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Australia is a country that is famous for its natural beauty. Various natural tourist destinations are also available here. One of the most popular is the Great Barrier Reef Australia.
Great Barrier Reef is located in the city of Queensland, Australia. One thing that makes this location special is the natural beauty of its underwater location because it has the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef.
In addition, The Great Barrier Reef is also one of the seven wonders of the natural world. It is also considered one of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts.
Want to know more interesting facts about this location? Here are some of them.
How the Great Barrier Reef Was Originally Formed
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is formed from the coastal plain that experienced sea water floods during the increase in seawater. The process is estimated to have occurred from 20,000 to 6,000 years ago. The flooded coastal hill provides shallow areas. This area then became a coral place to grow.
Moreover, the name Great Barrier Reef was given by Matthew Flinders between 1801 and 1803. When observing the entire coastline of Australia, at one point, he walked above what he named the “great barrier reef.” Located in the coral sea, off the coast of Queensland in Northeast Australia, most of these coral regions are protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Animals in The Great Barrier Reef
It is home to thousands of coral reefs, and the Great Barrier Reef is also a habitat for several animals. Below are some of them.
The giant Clam is the biggest bivalve mollusk. The average weight can reach 200 kg and has a variety of colors. If it grows well, Giant Clam can live up to 100 years.
This animal has a large body, is flat, and resembles a blanket. That’s what made it get the name “Manta,” which in Spanish means blanket.
Maori Wrasse is a fish that can grow up to six feet for its male and three feet for the female. This fish is famous for its unique shape and friendly character.
Various types of sharks live in the Great Barrier Reef, ranging from small to large—some of them, Wobbegongs, Tiger, Headhammer, to Whale Shark.
Here also live various types of clownfish with various colors. This fish is small, around 7 to 8 cm, and the longest reaches 17 cm.
Turtles are also one of the animals that inhabit this region. The oldest tortoise that once lived reached the age of 120. Unfortunately, this animal is now threatened with extinction.
Potato COD is a fish originating from Australia. Here, Potato COD can live to reach 2 m in size and weigh 400 kg.
From June to November, around 10,000 whales migrate from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef for the breeding season.
Amazing Facts About The Great Barrier Reef
In addition to having beautiful natural scenery, the Great Barrier Reef also has various amazing facts.
Considered the World’s Largest Coral Reef System
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest collection of coral reefs. There are around 3,000 corals in the great barrier reef and 900 islands stretching around 2,600 km. Coral in the great barrier reef is diverse and has various colors, making it a favorite location for underwater tourism lovers.
The Only Place on Earth Where Two UNESCO World Heritage Sites Meet
This location is also where two UNESCO World Heritage sites are located: the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforests. The Wet Tropics’ rainforests have earned international acclaim for their ancient ancestors and many unique plants and animals.
It’s Bigger than Tasmania and Victoria, Combined!
The area of the Great Barrier Reef Australia is 348,700 km². Wider than the total area of Tasmania and Victoria combined. Because this location is very broad, it can even be seen from outer space.
The Reefs are Estimated to be Over 20 Million Years Old!
As mentioned above, the coral reefs here are more than 20 years old. They grew and are still growing in number today.
It’s Home to Nearly 5,000 Marine and Mammal Species
This location is also home to about 1,500 species of fish, 215 species of birds, 3,000 species of mollusks, and six of the world’s seven species of sea turtles. In addition, there are 30 species of whales and dolphins, and one of the most important dugong populations in the world.
Prehistoric Creatures Still Live There
Scientists also found many prehistoric creatures still living here. Some of these include ancient sharks, giant oilfish, swarms of crustaceans, and primitive shell-dwelling squid.
What Activities do Tourists do on The Great Barrier Reef?
As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia, there are several activities you can do when visiting the Great Barrier Reef. You can enjoy the natural beauty of this location by doing the following things.
Snorkeling is perfect for you who want to peek at the beauty of the underwater ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef but can’t dive. This activity requires simple equipment and is the most popular thing to do among tourists who visit here.
Want to try a more challenging activity? You can do scuba diving. By using the oxygen tank, you can dive deeper. Also for those of you who can’t swim well, you don’t need to worry because there will be a short lesson with professionals.
Visit Green Island
Green Island is one of this region’s most unique coral reef islands. The location is about 45 minutes off the coast of Cairns, Green Island. You can try to visit it and see a variety of plants and animals native to Australia. This activity is suitable for nature lovers. However, visiting Green Island is a bit expensive because you can only reach it by renting a boat or helicopter.
Those are some amazing facts about the Great Barrier Reef that you shouldn’t miss. In addition to these tourist destinations, Australia has several water tourism options you can try. Some of them are Bondi beach, Whitehaven beach, Cable beach, and Airlie beach.
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