There are many beautiful places to see in Australia, but an exploration of the Great Barrier Reef is an experience that no visitor should miss.
The Great Barrier Reef is located beneath the shallow, tropical waters of North Queensland, in Australia. Travel to Information on the Great Barrier Reef and you'll find that the Great Barrier Reef is made of layer upon layer of small sea creatures called polyps. Over time, millions of polyps have lived and died here. Their limestone remains created the coral rock of the Great Barrier Reef.
The aquatic life on and around the Great Barrier Reef contribute to its unique coral formations. If you visit the Great Barrier Reef, you'll find it is swarming with an enormous amount of sea life. Explore the facts found at Life on the Great Barrier Reef to read about the 1,500 species of fish that call it home such as the powerful Maori Wrasse, the Damselfish, the Butterfly fish, and the Cuttlefish. All of these and more can be seen through through the glass bottoms of tour boats. If you watch closely, you could spot the bold white stripes of the famous Clown Anemone fish sneaking among the tentacles of an anemone.
Visit Facts about Plants and Animals on the Great Barrier Reef and it explains that a visitor can encounter six out of seven of the world's species of turtles here such as the Loggerhead, the Hawksbill, and the Green Turtle. You may even see a Leatherback, known as the biggest sea turtle, swimming among the coral. If you're snorkeling, keep an eye out for one of the fourteen species of sea snakes that, according to the same article, swim at the Great Barrier Reef.
If you'd like to learn even more about the active sea life of the Great Barrier Reef please visit:
As beautiful and solid a structure as the Great Barrier Reef is, there are threats to its existence. Travel to Threats to the Great Barrier Reef and you'll read about a creature called the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish. It is difficult to imagine that a sea creature could damage the Great Barrier Reef, but this particular starfish is known to attack the coral. One reason it continues to increase as a threat is the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish reproduces at a very swift rate. Also, its natural predator, the Giant Triton, is widely hunted for its shell which allows the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish the freedom to flourish to even greater numbers. These combined conditions leave the Great Barrier Reef's coral vulnerable to this starfish.
The aforementioned article goes on to explain that global warming and pollution are also taking a toll on the Great Barrier Reef. The coral at the surface of the Great Barrier Reef is facing elevated temperatures that it cannot survive in. Pollutants in the form of chemicals detected in the water around the Great Barrier Reef threaten not only the aquatic life that exists around the Reef, but the coral itself.
For more information on the threats to the Great Barrier Reef and to see a photograph of the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish visit The Great Barrier Reef and Its Survival.
If you are planning your trip to the Great Barrier Reef consult these online resources for useful travel information:
Whether you see it on the road with car rental, in the water or in the air, The Great Barrier Reef must be experienced to be appreciated.