Great Barrier Reef

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Great Barrier Reef
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Click image to enlarge.

The Great Barrier Reef is not, as so many people believe, a continuous structure but a collection of almost 2,900 separate coral reefs, with 390 coral (sandy) islands, 130 of which support vegetation and birdlife.  The entire Great Barrier Reef stretches from above the tip of Cape York to just below the Tropic of Cancer, some 2,000 kilometres.  Scattered along the length of the reef are 618 rocky islands, which were once part of the main land, and these form part of the well known holiday destinations such as Lizard Island, Dunk Island and the Whitsunday Group to name just a few.

Click image to enlarge.

Port Douglas is the nearest point to the Great Barrier Reef and at low tide it is possible to walk from Four Mile Beach out to the edge of the reef.  The Great Barrier Reef is made up of a thin living layer of coral polyps on the surface of a limestone base of dead coral which is estimated to be nearly 18million years old in some areas to the north.  The living surface of coral is a vibrant ecosystem supporting a vast array of marine life, molluscs, fish, sharks, migrating whales, dolphins and the world's largest population of dugong.  In order to preserve this delicate ecosystem, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services have set aside areas to which tourists have access, whilst visiting some areas requires a permit.   

Tours to The Great Barrier Reef. Snorkelling - Scuba Diving - Fishing - Sailing. These activities can be booked through the many Qualified Representatives in Port Douglas who have offices either in the village or at the marina.   Most of the diving companies offer classes for novices and also for divers who wish to gain advanced certificates and equipment is available for hire or purchase.

For a professional photographers view of this amazing Reef visit

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Last modified: 12/10/03