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Natural Wonders of the World: Great Barrier Reef, Australia

24 November 2020 08:36

Keep your eyes peeled for the Reef's 'great eight'

Keep your eyes peeled for the Reef's 'great eight'

Travel may be trickier than normal right now. But we can still dream. And if you are searching for a little destination inspiration, how about the Great Barrier Reef?

Great Barrier Reef at a glance:

  • Covers 133,000 square miles and can be seen from outer space
  • Made up of over 2,900 separate reefs and 900 islands
  • Home to 10% of all the world's fish species
  • Covers an area larger than the UK, Holland and Switzerland combined

What makes the Great Barrier Reef a natural wonder?

This popular tourist destination is not only the largest reef in the world but also its largest living structure. A shoo-in for a natural wonder of the world. The area has supported a wide range of marine wildlife for an incredible amount of time - estimates vary from 500,000 years to a staggering 20 million years old. Unfortunately, the reef is threatened by rising sea temperatures, pollution and irresponsible tourism. The Great Barrier Reef Foundation lists a number of ways people can help preserve the unique ecosystem.

The Great Barrier Reef in film and tv?

No prizes for guessing which Disney Pixar classic was set off the coast of Queensland. Divers at the reef are almost guaranteed to find their own Nemo, as the orange and white clownfish are a common sight all-year round among the tentacles of the sea. As of 2012, Google's underwater street view offers virtual visitors a chance to explore the area's unique flora and fauna.

How can tourists enjoy the Great Barrier Reef?

If you want to splash out on a Great Barrier Reef experience you could always try taking a helicopter tour. There's no grander way to appreciate the scale of the reef, while staying high and dry. Glass-bottom boat rides are another option, but ensure you book a trip with a responsible operator. Of course, for the ultimate experience, nothing beats a dive among the 600 types of coral and 'The Great Eight'. Manta rays, turtles and the oddly-named potato cod are among the must-see species that captivate tourists in the area.

What else is there to see and do in Queensland?

More unforgettable landscapes await inland in Queensland's mountainous tropical rainforests. The Kuranda Scenic Railway meanders through lush canopies and banana trees on a track that leads to Barron Gorge. The National Park of the same name is filled with tumbling waterfalls and freshwater swimming holes that offer a refreshing paddle with a view. And if you're looking for more water-themed fun, the golden beaches at Surfer's Paradise can be found in the south of the state, where locals enjoy 280 days of sunshine a year.

Sort your cover before you head for the coral

At World First we provide travel insurance for trips to Australia, so you can explore Oz with peace of mind. And we are able to provide cover both snorkelling and diving. Shall we lock this in?