The Great Barrier Reef is a world renown icon that stretches for over 22000km up the Queensland coast.
The world heritage listed living reef it the largest of it’s kind in the world and is home to over 10% of the world’s fish species.
The scope of the reef is hard to fathom but to put it into context, it is comprised of almost 1000 islands and sand cays as well as containing nearly 2000 species of birds, fish and other sealife.
With so many different ways to see the reef, limiting yourself to a scenic flight or a boat tour will not do it justice and each style of tour can give you a perspective that feels so different to the others. A scenic flight will give an idea of the enormity of the reef itself and the contrast of colours and textures will leave you breathless. A boat tour on the other hand will give a sense of connection to the reef as you can witness the sea life up close.
A typical trip to the reef will usually consist of a relaxing boat ride on deep blue and green water and the tide will dictate what you see when you arrive. On a high tide you can expect to see calm water around the shallow reefs with strong current around the open water. As the tide drops it exposes the reef sometimes by 2-3 metres creating islands, shallow reefs and beaches. The sealife interact with the tides and bait fish lose their shallow water hiding grounds and other fish push up onto the reef to feed on them. It’s common to see dolphins, whales and turtles the whole trip out to the reef which usually consist of around 2 hours.
Seeing the reef from a plane or a boat is only scratching the surface though and to experience the reef in all it’s glory, it’s highly recommended to arrange a dive or snorkelling trip. Below the surface you are bombarded with colour in all shapes and forms from the sea life to the coral and the water. Only then can you really say you have seen all the reef has to offer but in reality you could dive the reef 100 times and always see something new.