No vacation to Australia is complete without visiting the Great Barrier Reef located off the shores of the Queensland State. There are many interesting and fun Great Barrier Reef facts that will interest just about anyone. Travelers find plenty of places along the coast to explore the majestic Reef ecosystem, but Cairns, a small tourist town, seems to be the favorite among hordes of global tourists arriving here daily. Cairns is the Mecca for divers and snorkelers coming to see the one of the greatest coral reef ecosystems on Earth, its rich marine life and lush tropical surroundings. Even if you are not an avid diver, you can still find many alternative ways to tour this spectacular natural wonder such as taking catamaran tours or cruises to the Green Island located 16 miles off the Cairns shore. Boats are equipped with multilevel decks, viewing platforms, diving facilities and even an underwater observatory to make divers and non divers feel in their own element. When visiting and looking for things to do in Cairns, Australia visitors will find many wonderful Cairns hotels that will accommodate their guests in making their vacation one to remember.
Here we have a list of the top 10 interesting Great Barrier Reef facts.
1. The Great Barrier Reef has over 1000 islands which stretche well over 2600 kilometers off the coast of Queensland.
2. There are over thirty species of porpoises, whales and dolphins that have been documented within the reef.
3. One of the most well-known Great Barrier Reef facts is that it is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
4. The Reef is longest coral reef system on Earth and is the only living thing that can be recognized from space.
5. There are over 400 different kinds of coral growing within the Reef and not all coral is hard; some is soft and spongy. Depending on the color of algae the corals are feeding gives them the distinct hues ranging from blue, pink, green and yellow. The dead corals are always white in color.
6. There are more than 1500 species of marine life and tropical fish residing in the reef. Some of the marine life that resides within the Reef is potentially fatal to humans. Among these different species are jellyfish, octopus, cone shells, stone fish and stingrays. For this reason it is important to be extremely careful when walking on the beach or swimming in the water.
7. The Great Barrier Reef is considered pretty young only being about 500,000 years old. Much of the structure of the reef is less than 8000 years old.
8. Coral bleaching is one of the greatest threats to the unique coral ecosystem resulting in decreased algae concentration which is the main food for the living system. Increased water temperatures and lowered salt concentration are also contributing to unfavorable conditions.
9. One of the most interesting Great Barrier Reef facts is that it is the breeding area of the humpback whale and the sea turtles.
10. It’s is also home to the largest population of Dudongs. Dudongs are a marine species that are related to elephants.
When planning your Australia vacation, be sure to check out the different Australia vacation packages. Many of them will offer wonderful Great Barrier Reef tours that will make planning much easier and your vacation that much more exciting.