Fast facts about Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

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Counterpart to the man-built wonder Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s natural wonders known throughout the world. It became a finalist to the New7Wonders of Nature poll organised by Swiss-based New7Wonders Foundation. Although it did not make it to the top seven, missing the cut did not reduce its naturally formed greatness; in fact, the Great Barrier Reef attracts approximately two million tourists from across the globe every year. Below are other interesting facts about this enormous reef formation:

Interesting Facts about Great Barrier Reef of Australia
Numbers

Believed to be 500,000 years old, the Great Barrier Reef is composed of more than 2,900 individual reef sprawling over 900 islands, making it the largest reef system in the world. The reef stretches 2,300 kilometres and has a size that almost equals to the country of Japan. The reef’s current composition has been a result of around 8,000 years of coral formations.

Geography

Extending from the northern tip of Queensland to the north of Bundaberg, the Great Barrier Reef grew on the land that formed from the sediments of the Great Dividing Range and the remnants of older reefs and volcanoes. The formations are a combination of different reefs: ribbon, lagoonal, and deltaic reefs on the north; and fringing and cresentic reefs on the southern part.

Ecosystem

The Great Barrier Reef hosts a diverse ecosystem: 1,625 fish species; 600 soft and hard corals; 3,000 mollusk species; 133 kinds of sharks and rays; six of the world’s seven turtle species; 30 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises; 215 birds species; 330 species of sea squirts; 17 species of sea snakes; and a lot more. This immense biodiversity awarded it a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, which happened six years after it became a marine park through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act in 1975.

Tourism

Annually, the Great Barrier Reef attracts more than two million visitors from various parts of the world. In order to protect the reef, boating tours are available for people who are inexperienced divers and snorkelers. Some resorts have been built on the islands along the reef in order to cater to tourists who want to do daily exploration of the reef. Visits to the reef are best done between June and October when rainfall levels are low, and when the weather is sunny and tropical. Due to summer temperature that ranges from 73 to 91 degrees, tourists are advised to wear sun protection.

Another quality that makes the reef system attractive to tourists is the fact that it is the only natural formation visible from outer space. People who want to take a closer look must do it the legal way by applying for a visa for Australia. Out of the many Australia visas, a tourist visitor visa is the most appropriate for regular tourists, but National Visas can also suggest other visa options if the applicant desires to do more than travel in the country and see the majestic reef.

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National Visas offer Personalised Services to help you apply for a visa. National Visas has developed into a world leader in online immigration services Our Migration Agents are registered to provide Australian immigration advice, as required by Australian law.

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