and covers roughly 344,400 square kilometers. Extending along Queensland’s coastline, this World Heritage Site can actually be seen from outer space and it is the world’s largest structure made from a living organism.
The Great Barrier Reef is incredibly diverse. This vast ecosystem is actually divided into a number of distinct bioregions, roughly seventy in total. These bioregions contain different types of reefs, including ribbon reefs, deltaic reefs, fringing reefs, lagoonal reefs, crescentic reefs, and planar reefs. The Reef is estimated to be somewhere between 6,000 and 8,000 years old, forming as sea levels rose and continental islands were subsequently submerged, facilitating the growth of coral.
Tourism is a huge source of revenue for the coastal towns near the Great Barrier Reef, generating about 3 million dollars in revenue every year. So if you’re thinking about visiting the Great Barrier Reef how exactly do you get there? To start off, many companies in Queensland do offer daily boat trips. However, Cairns and the Whitsunday Islands are excellent jumping off points, offering easy access as well as excellent diving and sailing sites. If you have a bigger budget to work with you might consider staying on one the many private resorts on the reef’s continental and coral cays, such as Lady Elliot Island. Currently, over 30 islands on the Great Barrier Reef support resorts.
Of course, diving is perhaps the best way to fully take in the beauty of the reefs and get an up close look at the vast and varied wildlife this amazing ecosystem houses, including beautiful sea turtles and expansive schools of colorful fish to majestic whales. There are numerous diving opportunities for all skill levels and if you’re a total newbie you can always take a class.
If you’re not feeling quite up to diving there are still plenty of ways to experience the reefs. A chartered boat can be an excellent opportunity and many boats even have glass bottoms and underwater observatories, allowing you an up-close and personal view. Boats do range significantly in size—you’ll find everything from small motorboats to vast, luxury superyachts. Again, there are an abundance of boating opportunities from Cairns, the Whitsunday Islands, and even Queensland. It is a good idea to ask around a bit at the local tourist office and compare prices.