The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system, comprising over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq miles) The reef is located off the coast of Queensland in the Coral Sea in north-east Australia.The reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure - made by living organisms known as coral polyps which support a wide diversity of life. The Reef is a World Heritage Site and is labelled as one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
It is also a state icon of Queensland. A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMPA) , which assists in limiting the impact of fishing and tourism. The reef, like many other heavily human trafficked natural wonders of the world is under great environmental pressure with its ecosystem include farming fertilizer runoff and climate change, accompanied by mass coral bleaching and cyclic population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish.
The Australian Travel Company ONLY supports sustainable renewable ecologically sound tourism operators on the Great Barrier Reef. Click here for Diving Holiday options on the Great Barrier Reef, and HERE for Holiday options on Great Barrier Reef Islands..