The Great Barrier Reef is a unique integral living organism included in the World Heritage List. Its length exceeds 2000 km. Situated along the reef, the tropical islands attract countless tourists from all over the world with their unique beauty: dazzling corals and coral reefs, white sand beaches, amazing marine life and great outdoor activities.
The barrier reef is a place of pilgrimage for diving fans from all over the world.
The climate on the Great Barrier Reef is hot subequatorial with almost constant temperature throughout the year. As elsewhere in the tropics, the air is humid, but this humidity is more easily tolerated than in Thailand or other countries of Southeast Asia.
The best time to visit is from May to October. At this time, swimming is allowed on the beaches, the humidity decreases, and the Great Barrier Reef replaces the Gold Coast, becoming the main vacation spot. However, if you are going to the Great Barrier Reef not for the sake of lying on the beach and swimming in the sea, but in order to look at the lush tropical greenery, natives, waterfalls, visit Cairns, then you can safely go there at any time of the year.
Swimming on the Great Barrier Reef, located thirty kilometers from the coast, is allowed all year round, and the water on the reef is so clear that visibility under water exceeds 30 m. North Beaches area (Palm Cove, Trinity Beach) or in Port Douglas, where swimming is allowed from May to October. The water in the ocean in the vicinity of Cairns all year round resembles fresh milk, cooling only after the rains.
The Great Barrier Reef is the eighth wonder of the world and the largest coral reef in the world. It includes 2,500 reefs – from the smallest, less than a hectare in area, to large ones, occupying 100 sq. km. These reefs form 71 coral islands. In some places, corals are separated by straits that do not exceed 200 m in width. Most reefs are underwater, some appear on the surface only at low tide. The reefs form an opal-colored chain among the many shades of blue of the ocean. Some reefs are surrounded by white coral islands with lush vegetation in which birds nest. There are even islands that no man has set foot on.
In the north, the width of the Great Barrier Reef is 80 km. It is a giant aquarium. Nothing that grows above the water can match the beauty of underwater coral gardens: purples, pinks, lavenders, lilacs, greens, browns, blues and yellows coexist and shimmer.
According to the very intricate boundaries of the channels, the Great Barrier Reef can be divided into three sectors: the northern one, where the depth does not exceed 35 m, the central one, where it is about 55 m, and the southern one, where the depth reaches 145 m.
The Great Barrier Reef began to form 10,000 years ago and continues to evolve. Billions of coral polyps (living organisms no bigger than a pinhead) form the backbone of the Barrier Reef. Sea anemones, “reef flowers”, up to 60 cm in diameter, extend their colored tentacles in the direction of the current and catch larger prey falling into this trap. There is an amazing colorful world of tropical fish, mysterious caves, coral formations and magnificent plants.
The intricate reef system that forms several coral islands between Brisbane and Cairns has become a center of ecology and tourism. There are over 400 species of coral and 1,500 species of tropical fish – a diver’s dream.
Attention! From late October to early May, the waters of the northern coast are flooded with poisonous jellyfish. These jellyfish are about 10 cm long, with long tentacles, transparent, and therefore almost invisible underwater. Warning signs have been installed on dangerous beaches. Some beaches have special fenced areas. Resorts on islands in the open sea and the Great Barrier Reef are safe all year round. Breeding in the mouths of rivers, jellyfish are mainly concentrated near the banks.